The Navigation Pane



After creating or opening a database, unless the product is setup otherwise, the left section is occupied by a rectangular object called the Navigation Pane. The Navigation Pane is the central point of a database. It allows you to review the objects that are part of a database. You also use it to change the way the objects, whether the objects should appear in categories, and what categories.

By default, the Navigation Pane appears as a rectangular box with a title on top, a yellow down-pointing button and a Shutter Bar Open/Close Button Shutter Bar. If you want to minimize the Navigation button, you can click the Shutter Bar Open/Close Button Shutter Bar. If you click it, the Shutter Bar Open/Close Button changes Shutter Bar and the Navigation Pane becomes a vertical bar:

Navigation Bar

To expand the Navigation Pane again, you can click the Shutter Bar Open/Close Button Shutter Bar or you can click the bar itself.

Tables and Objects in the Navigation Pane

The top section of the Navigation displays All Tables:

All Tables

When you create a table, a section gets created for that table. The top section of the table holds its name. The name of a table is followed by a colon and Table:

In the same way, as you create more tables, each gets its own section in the Navigation Pane:

In Lesson 3, we will learn that you can create two types of forms. A form can be associated with a table or a form can be independent of any table. When a form is associated to a table, the name of the form appears under the name of the table. When a form is independent of any table, it appears in a section labeled Unrelated Objects. Here are examples:

In the same way, you can create many forms associated with a table and you can create many unrelated forms. 

Managing a Category

When you create the tables, they are added to the Navigation Pane in the order you create them. When you create forms associated with a table, by default, the objects in a category are arranged in alphabetical order. If you want, you can make them display in reverse alphabetical order. To decide on the order you want, you can right-click the name of a section, position the mouse on Sort By, and decide:

By default, when you create the objects that are associated with a table, the objects of the category display. This means the category is expanded. If you want to minimize a section, which is referred to as collapsing, you can click its bar.

If you want to hide a category, right-click its category header and click Hide. To hide all categories except a particular one, right-click the section header of that category and click the Show Only option. To select what categories to hide or what categories to reveal, right-click an empty area in the Navigation Pane and click Category Options. Then use the check boxes to decide.

Managing the Categories in the Navigation Pane

We saw that you could expand or collapse a category in the Navigation Pane. If you want to expand all categories at once, you can right-click any section header and click Expand All. In the same way, if you want to collapse all categories, right-click any section header and click Collapse All.

The Navigation Pane gives you ample flexibility on how the objects appear in it and how the categories are organized. For example, you can show the tables only, the forms only, or all objects. One way you can decide is to right-click an empty area of the Navigation Pane and click Navigation Options. This would open the Navigation Options dialog box:

Navigation Options

The Navigation Options allows you to do many things. For example, to decide what categories to show or hide, put or remove check marks next to their name in the right list. The dialog box also allows you to create new categories.


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