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Top 7 Microsoft Access 2010 Books for Beginners


So, you'd like to learn more about Microsoft Access 2010 and you don't know where to begin. I've selected seven of my favorite introductory-level Access books for your perusal. Follow the "Compare Prices" links for a competitive listing of prices at various web merchants.

1. Microsoft Access 2010 Step by Step

Microsoft Press' foray into the world of Access tutorial books makes you wonder why they don't have the same team working on their product documentation. This book should be included in the box when you purchase Access. Unfortunately, it's not. Similar to the Access 2010: The Missing Manual, this book offers and illustrated look at the program's features. It's not quite as user-friendly as McDonald's book, but still a useful reference.
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2. Using Microsoft Access 2010

This book from Que offers a unique way to learn more about Microsoft Access 2010. It includes the typical topics you'd expect to see in a beginner's reference guide, including manipulating data, using queries, forms and reports, creating databases and tables, using relationships to enhance queries, automating databases with macros, sharing data with other applications and putting databases on the web. In addition, it has two great supplemental video features on the free web edition. The first, "Show Me" videos, walk you step-by-step through some of the tasks outlined in the book. These are great for visual learners who prefer to be shown how to complete a task. Also, "Tell Me More" audio provides additional insight into book topics.
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3. Access 2010: The Missing Manual

In this book, Matthew McDonald walks you through the features of Access 2010 in a clear, easy-to-understand manner. The books major topics are "Build a database with ease," "Customize the interface," "Find what you need fast," "Put your data to use," "Share your data," "Dive into Access programming," and "Create rich data connections." This is a true beginner's guide, written as if you have absolutely no experience with Access and includes highly descriptive captions for screenshots that explain exactly how to complete a task.
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4. Rational Guide to Access Templates

Mann Publishing
Zac Woodall's book provides an excellent introduction to creating and sharing Microsoft Access database templates. It's a wonderful reference for anyone who needs to occasionally or regularly design or develop Access templates. One word of warning -- this book is written for Access 2007, but the templates it describes will work equally well in Access 2010. Unfortunately, the author has not yet produced a version specific to Access 2010, but we'll keep our eyes open and update this review if they eventually release an update. For the time being, you can probably snatch up a used copy of this book at a discounted price and get the gist of things.

5. Microsoft Access 2010 Bible

This 1300+ page tome that offers an amazingly complete reference to the entire Access product. This book is often used as a textbook in Access courses and it includes a free CD-ROM that enables you to easily follow along with the examples. The CD includes Access databases that contain the data from each chapter of the book, allowing you to walk through the examples exactly as they appear in print. It also contains a searchable PDF of the book that you can use to keep your knowledge with you on the go if you don't want to haul this heavy book around with you.
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6. Access 2010 for Dummies

You don't have to be a dummy to appreciate Access 2010 for Dummies. This book, written in the world-famous Dummies style provides readers with a gentle introduction to the world of databases and Microsoft Access. It's chock full of examples and sure to please the novice user. While brevity is this book's strength, it is also its limitation. If you're looking for detailed explanations or in-depth examples, the Dummies series is not the right place for you. You'd be better off with the Microsoft Access 2010 Bible. On the other hand, if you're looking for a quick overview of Microsoft Access written in a clear, accessible (no pun intended!) style, you'll want to check out Access 2010 for Dummies.
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7. Excel Analyst's Guide to Access

Looking for a book that focuses on the relationships you can build between Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access? The Excel Analyst's Guide to Access does just that, showing you how you can leverage the power of Access databases to enhance your Excel reporting.
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