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Starting Access

You can start Access in several ways, depending on how you've installed it. One way is to use the Start menu button. Follow these steps:

  1. Click the Start button. A menu appears.

  2. Highlight or point to Programs. A list of your program groups appears, with a list of separate Microsoft applications under the groups.

  3. Click Microsoft Access in the list of applications. Access starts.


Moving Programs Around on the Start Menu If you would prefer to have Access in a different program group, open the Start menu and drag the Access item to another location of your choice.

Other Ways to Start Access

Some other ways to start Access require more knowledge of Windows and Microsoft Office. If you're confused by them, stick with the primary method explained in the preceding section.

  • You can create a shortcut icon for Access to sit on your desktop; you can then start Access by double-clicking the icon. To create the shortcut icon, drag the Access item from the Start menu to the desktop.

  • When you're browsing files in Windows Explorer, you can double-click any Access data file to start Access and open that data file. Access data files have an .mdb extension and a little icon next to them that resembles the icon next to Microsoft Access on the Programs menu.

  • If you can't find Access, you can search for it. Click the Start button and select Find, select Files or Folders, and then type msaccess.exe in the Named text box. Open the Look In list and select My Computer. Then click Find Now. When the file appears on the list at the bottom of the Find window, double-click it to start Access, or right-click and drag it to the desktop to create an Access shortcut.

When you start Access, the first thing you'll see is a dialog box prompting you to create a new database or open an existing one (see Figure 3.1). For now, click Cancel. (We won't be working with any particular database in this lesson.)

Figure 3.1. This Microsoft Access dialog box appears each time you start Access.

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