Microsoft Access is a powerful database management tool, but many users have a difficult time trying to make the most out of it. Often, people are discouraged by the learning curve and just give up, denying themselves the opportunity not just to boost their productivity, but also to expand their management-oriented skill set.

Fortunately, there’s no reason why you should be helplessly fumbling with the software’s features at the start. If you’re willing to spend time and effort learning how to use the software, you can hit the ground running by keeping these handy tips in mind.


Take a Training Course

Learning more about Microsoft Access can take some time. If you don’t know where to begin, consider taking a beginners Microsoft Access course. This is especially important if you are pressed for time, like if you need to organize data for an upcoming review.

Remember, time spent figuring out the software isn’t time being productive. Training courses are designed to start off as beginner-friendly, helping you familiarize with database concepts and to explore the features of the program.However, you can take more advanced courses for more complex uses of the software later on, be it for building intricate databases, managing dense bodies of data, or querying Access databases.

Access Has Quick Access

Access has the quick access toolbar like any other Microsoft Office programs. This toolbar, located at the top of the window, can be customized with different commands. The more you work with MS Access, the more you will notice that you’re using some commands more often than others. Put those commands on the quick access toolbar to save time and a few extra clicks when you’re working.

Keep the Ribbon Hidden

The ribbon gives you quick and easy access to lots of features initially. However, over time you will find out that it actually takes up a lot of window space and limits your work area.

If you don’t need the ribbon, there’s no reason it should put up with the visual clutter. Double-click on any of the tabs in the ribbon to hide those icons. You can always click on the tabs again to get a brief glimpse of the icons anytime.

Right Click is Like Magic

Another way to quickly access features that were previously shown in the ribbon is by right clicking anywhere in the workspace area. This may not seem like much, but if you get used to it early on, you’ll be able to work faster.

Know Your Tabs

Microsoft Access features multiple tabs, but the three most important ones when starting out are the Home, Create, and Design Tabs. The Home tab lets you edit format or sort datasheets, the Create tab allows you to make tables, forms, and most of the “objects” necessary for the project, and the Design Tab lets you modify these objects.

Use Navigation Forms

The newer versions of Microsoft Access allow you to create and use navigation forms that can help users locate high-priority tasks. Older versions have a similar version known as switchboards, but navigation forms are considered more intuitive.

Enable Macros

Every now and then, you’ll end up having to click through security warning messages. This can be very annoying when you’re still trying to figure out the software, and it can even throw you off your concentration. If you want, you can set your macro settings to “enable all macros,” and you won’t have to worry about annoying security warnings again.

Get to Know Query IntelliSense

IntelliSense refers to a list of features designed to help you more about the code you’re currently using,in addition to allowing you to add calls to properties using only a few keywords. The newer versions of Access features IntelliSense and can be seen in the Criteria Row and the Update To row. Familiarizing yourself with IntelliSense allows you to sort tables and columns faster, speeding up your work.

Getting past that learning curve is probably the most difficult part of getting used to Microsoft Access, but starting your learning experience the right way with these tips should have you making presentations like a bona fide database management expert.