Appendix A. Customizing Access

When Microsoft introduced the ribbon in Office 2007, they clamped down on customization. Quite simply, the designers of Office were concerned that overly creative Office fans would replace the standard arrangement of buttons with a jumble of personal favorites. Their worst fear was that Access customizers would transform Access so completely that no one else would be able to use it, and the instructions in books like this one would be useless. To prevent this crisis, Microsoft made it extremely difficult to customize the ribbon. The only people who could do it were programming gearheads who were willing to work with the intimidating RibbonX standard.

Access 2013 isn’t nearly as paranoid. It lets you rename or hide tabs, and add and remove groups. It even lets you create an entirely new tab with your own button selections. When used carefully, this feature gives you a great way to speed up your work and put your favorite commands in a central spot. But if you get carried away, you can end up causing confusion for friends, family, coworkers, and even yourself.

Along with its surprisingly powerful ribbon customization ability, Access 2013 also lets you customize the Quick Access toolbar—the sequence of tiny buttons that sits just above the ribbon and its tabs. If you don’t have the ambition to create your own custom tab, you may find it easier to stick your absolute favorite buttons in the Quick Access toolbar, which is the first task described in this ...

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