Create forms

Create navigation forms

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Note: The information on this page applies only to Access desktop databases. Access web apps don't support navigation forms.

If you often use the same set of forms and reports, create a navigation form that groups them together. You’ll have everything you need at your fingertips.

  1. Open the desktop database in which you want to add a navigation form.

  2. On the Create tab, in the Forms group, select Navigation. Then, select the style of navigation form that you want.

Add a form or report to the navigation form
  1. Drag the form or report from the Navigation pane to the Add New tab.
    Access adds the form or report in the new Navigation Form.

  2. Do this again for any other forms or reports you want to add.

  3. Select Save Save icon .

  4. Enter a name for the form, and select OK.
    The form is saved, and the form name appears on the tab above the form.

Change the label on a navigation form

When you create a new navigation form, Access adds a default label and names it “Navigation Form.” Change the label to something more descriptive.

  1. Select the form label and then, to begin editing, select it again.

    Navigation form screen snippet

  2. Edit the label to suit your needs, and then press Enter.

Apply a visual theme to a navigation form or report

Personalize your database and make it easy to find information, by changing the colors and fonts used in all your forms and reports. Try out a color-coordinated theme, or create your own.

  1. On the Home tab, select View > Layout View.

  2. On the Design tab, select Themes.

    • To see how a theme will look, pause over it.

    • To change all the colors and fonts, select a theme.

    • To change only the colors, select Colors and then select a color.

    • To change only the fonts, select Fonts and then select a text style.

Set the navigation form as the default display form

A navigation form makes a handy home page for a database, so consider opening it automatically each time you open the database.

  1. Select File > Options > Current Database.

  2. Under Application Options, select the arrow in the Display Form box and then select the new navigation form.

  3. Select OK to finish.

  4. On the Quick Access Toolbar, select Save Save icon .

  5. Close and then reopen the database.
    The navigation form opens at the same time so your frequently used forms and reports are at your fingertips.

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Create a navigation form

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If you often work with the same handful of forms and reports, create a “navigation form” to keep them together.

The navigation form can act like your “home base” to easily switch between your frequently used forms and reports.

To get started, open the desktop database where you want to add a navigation form.

Select the Create tab, select Navigation, and then select the style of navigation form you want.

Access creates the blank form with the Add New navigation control, and opens the form in Layout view.

Now add the forms or reports you want.

Drag the form or report from the Navigation Pane to the Add New button.

Access creates the new navigation button and shows the form or report in the object pane.

Do this again for any other forms or reports you want to add.

Typically, these forms and reports are related in some way, like ones having to do with employees.

At this point, save the navigation form.

Access adds it as a new object with your other forms.

When you create a new navigation form, Access adds the default “Navigation Form” label to the form heading. Change this label if you want.

Click the label once to select it, and then again to start editing.

Type the label you want, and then press Enter.

Every form also has a caption—the text on the navigation form tab.

If you want to change it, right-click the navigation form icon, and then select Form Properties.

In the Property Sheet pane here on the right, type the new caption.

The tab caption name changes, but the name in the Navigation Pane remains as it was when you saved the navigation form.

To give your database a more professional look, apply a color and font theme.

To change both colors and fonts, select an item from the Themes gallery. Pause over an item to see how the theme will look in your database.

When you find the one you want, select it. Remember that this changes all the colors and fonts in the database; not just those on the navigation form.

To only change colors in your database, select a scheme from the Colors gallery.

To change only the fonts, select a scheme in the Fonts gallery.

Another way to spiff up your navigation form is to customize the color or shape of the navigation buttons.

Still working in Layout view, select the navigation buttons you want to change. Although applying the same style to all buttons makes for a nice consistent look, each button can actually have a different style.

Select Format and then select Quick Styles to apply the style you want.

A navigation form makes a great “home page” or activity center. You might want it to display as soon as you open the database.

No problem. Select File, then Options, and then Current Database.

Under Application Options, select the arrow in the Display Form box, and then select your navigation form. Select OK to finish.

Save the database.

Now close and reopen it.

As you see, the navigation form opens at the same time, so you have everything you need at your fingertips.

The next time you find yourself hunting for the same various forms and reports to carry out a set of tasks, group them on a new navigation form and get your work done more quickly.

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