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Conventions and Features Used in This Book

Conventions and Features Used in This Book

This book uses special text and design conventions to make it easier for you to find the information you need.

Text Conventions

Abbreviated menu commandsFor your convenience, this book uses abbreviated menu commands. For example, “Click Tools, Track Changes, Highlight Changes” means that you should click the Tools menu, point to Track Changes, and click the Highlight Changes command.
Boldface typeBoldface type is used to indicate text that you enter or type.
Initial Capital LettersThe first letters of the names of menus, dialog boxes, dialog box elements, and commands are capitalized. Example: the Save As dialog box.
Italicized typeItalicized type is used to indicate new terms.
Plus sign (+) in textKeyboard shortcuts are indicated by a plus sign (+) separating two key names. For example, Ctrl+Alt+Delete means that you press the Ctrl, Alt, and Delete keys at the same time.

Design Conventions

This icon identifies a new or significantly updated feature in this version of the software

Inside Out: This statement illustrates an example of an “Inside Out” problem statement

These are the book’s signature tips. In these tips, you’ll get the straight scoop on what’s going on with the software—inside information about why a feature works the way it does. You’ll also find handy workarounds to deal with software problems.


Tips provide helpful hints, timesaving tricks, or alternative procedures related to the task being discussed.

Troubleshooting: This statement illustrates an example of a “Troubleshooting” problem statement

Look for these sidebars to find solutions to common problems you might encounter. Troubleshooting sidebars appear next to related information in the chapters. You can also use the Troubleshooting Topics index at the back of the book to look up problems by topic.

Cross-references point you to other locations in the book that offer additional information about the topic being discussed.

This icon indicates information or text found on the companion CD.


Cautions identify potential problems that you should look out for when you’re completing a task or problems that you must address before you can complete a task.


Notes offer additional information related to the task being discussed.


The sidebars sprinkled throughout these chapters provide ancillary information on the topic being discussed. Go to sidebars to learn more about the technology or a feature.

Syntax Conventions

The following conventions are used in the syntax descriptions for Visual Basic statements in Chapter 22, SQL statements in the “Understanding SQL” article on the companion CD, and other chapters where you find syntax displayed. These conventions do not apply to code examples listed within the text; all code examples appear exactly as you’ll find them in the sample databases.

You must enter all other symbols, such as parentheses and colons, exactly as they appear in the syntax line. Much of the syntax shown in the Visual Basic chapter has been broken into multiple lines. You can format your code all on one line, or you can write a single line of code on multiple lines using the Visual Basic line continuation character (_).

BoldBold type indicates keywords and reserved words that you must enter exactly as shown. Microsoft Visual Basic understands keywords entered in uppercase, lowercase, and mixed case type. Access stores SQL keywords in queries in all uppercase, but you can enter the keywords in any case.
ItalicItalicized words represent variables that you supply.
Angle brackets < >Angle brackets enclose syntactic elements that you must supply. The words inside the angle brackets describe the element but do not show the actual syntax of the element. Do not enter the angle brackets.
Brackets [ ]Brackets enclose optional items. If more than one item is listed, the items are separated by a pipe character (|). Choose one or none of the elements. Do not enter the brackets or the pipe; they’re not part of the element. Note that Visual Basic and SQL in many cases require that you enclose names in brackets. When brackets are required as part of the syntax of variables that you must supply in these examples, the brackets are italicized, as in [MyTable].[MyField].
Braces { }Braces enclose one or more options. If more than one option is listed, the items are separated by a pipe character (|). Choose one item from the list. Do not enter the braces or the pipe.
Ellipsis …Ellipses indicate that you can repeat an item one or more times. When a comma is shown with an ellipsis (,…), enter a comma between items.
Underscore _You can use a blank space followed by an underscore to continue a line of Visual Basic code to the next line for readability. You cannot place a continuation underscore in the middle of a string literal. You do not need an underscore for continued lines in SQL, but you cannot break a literal across lines.

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