Microsoft Access 2016 New Features Overview

Applies to: Microsoft Access 2016 for Windows

If you're considering upgrading to Microsoft Access 2016 before attending a training course or arranging custom training, check out this list of some of the new features in Access 2016.

Important Note for 2016 Applications: Microsoft Office, Visio and Project 2016 cannot coexist on the same computer as standalone Office 2013 applications. This includes Office 2013, Office 365, Visio 2013 and Project 2013. If you have one of the following programs running you won't be able to install your 2016 application until it is upgraded: Project 2013, Visio 2013, Word 2013, Excel 2013, Powerpoint 2013, Outlook 2013, Publisher 2013 and Access 2013.

Are working on another version of Access? Review key new features in our Microsoft Access 2013 New Features Overview.  If you're working on 2010, see the Microsoft Access 2010 New Features Overview.

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There were significant additions made in 2013 that are included in 2016. For a list of new features in 2013, check out the Microsoft Access 2013 New Features Overview.

The following are some of the key new features available in Microsoft Access 2016. Please note that we are not including features available only to SharePoint with Access users.

Get to Features or Help with Tell Me

In 2016, a box appears in the Ribbon with Tell me what you want to do. You can enter words and phrases in the box and quickly get to features you want to use or actions you want to perform. You can also choose to get help or perform a Smart Lookup on a term you entered.

The Tell Me box is not available in the Ribbon when designing Access web apps.

New Office Themes for Access

There are now two Office themes that you can apply to the Access program:

  • Colorful
  • White

To access these themes:

  1. Click the File tab in the Ribbon.
  2. Click Options.
  3. Click on the General category and then click on the drop-down menu beside Office Theme.
  4. Select the desired theme.
  5. Click OK.

Modern Look and Feel for Popular Access Templates

In Access 2016 (desktop version), five popular database templates have been redesigned to have a more modern look and feel. Templates are available thought the Ribbon by clicking on the File tab and then selecting New. Here, you can search for:

  • Asset Tracking
  • Contacts
  • Event Management
  • Students
  • Task Management

These templates include a new Getting Started form with links to articles, videos and other resources.

Larger Show Table Dialog Box

In Access 2016, the default height of the Show Table dialog has been increased so see more table and query names.

To Show Table dialog appears automatically when you create a query in Design View:

  1. Click Create in the Ribbon.
  2. Click Query Design. The Show Table dialog opens by default.

You can also open this dialog in queries by clicking on the Design tab and then clicking on Show Table.

To view the Show Table dialog in the Relationships window:

  1. Click the Database Tools tab in the Ribbon.
  2. Click Relationships. The Show Table dialog normally opens by default.

You can also open this dialog in the Relationship window by clicking on the Design tab and then clicking on Show Table.

Export Linked Data Source Information to Excel

In 2016, there is new functionality built into the Linked Table Manager dialog. You now have the ability to export a list of the linked data sources for your Access database to Excel.

To open the Linked Table Manager dialog:

  1. Click the External Data in the Ribbon.
  2. Click Linked Table Manager.
  3. Select the linked data sources you want to list.
  4. Click Export to Excel. Access prompts you for a location to save the Excel workbook.
  5. Select a save location. Access displays the linked data sources information in the new workbook with the name of the linked data source, its source information and the data source type.

The Linked Table Manager dialog is not available when designing Access web apps.


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