Navigation Pane

The Navigation pane (commonly referred to as the NavPane) combines the best of the database window and the Object Dependencies feature. The resizable pane makes all of the objects conveniently available yet easy to hide. Think about one of your projects with more than a hundred objects. Say that you're working on a form that can open two reports and has a subform. How nice would it be if Access listed all of the related objects together? You could see, select, test, and update the right queries, reports, and forms. Well, that's the type of functionality that the NavPane provides.

By default, the Navigation pane displays the tables with their related objects, such as the queries and forms that are based on the table. But it takes only two clicks to change the grouping to be by object type (like the database window), by creation date, or by a variety of other standard listings. Of course, developers have the opportunity to control not only their own environment but also what users can see. So, yes, the Navigation pane can be manipulated programmatically to create custom groups. It is even portable, so customized panes can be imported and exported using DoCmd.ImportNavigationPane or Docmd.ExportNavigationPane. You can save the XML file to any folder so it can be easily shared with other databases—as long as they support using a Navigation pane, meaning that they are Access 2007 files. There are also commands to limit changes to the Navigation pane, such as using NavigateTo to control which objects the users can see, and LockNavigationPane to prevent users from deleting database objects.

There is similar functionality and ease of use in the Data Source task pane—sans Import/Export features.

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