Getting Started in Access

Become familiar with the Access database environment, including Access help with the ribbon, navigation forms, and more.

The Navigation pane

The Navigation pane is a list containing every object in your database. For easier viewing, the objects are organized into groups by type. You can open, rename, and delete objects using the Navigation pane.

The Objects Pane in Access 2010The Navigation Pane in Access 2010

To minimize and Maximize the Navigation pane:

The Navigation pane is designed to help you manage all of your objects, but if you feel that it takes up too much of your screen space you can minimize it.

  1. Click the double arrow in the upper-right corner of the Navigation pane to minimize it.
    Minimizing the Objects PaneMinimizing the Navigation Pane
  2. To make the Navigation pane visible again, click the double arrow to maximize it.

If you would like to make the Navigation pane smaller without fully minimizing it, you can resize it. Simply click and drag the right border of the Navigation pane. When it is the desired size, release your mouse.

Resizing the Objects PaneResizing the Navigation Pane

To sort objects in the Navigation pane:

By default, your objects are sorted by type, with the tables in one group, the forms in another, and so on. However, if you want you can sort the objects in the Navigation pane into groups of your choosing.

  1. Click the drop-down arrow to the right of the words All Access Objects.
    Clicking to re-sort the objects into new groupsClicking to re-sort the objects into new groups
  2. In the drop-down menu, select the desired sort.
    • Select Custom to create a custom group for sorting the objects. After applying the sort, drag the desired objects to the new group.
    • Select Object Type to group the objects by type. This is the default setting.
    • Select Tables and Related Views to group forms, queries, and reports together with the tables they refer to.
    • Select Created Date or Modified Date to sort the objects from most to least recently created or modified.
    Selecting a new way to group the objectsSelecting a new way to group the objects
  3. The objects in the Navigation pane will now be sorted to reflect your choice.
    The Objects Pane, with the objects now sorted by tables and related viewsThe Navigation Pane with the objects now sorted by tables and related views

To further customize the appearance of the Navigation pane, you can minimize groups of objects you don't want to see. Simply click the upward double arrow next to the name of the group. To restore the group to its full size, click the downward double arrow .

The Objects Pane, after minimizing the Tables, Queries, and Reports groupsThe Navigation Pane after minimizing the Tables, Queries, and Reports groups