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Understand the Navigation Pane
Microsoft Office Access 2007 provides a new feature called the Navigation Pane. The pane replaces the Database window, and you can also use it instead of switchboards — screens used to perform common tasks, such as running reports or closing a database.
You use the pane to run and manage the objects — the tables, reports, forms, and so on — in a database. For example, if you need to run a report, you start it from the Navigation Pane. If you need to change the design of your report, you can also open your report in Design view from the Navigation Pane.
This topic explains how to perform basic Navigation Pane tasks, including showing and hiding the pane and opening the database objects that appear in the pane.
If you are new to the Navigation Pane and you need background information, or you need to know how to perform a task that is not listed here, see the article Guide to the Navigation Pane. That topic explains the basics of the Navigation Pane, and how to perform all the tasks that are available in the pane.
Open and close the Navigation Pane and its objects
By default, the Navigation Pane appears when you open a database in Office Access 2007, including databases created in earlier versions of Access. You can prevent the Navigation Pane from appearing by default by setting a global program option. The following sets of steps explain how to take each action.
Show or hide the pane
Click the Shutter Bar Open/Close button in the Navigation Pane or press F11.
Prevent the Navigation Pane from appearing by default
Click the Microsoft Office Button , and then click Access Options.
The Access Options dialog box appears.
Click Current Database, and under Navigation, select or clear the Display Navigation Pane check box. The option is selected by default.
Note: We recommend that you hide the Navigation pane only if you have a screen such as a switchboard, or another method for opening the objects in your database.
Open a database object
When you want to run an individual database object such as a form or report, or you want to change the design of an object, you open that object directly from the Navigation Pane. Note that if you run a macro or a block of Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) code from the Navigation Pane instead of from another object, you may not see visible results, and an error might occur. In Access, VBA code and macros are typically designed to be run from other objects.
Open a database object for use
In the Navigation Pane, select one or more tables, queries, reports, or other item that you want to use and double-click them.
Drag the object or objects onto the Access work area.
Open a database object in Design view
In the Navigation Pane, right-click the database object that you want to change and then click Design View .
Place the focus on one or more of the objects and press CTRL+ENTER.
Learn more about the Navigation Pane
For more information about using the Navigation Pane, see Guide to the Navigation Pane.
For more information about using the Navigation Pane instead of switchboards, see Where did my switchboards go?.
Finally, designing tables, forms, reports, and the other components in a database can be a complex task. For information about creating database objects, or changing their design, see the following topics: