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In Access 2010 Power Shortcuts, Access expert Alicia Katz Pollock shares hundreds of tips and shortcuts to vastly increase efficiency and get the full power out of Access 2010. The course includes tips for working with the Ribbon and Quick Access toolbar, managing files, customizing and automating Access, rapid data entry and editing, working with tables, queries, forms, and reports, managing your database, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.
When you're designing your database for others to use you'll want to guide them from where to go and what to do. You can transform the navigation pane to turn your database into a customize switchboard by changing the names and even hiding things that you don't want anyone else to use. In this example I'll transform this list, so instead of being based on the database objects it will focus on the tasks done by the users. I'll reorganize this pane into groups specific to job functions. Tables and forms use by the customer service department will be grouped together as will forms and queries used by order fulfillment and the sales reps.
I'll start by right-clicking on the navigation pane at the top. Mine says All Access Objects, yours maybe different depending on your file. I'll choose Navigation Options. A window will open, click on Custom and then on the Rename Item down at the bottom I'll call this Two Trees the name of my company and I'll hit Enter. Now on the right-hand side is the list of groups or categories that I want to show in my switchboard.
I'll start by clicking on Custom Group 1 and I'll Rename it to Customer Service and hit Enter. Next, I'll click Add Group at the bottom and enter in Sales Reps. Then I'll create a third Group and call it Fulfillment. Because it's likely that I'll have some objects that I myself need, but my users don't, I'll leave Unassigned Objects on the list.
I'll need it for my next step, but afterwards I'll even show you how to hide it. Click OK and now let's look at out navigation pane. First, I need to use the dropdown and select my new Two Trees navigation set. There are sections for Customer Service, Sales Reps, and Fulfillment, but there is nothing in them yet. I need to move them so I'll pick up my Customers table and drop it on Customer Service. I'll pick up Orders table and move it to Fulfillment.
My Products will go to my Sales Reps as well my SalesReps table itself. ServiceRequests will go up to Customer Service. So you can see that I can keep picking up all of my different objects and moving them into the category in which they belong. Now I have a long list so I am not going to do them all, but you get the idea. Notice that all the tables and objects will have a little shortcut arrows in the corners. That's because you're creating an artificial environment, so these little indicators are pointing to the real tables behind the scenes.
We don't have to be concerned with them. Once I'm done reorganizing my objects I can choose to leave this Unassigned Objects group here if I need to use it frequently, or I can click on it to hide it. Now, that doesn't prevent my employees from looking at it. If I want to hide it completely I'm going to right-click on my Two Trees object go back to Navigation Options I have to select Two Trees again for my navigation scheme and now I'll uncheck Unassigned Objects.
Now it won't show on the list. If I want to see it again I can either go back by right-clicking on Two Trees and choose the Navigation Options, or I can use the dropdown I can select any of the standard navigation pane options and see all my objects again. Turning the navigation pane into a switchboard is a creative way of manipulating Access's tools to create a custom database solution for your workplace.
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