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In Access 2010: Real-World Projects, author Gini Courter uses real-world examples to explore Access's database creation and management features. Gini shows how to create professionally formatted forms and reports and make ugly databases a thing of the past using Office themes. Creating a database in Access is even easier with built-in navigation templates and reusable Application Parts. Gini also reviews how to save reports as PDFs for easy distribution and how to highlight important data. Exercise files accompany the course.
Access 2010's Navigation templates are used to organize reports or forms into sets, like binders, to make them easier to use. For example, if your database includes a set of reports that are often viewed or printed together at the end of the month, you could create a navigation form that provides access to all of those reports, in the order in which users usually view them. We're going to use a navigation form template to create a customer center to provide one-stop shopping for our most frequently used reports about customers.
So let's close this table, click on Create on the ribbon and then, in the Forms group, we're going to choose one of the types of Navigation templates. There are navigation templates that have tabs on the left and the right, including these two sets, and then some that are primarily horizontal. With the Horizontal Tabs you give up far less space on the screen, but you can't fit as many tabs without your users having to scroll.
So if you're going to include a lot of items in this Navigation form, you'll want to choose one of the Vertical layouts or one of the 2 Level layouts. Our customer center is only going to have three reports in it right now. So I'm simply going to choose the Horizontal Tabs navigation template. You'll notice that as with every other form in this database, the formatting is dictated by the theme that was selected for this database. We're going to add our three reports now to this form. Our first report is called Customers by Region.
I'm simply going to grab that report out of a list of all tables on the left and I'm going to drop it on the Add New button and automatically, two things happen. First, the report is loaded and second a tab with the same name as the report name is added. I can edit this tab name if I wish to. I'm going to first add a second report, our Customer Contact List, just drag it, drop it on the Add New button. There is our second report and then finally, we have a report that shows orders within last 30 days by some of our customers.
I'm going to grab that Recent Orders by Customers and add it here. Let's take a moment and see how this Navigation form is going to function. I'm going to choose a Form View and you'll notice that we have three tabs in this form, each of which displays a different customer-related report. Let's make a couple of additional changes. I'm going to slide back into Design View and change the name from Navigation Form to Customer Center.
Let's check our View again. Let's Save the form and then switch back again to our Form View and note how easy this makes it for our users to focus on the reports that pertain to customers. This Navigation form isn't tied to any particular table and so in the All Tables list, you'll find it listed not with Customers, but at the bottom in our list of Unrelated Objects. Navigation forms can be used with forms, with reports, or with a combination of the two if you wish.
You can create as many Navigation forms as you wish to make your Access 2000 database even easier for your users.
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