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Introduction > Introduction - Pg. xv

Introduction xv · Road Map At the start of this book, you'll find a list of the concepts, features, and tasks that you'll learn about in each chapter. This list serves as a roadmap for identifying what you need to learn and where you'll learn it. · Chapter objectives Each chapter begins with a list of the tasks that you'll learn how to perform in that chapter. These tasks range from knowing what questions you should ask when you're gathering requirements for a database to understanding how you apply formatting to a label on an Access form. · Chapter prerequisites At the start of each chapter, you'll also find a summary of the skills and knowledge you should already have to get the most from a chapter. The chapter prerequisites point you to the chapters in the book where you can obtain the background knowledge you need. · Hands-on exercises You'll find many hands-on, step-by-step examples and exercises that de- scribe how to work with a particular Access feature (such as using a wizard to create a report), how to perform a specific database task (for example, designing a form for entering data), and how to analyze information that a database stores (such as summarizing financial information in a query). Many of the steps in the hands-on examples are accompanied by information and comments that provide you with context that will guide you when you perform the procedures within a database that you're building. · Just the Steps Every important hands-on example is followed by a summary of the steps you take to perform the task the example illustrates. You can think of the sections named Just the Steps as in-context quick references that reinforce the hands-on work. If you need to refer back to the context provided in the examples, you're only a page or two away. If you simply need to refresh your memory about which steps to take, you can follow just the steps without reading additional comments. · Quick Checks Interspersed throughout each chapter are Quick Checks-sections that present short questions and answers that emphasize key points and concepts. · Q&A At the end of each chapter, the Q&A section provides additional information about particular situations and options related to the main objectives in the chapter. In the Q&A sections, you'll also find tips for troubleshooting common problems. · On Your Own At the end of each chapter, you'll also find hands-on exercises that you can follow to gain more practice with the topics presented in the chapter. The CD-ROM that accompanies this book provides versions of the sample database with solutions to the exercises presented. · Companion CD This book's companion CD includes the practice files you'll use in the hands-on examples as well as links to informative Web sites and Access newsgroups; links to training modules available on Microsoft Office Online; third-party Access tools; demos of Microsoft One- Note and Microsoft InfoPath; and more. See the section "About This Book's CD-ROM" later in the Introduction for more information. The HelloWorld Sample Database The sample database used in the hands-on examples presented in Microsoft Office Access 2003 Inside Track stores data related to a series of marketing campaigns-budget and expense informa- tion, dates when the campaigns start and end, the names of the individuals managing the cam- paigns, links to promotional copy, and tasks related to getting the campaigns up and running. The HelloWorld database also makes use of data stored in the Northwind Traders sample database that ships with Access 2003. (This book's companion CD also contains a copy of the Northwind Traders database.) As you work through the hands-on examples in each chapter, you'll add to the HelloWorld database, but you don't need to save or maintain your own copy of this sample (although you can to review your own work). At the start of the first hands-on example in a chapter, you'll be pointed to a version of the HelloWorld database. To work through some examples more quickly, we often provide a new