ID #1181

How do I find common tasks on the Microsoft Office Access ribbon?

The Office Ribbon is the primary replacement for menus and toolbars and provides the main command interface in Office Access . One of the main advantages of the Ribbon is that it consolidates, in one place, those tasks or entry points that used to require menus, toolbars, task panes, and other UI components to display. This way, you have only one place in which to look for commands, instead of a multitude of places.

When you open a database, the Ribbon appears at the top of the main Office Access window, where it displays the commands in the active command tab.


Access ribbon


The Ribbon contains a series of command tabs that contain commands. In Office Access , the main command tabs are Home, Create, External Data, and Database Tools. Each tab contains groups of related commands, and these groups surface some of the additional new UI elements, such as the gallery, which is a new type of control that presents choices visually.

The commands on the Ribbon take into account the currently active object. For example, if you have a table opened in Datasheet view and you click Form on the Create tab, in the Forms group, Office Access creates the form, based on the active table. That is, the name of the active table is entered in the form's RecordSource property.

You can use keyboard shortcuts with the Ribbon. All of the keyboard shortcuts from an earlier version of Access continue to work. The Keyboard Access System replaces the menu accelerators from earlier versions of Access. This system uses small indicators with a single letter or combination of letters that appear on the Ribbon and indicate what keyboard shortcut actives the control underneath.

When you have selected a command tab, you can browse the commands available within that tab.


Select a command tab

  1. Start Access.

  2. Click the tab that you want.


  1. Start Access.

  2. Press and release the ALT key.

    The keyboard tips appear.

  3. Press the key or keys shown in the keyboard tip on or closest to the command tab that you want.

You can execute a command a number of different ways. The quickest and most direct route is to use the keyboard shortcut associated with the command. If you know the keyboard shortcut used from an earlier version of Access, it should also work in Office Access.


Execute a command

  1. Start Access.

  2. Click the appropriate tab for the command. The following table shows a representative sampling of the tabs and the commands available on each tab. The tabs and the commands available change depending on what your are doing.

Command Tab

Common things you can do


Select a different view.


Copy and paste from the clipboard.


Set the current font characteristics.


Set the current Font Alignment.


Apply rich text formatting to a memo field.


Work with records (Refresh, New, Save, Delete, Totals, Spelling, More).


Sort and filter records.


Find records.


Create a new blank table.


Create a new table using a table template.


Create a list on a SharePoint site and a table in the current database that links to the newly created list.


Create a new blank table in Design view.


Create a new form based on the active table or query.


Create a new pivot table or chart.


Create a new report based on the active table or query.


Create a new query, macro, module, or class module.

External Data

Import or Link to external data.


Export data.


Collect and update data via e-mail.


Work with offline SharePoint lists.


Create saved imports and saved exports.


Move some or all parts of a database to a new or existing SharePoint site.

Database Tools

Launch the Visual Basic editor or run a macro.


Create and view table relationships.


Show/hide object dependencies or the property sheet


Run the Database Documenter or analyze performance.


Move data to Microsoft SQL Server or to an Access (Tables only) database.


Run the Linked Table Manager.


Manage Access add-ins.


Create or edit a Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) module.


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