Getting Started with 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.

Screenshot of Access 2013The Navigation pane

To minimize and maximize the Navigation pane:

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

  1. To minimize the Navigation pane, click the double arrow in the upper-right corner.
    Screenshot of Access 2013Minimizing the Navigation pane
  2. The Navigation pane will be minimized. Click the double arrow again to maximize it.

If you want 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.

Screenshot of Access 2013Resizing the Navigation pane

Object sorting in the Navigation pane

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

To sort objects in the Navigation pane:

  1. Click the drop-down arrow to the right of All Access Objects, then select the desired sort from the drop-down menu.
    Screenshot of Access 2013Selecting a new sort option
  2. The objects in the Navigation pane will now be sorted to reflect your choice.
    Screenshot of Access 2013The resorted Navigation pane

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 group name. To show a group, click the downward double arrow.

Screenshot of Access 2013Showing and hiding groups in the Navigation pane