If you have never used a database program-including Access-you’ll find Access 2007 very approachable. Using the results of extensive productivity lab tests, Microsoft has completely revamped the user interface in all the Microsoft Office programs. The new Ribbon technology makes it much easier for novice users to get acquainted with Access and easily discover its most useful features. To get a new user jump-started, Microsoft has provided nearly a dozen local database templates that load onto your hard disk when you install Access. In addition, you’ll find many additional database templates available for easy download from the Microsoft Office Web site directly from within Access. Microsoft plans to continue to add templates after Access 2007 is released to further enhance your productivity.
The Microsoft Office Fluent user interface is the term used to describe the new UI for the 2007 Microsoft Office system. The Ribbon is a component of the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface and the term used throughout this book to refer to the Ribbon component.
But if you have used any prior version of Access, you’re in for a big surprise. Menus and toolbars are gone-all replaced by the new Ribbon. The Database window has been replaced by the Navigation Pane. When you first start using Access 2007, you’ll probably notice a decrease in productivity-we certainly did-but it won’t take you long to get comfortable with the new interface. You’ll probably soon discover features that you didn’t know were there. Nearly all the old familiar objects are around-tables, queries, forms, reports, macros, and modules, and you’ll find that the standard design and data views you’ve come to know and love are still around. You’ll also quickly learn that the new Layout and Report views rapidly increase your productivity.