Access 2013 Tour User Interface

  1. Overview of Microsoft Access 2013
  2. Start of work
  3. ribbon
  4. File tab
  5. Command Tabs
  6. Quick Access Toolbar
  7. Navigation bar
  8. Documents with tabs

Overview of Microsoft Access 2013

When you switch from an earlier version to Microsoft Access 2013, you will definitely notice some changes. If you’ve been using Access 2007 or Access 2010, the ribbon-based user interface looks the same, but has been given a facelift. If you downgrade from an earlier version, you’ll find that the way you work with Access is now completely different.

This product tour looks at the Access 2013 interface, including the ribbon, navigation bar, and other features. Access 2013 is still widely used despite the release of Access 2016.

Start of work

The Getting Started page provides quick access to Access 2013 features.

The most notable feature on this page is the excellent set of dynamic links to Microsoft Access database templates. They are automatically updated through Office Online and provide the ability to develop a database from a predefined template instead of an empty database. Examples include asset tracking, project management, sales, tasks, contacts, issues, events, and students databases. Selecting one of these templates will start an automatic download process that ends with opening the database for you.

You can also find other resources on the Getting Started page. On this page, you can create a new blank database, open recent databases, or read content from Microsoft Office Online.


The ribbon, introduced in Office 2007, is the biggest change for users of earlier versions of Access. It replaces the familiar drop-down menus and toolbars with a context-sensitive interface that provides quick access to relevant commands.

If you’re a keyboard jockey who has memorized command sequences, take it easy. Access 2013 supports shortcuts from earlier versions of Access.

Access 2010 users will notice that the ribbon has been updated in Access 2013 with a smoother, cleaner look that uses space more efficiently.

File tab

Fans of the old File menu have something to note in Access 2013 – it’s back. The Microsoft Office button is gone and replaced by the File tab on the ribbon. When you select this tab, a window appears on the left side of the screen with many of the features previously found in the File menu.

Command Tabs

The command tabs help you navigate the ribbon by selecting the high-level task you want to complete. For example, on the ribbon shown here, the Create Team tab is selected. The Home, External Data, and Database Tools tabs always appear at the top of the ribbon. You will also see context sensitive tabs.

Quick Access Toolbar

The Quick Access Toolbar appears at the top of the Access window and provides one-click shortcuts to frequently used functions. You can customize the contents of the toolbar by clicking the arrow icon to the right of the toolbar.
By default, the Quick Access Toolbar contains Save, Undo, and Redo buttons. You can customize the toolbar by adding icons for New, Open, Email, Print, Print Preview, Spelling, Mode, Refresh All, and more.

Navigation bar

The navigation bar provides access to all objects in your database. You can customize the contents of the navigation bar with expandable/collapsible subbars.

Documents with tabs

Access 2013 includes the feature for viewing tabbed documents in web browsers. Access provides tabs that represent each of the open database objects. You can quickly switch between open objects by clicking the corresponding tab.

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