The Ribbon

If you're like a lot of developers, the Ribbon takes a little getting used to. It provides the pivotal functionality in Access's new "results-oriented, context-sensitive" interface. Access has nearly 1,000 commands, so it is a benefit that the Ribbon and new UI display only those that are relevant to the task at hand. And, when you want more screen space, the Ribbon can quickly be minimized. If you like custom toolbars and you don't want to give up control of the user environment, you can relax because the Ribbon is customizable and exportable (Chapter 12 covers Ribbon customization). That means that you can create custom ribbons to ship with your solutions. You can even create modal ribbons and toolbars for each form or report—and you can export and take your personalized ribbon to use when working on other applications. LoadCustomUl loads the XML markup that represents a customized Ribbon.

If you do nothing else with the Ribbon, take some time to investigate all the resources on the Database Tools tab, shown in Figure 3-2. Open Northwind 2007 and see how easy it is to document and analyze a complex solution, to work with SQL Server, and to protect data using encryption. Being context sensitive, the Ribbon conveniently groups and organizes new tools with familiar favorites.

Home Create External Data Database Tools

Visual Basic VÍÜ

[Jj4 Property Sheet Object Dependencies

Relationships _

I_| Message Bar

Database Documenter Analyze Performance Analyze Table

SQL Access Server Database

V fpi Switchboard Manager -

Encrypt with Password -

Linked Table a Make Manager S Add-rns' ACCDE

Macro

Show/Hide

Analyze

Move Data

Database Tools

Figure 3-2

Figure 3-2

That being said, if you're absolutely stuck on using your custom tool bars, you can avoid displaying the Ribbon altogether. You will need to set the startup options to use a custom main menu bar and to hide built-in toolbars. However, if you include custom menu bars and tool bars without disabling built-in toolbars, the Ribbon will still be displayed and your custom menu bars will be listed under the Add-In tab on the Ribbon.

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