The navigation pane is an invaluable tool for getting around your database, but it doesn’t suit everyone. People who’ve never used Access before might find it a little perplexing, and there’s nothing stopping someone from changing the navigation options (and opening objects they shouldn’t).
To get more control and to add a friendly veneer, many Access experts build navigation features into their forms (and occasionally their reports). After all, a form gives you virtually unlimited possibilities for customization. You can add a paragraph of text, throw in a hot pink background and a company logo, and reduce confusing options to a few fat, friendly buttons.
If you do decide to use forms for navigation, your first decision is what kind of form to build. Access gives you a wide range of options, and you’ll explore them in the following sections.
A menu form has just one purpose—to transport people to other forms (usually, when they click a button). A typical menu form doesn’t display any information—it simply provides a stack of buttons that lead to different places. It serves as both a starting place and the central hub of activity for your database.
Building a custom menu form is one of the simplest and most effective ways to provide navigation for your database. You simply create a series of buttons and configure each one to show the appropriate form (as described on Performing Actions with Command Buttons). You can even place a ...