Take charge of your database with the Navigation Pane

See also

Open the Navigation Pane and database objects

Opening database objects for use or design changes is probably the task you'll do the most in the Navigation Pane.

  • To open or close the Navigation Pane, click the Shutter Bar Open/Close button.
  • To open an object for use, double-click it.
  • To open an object in Design view, right-click the object and click Design View.

Change categories and filter groups

The Navigation Pane automatically places your database objects in categories and groups. You use categories to organize your database objects, and you use groups to filter them.

  1. Click the bar at the top of the Navigation Pane.

The Navigation Pane menu appears. The menu has two sections — categories on top, groups on the bottom.

  1. Click the desired category.
  2. Under Filter by Group, click a group. This filters out all objects except those in the group.

Change viewing options

  • Right-click any group header, point to View By, and click Details, Icons, or List.

Hide a group

  1. Right-click the top of the Navigation Pane and click Navigation Options.
  2. In the Navigation Options dialog box, in the Categories pane, click the category that contains the group you want to hide.
  3. In the Groups for pane, clear the check box next to the group you want to hide.
  4. In the lower left corner of the dialog box, under Display Options, select or clear the Show Hidden Objects check box, depending on whether you want to hide the group entirely, or display it as unavailable.
  5. Click OK to close the dialog box.

Alternate way to hide a group

  • Right-click the group header and click Hide.

Hide an object from one group

  • In the Navigation Pane, right-click the object you want to hide and click Hide in this Group.

The Navigation Pane hides the object, but only from that group in the current category. If you switch categories, the object will reappear.

Hide an object from all groups

  1. In the Navigation Pane, right-click the object you want to hide and click View Properties.
  2. Select the Hidden check box and click OK.

Create a custom category

  1. Right-click the bar at the top of the Navigation Pane and click Navigation Options.
  2. Under the Categories pane, click Add Item.

A new, blank custom category appears, ready for you to enter a name. You can create up to 10 custom categories per database.

  1. Type a name for the category and press ENTER.

Add a custom group to a custom category

  1. Under the Groups for pane, click Add Group.
  2. Enter a name in the resulting field and press ENTER.
  3. Repeat as needed. You can add as many groups to a custom category as needed.
  4. Make sure the check box next to the Unassigned Objects group is selected.
  5. Click OK to close the Navigation Options dialog box.

Add objects to your custom groups

  1. Click the bar at the top of the Navigation Pane, and on the menu click your new custom group.

Your custom category and groups appear, along with the Unassigned Objects group.

  1. Drag the first object from the Unassigned Objects group to the header bar for your new custom group.

If the destination group is empty, you drop the first object on the header bar. When you do, a shortcut to the object appears in the group.

  1. Drag other objects to your group.

If the group contains at least one shortcut, a black line tells you where the objects will land.

  1. When you finish dragging objects to your custom groups, hide the Unassigned Objects group.

Remove and restore shortcuts

  1. Right-click the shortcut you want to remove and click Remove.
  2. To restore the shortcut, drag it from the Unassigned Objects group to the desired custom group.

If you've hidden the Unassigned Objects group:

  • Open the Navigation Options dialog box.
  • In the Categories pane, select the custom category that contains your deleted shortcut.
  • In the Groups for pane, select the Unassigned Objects check box and click OK.
  1. In the Navigation Pane, drag the object from Unassigned Objects to the desired group. If the destination group is empty, drop the object on the group header bar.
  2. When you restore the missing shortcut, hide the Unassigned Objects group again.

Warning     Unless you're familiar with the principles of database design, and you know the structure of the database you're using, never delete objects from the Unassigned Objects group. You may break part or all of your database if you do, because the objects in a database often depend on each other to function properly.

Rename a custom category

  1. Start the Navigation Options dialog box.
  2. In the Categories pane, select the custom category you want to rename (you can't rename the built-in categories) and click Rename Item.
  3. Type a new name in the field and press ENTER.

Rename a custom group

  1. Start the Navigation Options dialog box.
  2. In the Categories pane, select the category that contains the group you want to rename.

You must select a custom category before you can select a custom group.

  1. In the Groups for pane, click the group you want to rename, then click Rename Group.
  2. Type a new name and press ENTER.

Delete custom categories and groups

You don't need to delete custom groups before you can delete a custom category. Deleting a custom category also deletes all the groups in that category. And remember, you cannot undo the deletion.

Reminder     You delete shortcuts when you delete custom categories and groups. Never delete actual objects unless you've first backed up the database and you know what you're doing.

  1. Start the Navigation Options dialog box.
  2. In the Groups for pane, click the group you want to remove, click Delete Group, and click OK.
  3. In the Categories pane, click the category you want to remove, click Delete Item, and click OK.

Set options for the Navigation Pane

  1. Right-click the bar at the top of the Navigation Pane and click Navigation Options.
  2. Under Display Options, select any desired check box.
  3. Under Open Objects click either option.

Use Search to find objects quickly

Searching is a quick, powerful way to find objects in a large database.

  1. If you don't already display the Search bar, right-click the top of the Navigation Pane and click Search Bar.
  2. To change the search, clear the search string manually or click Clear Search String.