Table Datasheet, Query Datasheet, Form View

This bar displays in Datasheet and Form views.
These three views are used to display records, so the toolbar is the same for all three.

Icon: Mouse click Click a button to jump to its description or just scroll the page.

Button: Handle Button: Toolbar Handle (2002) Button: Toolbar handle (2003)

At the left end of a toolbar is an area called the handle, which looks a bit different in different versions of MS Access. Hover over this area and the mouse pointer changes to the Move shape Pointer: Move. Drag while in the Move shape and the toolbar will move. If you drag perpendicular to the bar, it will undock and float. Drag to another edge of the window and the toolbar will dock there.

Toolbar: Database - slide to the right

Toolbar dragged to the right

Toolbar: Database - floating

Toolbar floating

Toolbar: Database - Docked at left

Toolbar docked at left

Button: Views Button: Views (Datasheet) Button: Views (Design) Button: Views (Print Preview)

The Views button toggles between Datasheet and Design or Print Preview and Design. The arrow opens a list of all of the available views.

Button: Views for a table Button: Views - Table - list dropped
Table Query
Button: Views - Form - list dropped button: Views - Report - list dropped
Form Report

Button: Save Button: Save

The Save button is used to save the current object that is open for editing.

It does not save the whole database. It does not save a record. The button is grayed out Button: Save (gray) in the Database bar since there is no object selected to be saved.

Saving records automatically: By default, MS Access automatically saves a record when you switch to a new record, or when you close the active object where you were adding or editing records, or when you close the database or Access itself.

Save immediately: The menu command  Records  |  Save Record  will save the current record before you leave it. SHIFT + ENTER is the key combo to save a record immediately.

Saving database with new name: To make a copy of a database with a new name is rather awkward.

  1. Close the database, copy and paste it in an Explorer window, and then rename the copy. Awkward!
  2. Icon: Access 2003 Access 2003: Save a backup copy with File | Backup Database...

Button: Search Button: Search

The Search button opens the Basic Search task pane. In this pane you can search your computer or network locations for files, especially Office documents.

Window with Task Pane - Basic Search

Button: Print Button: Print

The Print button prints the selected object immediately.

WarningThe Print dialog does NOT appear.  Do not use this button unless you are SURE that the print settings are what you want. Be sure that you want to print the whole thing!!

Button: Print Preview Button: Print Preview

The Print Preview button changes the view to show how the current object will look if printed.

Print Preview: Report

Button: Spell Check Button: Spell Check

The Spell Check button will check the spelling in records.

It does not check spelling in object names, field names, or form/report labels.

Buttons: Cut, Copy, Paste Buttons: Cut, Copy, Paste

The Cut, Copy, and Paste buttons work as usual for database objects, the contents of fields, and design elements for forms and reports.

Button: Cut Cut removes the selected item and copies it to the Windows Clipboard.
Keyboard shortcut CTRL + X

Button: Copy Copy leaves the selected item in place and copies it to the Windows Clipboard.
Keyboard shortcut CTRL + C

Button: Paste Paste inserts the contents of the Windows Clipboard.
Keyboard shortcut CTRL + V.

The Windows Clipboard can only remember one thing at a time, but the Office Clipboard task pane can remember the last 24 items copied from MS Office programs.

Task Pane: Clipboard Options - Collect without showingThe Office Clipboard task pane has to be active, either by being displayed on screen or the Collect Without Showing Office Clipboard option must be on, at the bottom of the Clipboard task pane.

Buttons: Undo/Redo Buttons: Undo, Redo

The Undo and Redo buttons let you change your mind about what you just did. These buttons are gray when there is nothing in the action list. Buttons: Undo and Redo - unavailable

Button: Redo - list of actionsDesign view: Undo or redo the 20 most recent actions.
The down arrow opens the full list of actions. All actions above the one you pick will be undone or redone. The list of actions is cleared when you leave Design view.

Editing Records: You can undo actions only for the current record.  The Redo button does not show. Button: Undo
There is no list of actions, but clicking the Undo button repeatedly will back up through the changes you made for this record. You cannot redo what you have undone for records. The Undo list is cleared when you move to a new record or apply a filter or switch to a different window.

Undo with menu:
Menu: Edit | Undo and Redo
 Edit | Undo <action>  The Edit menu will show at the top of the menu list the last action, like Undo Move or Undo Property Setting. The last action that you did with Undo will show as Redo <action>.

If you leave a record, you can Undo Saved Record only if you have not made a change in another record.

Editing Form/Report - Revert with menu: For a form or report, you can revert to the last saved version after making changes to the form/report. Use the menu  File | Revert . You cannot redo those changes. This is handy for dumping a whole set of changes that you made since the last save.

Button: Hyperlink   Button: Hyperlink button: Hyperlink - grayed out

The Hyperlink button is active and shows in color when your cursor is in a field that has the type Hyperlink. Such a field would usually hold an email address, a web site address, or a network address for a document or image. Clicking the button opens the dialog Insert Hyperlink.

Dialog: Insert Hyperlink

Buttons: Sort  Buttons: Sort Ascending and Sort Descending 

The Sort buttons rearrange the listing of records so that the selected field is in alphabetical or numerical order. Only one field at a time can be sorted with these buttons. For more complex sorts, use a query where you can sort with several fields at once.

You can also sort from the menu  Records | Sort .

TipIf you sort the results of a query (the datasheet), you may have to close and reopen the query to get back to the original order.

Button: Filter by Selection  Button: Filter by Selection 

In a datasheet or form view, clicking the button Filter by Selection will hide all records that do not match the value in the current cell. The Apply Filter button goes from gray to Button: Apply Filter color with a border while the filter is in place.

Remove filter: Click Button: Apply Filter the Apply Filter button to toggle the filter off.

You can only filter on one value in one field with this button. For more complex filters, use Filter by Form or a query.

Button: Filter by Form  Buttons: Filter by Form 

In a datasheet or form view clicking on the Filter by Form button opens a form that allows you to select values in as many fields as you wish. You must apply the filter as a separate step.

Filter by Form- inside a table Filter by Form - inside a form

Apply Filter: Click the Apply Filter button Button: Apply Filter to see the records that match your choices.  After you click, the button changes to Remove Filter, with a thin, blue border and a shaded background.

Remove Filter: Click Button: Apply Filter the Remove Filter button to toggle the filter off.

Button: Apply/Remove Filter  Button: Apply Filter Button: Apply Filter 

The Apply Filter button goes from gray Button: Apply Filter - grayed out to Button: Apply Filter  color when you have created a filter. It changes to the Remove Filter button Button: Apply Filter with a thin, blue border and a shaded background, once the filter has been applied.

Apply Filter: Click the Apply Filter button Button: Apply Filter to apply the last filter that you created.

Remove Filter: Click Button: Apply Filter the Remove Filter button to toggle the filter off.

Button: Find  Button: Find  

The Find button opens the Find and Replace dialog where you can look for values in the records of the current datasheet or form.

Dialog: Find

Button: New Record  Button: New Record  

The New Record button moves the focus to the blank record or form at the end of the records.

Blank record in datasheet Blank record in form

Button: Delete Record  Button: Delete Record  

The Delete Record button works in Datasheet and Form views to will remove the selected record or records.

WarningYou cannot Undo a deletion of records!

You may have to delete related records in other tables first if the relationship is set to enforce referential integrity.

Button: Database Window  Button: Database Window  

The Database Window button brings that window to the top. The Database window remains open as long as the database is open. You can minimize it or cover it with other windows.

A database programmer can hide the Database window and this button to keep users from interfering in the careful work he has done.

Button: New Object Button: New Object

Button: New Object - list droppedThe New Object button shows the icon for what you chose the last time. The arrow opens a list of links.

The AutoForm and AutoReport choices will create a basic form or report for the table or query that is currently selected. You can, of course, change the layout and the formatting afterwards.

The remaining choices open the New dialog for the object type or the Design view for macros and modules.

Button: Help Button: Help Button: Help (2003)

The Help button looks and behaves differently in Access 2002 than in Access 2003.

Icon: Access 2002Button: Help Opens the Help dialog with tabs for Contents, Answer Wizard, and Index.

Dialog: Help (2002)

Icon: Access 2003Button: Help (2003) Opens the Help task pane.

Task Pane: Help (2003)

Button: Toolbar Options Button: Toolbar Options Button: Hidden buttons and Toolbar options

Button: Toolbar OptionsThe down arrow at the far right of a toolbar opens a cascading menu: Add or Remove Buttons. You can customize the toolbar by adding or removing buttons.

Menu: Add/Remove Buttons

Button: Hidden buttons - droppedButton: Hidden buttons and Toolbar options A double arrow above the down arrow tells you that the window is too narrow to show all of the buttons on the bar. Clicking the arrow in this case will open a palette of the hidden buttons, in addition to the menu Add or Remove Buttons.

All Office programs display the most recently used buttons when there is not room for all of them. As you continue to work in a small window, which buttons are showing will change. This can be confusing!

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