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Access 2010 FAQ


What happened to the Database Window in Access 2010?


As part of the user interface overhaul beginning in Access 2007, the development team introduced a new object navigation tool called the Navigation Pane. If you are used to working in Access 2003 or earlier versions, you navigated among the various database objects through the Database window. Access grouped all database objects together by type and displayed various properties of each object alongside the object name depending on the view you chosen. Beginning in Access 2007, Microsoft replaced the Database window with the Navigation Pane shown below.



Unlike the Object bar in the older Database window that you could position anywhere in the Access workspace, the Navigation Pane is a window that is permanently located on the left side of the screen. Any open database objects appear to the right of the Navigation Pane instead of covering it up. This means you still have easy access to the other objects in your database without having to shuffle open objects around the screen or continually minimize and restore object windows. In contrast to the Database window, the new Navigation Pane lets you view objects of different types at the same time. If the list of objects in a particular group is quite extensive, Access provides a scroll bar in each section so that you can access each object.


If you’d like to continue to work in an environment like the Database window, you could create your form that emulates the same functionality. Fortunately, you have some ready-made options.


1. My co-author John Viescas from the 2007 book and I created a form that can be used as a DBC replacement. My main goal in creating this type of form was to make it look as close as possible to the DBC. The look and feel should be very familiar to users of previous versions. The form does not have all the same functionaility as the DBC, but I believe it's a very good representation. The form also allows you to open forms and reports in the new Layout view.


Here is a screenshot of the form in action:



You can download this free DBC replacement form here: Inside Out Access 2010 DBC


We hope you find it useful in your projects. If you add this form into your blank database template, you'll automatically have it included with all new databases you create. To learn more about that functionality, please see the following Related Page.


Disclaimer: This download is posted "As Is." Conrad Systems Development, Viescas Consulting, Inc., and Microsoft Corporation do not assume any liability for any bugs or problems that arise with using any of the code. User assumes all risks.



2. Tony D'Ambra of AADConsulting has a really slick utility called "Classic Database MenuBar and Window for Access 2007 v2.0." You can download this free utility here:


Here is some information about it:

"This free sample Access 2007 database gets you beyond the frustrations of learning the new Office 2007 Ribbon and helps you learn the location of familiar commands in the unfamiliar Ribbon environment.


The full Classic MenuBar is added to the Ribbon Add-Ins tab. The Menubar is context-sensitive and button-clicks on commands in the Menubar, as well as functioning in the normal way, also operate on the Ribbon to display the relevant Ribbon tab."


Note: I'm assuming this utility will still work in Access 2010, but to be sure, check with his site.



3. Microsoft Office Access MVP Gunter Avenius has a 2007 Database window here:


Here is some information about it:

"The database window is a COM Add-Inn developed in VB2005 and requires .NET Framework 2.0.


MDB, ACCDB and ADP are supported.


After setup and start of Access a new group and a new button "Database Window" are available on Tab "Home"."


Note: I'm assuming this utility will still work in Access 2010, but to be sure, check with his site.



4. Here is another great sample form, created by an avid Access user, you can use to simulate the functionality of the Database Container. This form allows you sort on various columns.

Just import the form to any database and set a reference to: “Microsoft Windows Common Controls 6.0”.

You'll need to browse to this manually by selecting “MSCOMCTL.OCX” which is typically found in “C:\WINDOWS\system32”.


Left click an object opens in Standard View and right click opens in Design View.


Here is the download link: Database Window


I'm hosting this form on my site for download. This sample file is also available "As Is" and does not contain any warranties.


Do you know of any similar forms/utilities like these? Send me the information via my Contact Form.



See more tips and tricks like this in my book: Microsoft Access 2010 Inside Out




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