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The Navigation panel on the left-side of your screen here is the Table of Contents for your database. It displays all the objects, the Tables, Queries, Forms, Reports & Macros that make up this database. It also allows you to filter and search through those objects to get to the ones you are looking for quickly. Right now the Navigation pane is in its default configuration. It says All Access Objects across the top. And I'm going to actually open this up a little by clicking and dragging open to make it little wider. Below, we have a search box, so we can type in to filter the list of objects.
I'm going to click here and type phone to see all of the objects that have the word phone in their name. When you want to clear the search, click on this filter icon to the right and that will clear the search string and return you to viewing all objects. Below each of the objects are listed under a collapsible type header. Click on the up arrows to the right to collapse the group. I can collapse of Tables here, then Queries, Forms and Reports. If I want to work with my Query objects I can simply open it again, use the one I want and then close it when I'm done.
I'm going to go head and expand all these again. At the top of the Navigation pane there is a dropdown menu that allows us to change the configuration of the pane, here. This menu is separated into two different groups. The top one says Navigate To Category, and I personally think this should just simply read grouping, because that's exactly what it does. We can choose an option in the top half to change the way the objects are grouped together. Right now they're grouped by Object Type, but I can group them by Custom group, by Tables and Related groups, based off of the Date they are Created or the Date they were last Modified.
The bottom half of the menu says Filter By Group, here we can choose to display only a single object type. I'll click Tables to filter my navigation pane to show just the tables in my database. You'll notice that the top now reads Tables, instead of All Access Objects. I'll change it back in the dropdown, down here to All Access Objects, to view everything again. There is also a right-click menu at the top of the Navigation pane with some more options. I'll go up here and right-click, you'll see we have the same categories and sorting options, we can also sort Ascending or Descending alphabetically.
We also have a View By option where I can choose how I want to view my objects. Right now they are in List view which is a small icon in the text. I can change it to Details to view a larger icon and some additional information about each object. I'm going to go back up and right-click, go to View By, and change it back to List. If you want even more options, you can go in the Navigation options button here. This will give us a really detailed look at what options are available for organizing our Objects menu, go ahead and say OK, and finally in that same menu, go back up and right-click, we get turn on and off our search bar.
So if you don't use it, you can turn it off here. If you want to get the Navigation pane out of your way, you can use this Shutter Bar button here to the right. If you click it once, the Navigation pane collapses to the left, if I click it again, it opens up again. Now one of the most useful keyboard shortcuts in all of Access is the F11 key. This will collapse and reveal the Navigation pane. If I press F11, you'll see it shrinks down and it opens up again. Using F11 you can quickly open up the pane when you need it, then get it off the screen so you have more room to work.
So that's the Navigation pane. It's the central hub to the entire database. Getting around your objects using the Navigation pane is really easy, and with so many options to Group, Sort and Filter your objects to meet your exact needs, means that you can be moving around from object to object in the most efficient manner possible.
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