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Access 2003 Manuals and Help Files

I have just had to upgrade to Access 2003 as Access 97 EMail (SendObject)
doesn't work when loaded on Windows XP. I'm finding my way around Access
2003 but my biggest problem is getting information. When I bought Access 1.0
many years ago, I got a paper manual and an excellent help file with all you
needed to know. With Access 97 the manual came as a 'Building Applications'
document on the CD and I still had the excellent help. With Access 2003,
however, information is randomly spread all over the place. There is a
terrible help file accessing data both on- and off-line (and it's hard to
tell how much info is actually available offline - what happens when my
Internet connection goes down or, inevitably, Microsoft pull the plug on the
on-line help when they want you to upgrade in the future?). There are
articles on the Microsoft site but you have to trawl through them page by
page - you can't just print the lot. It's a shambles. Anyone getting started
for the first time with Access wouldn't have a hope. Please, please can
someone advise me where I can download (or whatever) a complete set of
Access 2003 information, including all the help topics, VB syntax, building
applications and differences between Access 97 and Access 2003. I don't mind
printing it myself, I just need the info. Surely anyone parting with good
money for the product can reasonably expect a concise manual in some form?
When did you last buy a car then have to go on-line to learn how to use it?

Thanks in advance........ ......Phil.
Nov 12 '05 #1
2 3949
Well, you have 3 versions of What's New to go through. These links should
help.

http://support.microsoft.com/default...roduct=acc2000
http://support.microsoft.com/default...roduct=acc2002

In Access 2003, type What's New in the help search window in the upper right
corner of the Access window and press enter.

As far as information goes. There are several good books on Access. See what
you think about these.

Access 2002 Developers Handbook (I haven't seen a 2003 version yet). There
is also a good book on VBA at this site.
http://www.developershandbook.com

Also, some books from Microsoft.
http://www.microsoft.com/mspress/books/5600.asp
http://www.microsoft.com/mspress/books/6768.asp

--
Wayne Morgan
Microsoft Access MVP
"BT Openworld" <ac*********@bt openworld.com> wrote in message
news:bv******** **@sparta.btint ernet.com...
I have just had to upgrade to Access 2003 as Access 97 EMail (SendObject)
doesn't work when loaded on Windows XP. I'm finding my way around Access
2003 but my biggest problem is getting information. When I bought Access 1.0 many years ago, I got a paper manual and an excellent help file with all you needed to know. With Access 97 the manual came as a 'Building Applications' document on the CD and I still had the excellent help. With Access 2003,
however, information is randomly spread all over the place. There is a
terrible help file accessing data both on- and off-line (and it's hard to
tell how much info is actually available offline - what happens when my
Internet connection goes down or, inevitably, Microsoft pull the plug on the on-line help when they want you to upgrade in the future?). There are
articles on the Microsoft site but you have to trawl through them page by
page - you can't just print the lot. It's a shambles. Anyone getting started for the first time with Access wouldn't have a hope. Please, please can
someone advise me where I can download (or whatever) a complete set of
Access 2003 information, including all the help topics, VB syntax, building applications and differences between Access 97 and Access 2003. I don't mind printing it myself, I just need the info. Surely anyone parting with good
money for the product can reasonably expect a concise manual in some form?
When did you last buy a car then have to go on-line to learn how to use it?
Thanks in advance........ ......Phil.

Nov 12 '05 #2
Hi Phil.

Can agree with some of your comments: the manuals and Help in Access 1 and 2
were brilliant: an excellent way to learn the product. It is much harder to
learn now, because more functionality and complexity creeps in each version,
and there are no manuals. Essentially you have to buy a book or enrol in a
course, depending on which way you learn.

Also agreed that the help file in Acc 97 were great, and that this all fell
apart in Acc 2000. Since then, MS has been working to get the help files
back on track, and IMHO the Acc 2003 help is now workable again.

You can turn off the behavior to search on-line for help: from the main
Access window, Tools | Options | General | Service Options | Online Content.

A key concept is that you get different help in the Access window than you
do in the VBA window.

In the VBA window, if you know what you want help with, type the
statement/function name, and press F1.

If you go through the Help menu (VBA), you do get a very useful table of
contents that arranges topics logically, and each section opens up to
subtopics which are also well arranged as a reference. In some cases (such
as ADO), you get a Guide for learning how to use the technology as well as a
Reference. This works well enough that it is possible to learn the
technology through the Help file.

If you want something more, there are many good books available. For
example, John Viescas has recently released "MS Office Access 2003 Inside
Out". I have a copy (haven't read it all yet), but it does look like it's up
to his usual standard.

There are now many good websites with free tips, examples, explanations,
gotchas, performance suggestions, etc. My favourite ones are listed in the
link below. Perhaps there is nothing like a good book though - one you can
take anywhere.

--
Allen Browne - Microsoft MVP. Perth, Western Australia.
Tips for Access users - http://allenbrowne.com/tips.html
Reply to group, rather than allenbrowne at mvps dot org.

"BT Openworld" <ac*********@bt openworld.com> wrote in message
news:bv******** **@sparta.btint ernet.com...
I have just had to upgrade to Access 2003 as Access 97 EMail (SendObject)
doesn't work when loaded on Windows XP. I'm finding my way around Access
2003 but my biggest problem is getting information. When I bought Access 1.0 many years ago, I got a paper manual and an excellent help file with all you needed to know. With Access 97 the manual came as a 'Building Applications' document on the CD and I still had the excellent help. With Access 2003,
however, information is randomly spread all over the place. There is a
terrible help file accessing data both on- and off-line (and it's hard to
tell how much info is actually available offline - what happens when my
Internet connection goes down or, inevitably, Microsoft pull the plug on the on-line help when they want you to upgrade in the future?). There are
articles on the Microsoft site but you have to trawl through them page by
page - you can't just print the lot. It's a shambles. Anyone getting started for the first time with Access wouldn't have a hope. Please, please can
someone advise me where I can download (or whatever) a complete set of
Access 2003 information, including all the help topics, VB syntax, building applications and differences between Access 97 and Access 2003. I don't mind printing it myself, I just need the info. Surely anyone parting with good
money for the product can reasonably expect a concise manual in some form?
When did you last buy a car then have to go on-line to learn how to use it?
Thanks in advance........ ......Phil.

Nov 12 '05 #3

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