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Access Fantastic Features – Startup Options: Navigation Form and AutoExec Macro

Access Fantastic Features – Startup Options: Navigation Form and AutoExec Macro

April 17, 2018 in Corporate IT Training, Microsoft Office / by Craig Gerdes

A split database will very often use a Navigation Form on the front-end as the entry point for users.  A good idea is to display the Navigation Form by default each time a user opens the database. This makes it easy for users to switch between the various forms and reports in the database without affecting the data tables stored and protected on the back-end. This blog will explain a simple process of creating a Navigation Form by adding buttons to display forms and reports and then configuring options to display the Navigation Form at startup instead of the navigation pane.  In addition, a brief discussion will describe a more advanced process of Navigation Form design that opens database objects (including queries) and shows a message (if preferred) at startup.

Creating a Simple Navigation FormMicrosoft Access Fantastic Features 1

To do this:
  1. Click the Create tab.
  2. In the Forms group, click Navigation and choose a layout option.Microsoft Access Fantastic Features 2
  1. Drag forms and reports from the Navigation Pane and drop on the “Add New” tab.
Microsoft Access Fantastic Features 3

Setting Startup Options

To do this:
  1. Click File, then Options.
  2. Select Current Database.
  3. From the “Display Form” dropdown list, choose the correct form.
  4. Under “Navigation”, uncheckDisplay Navigation Pane”.
  5. To prevent users from getting into Layout view or Design view, you may also want to uncheckAllow Full Menus” and “Allow Default Shortcut Menus” and “Use Special Access Keys”.
  6. Click OK to close Options. Click OK to close Message.
  7. Reopen the database to see changes.
Microsoft Access Fantastic Features 4

An Alternative Method (Advanced)

A more advanced process of Navigation Form design includes adding labels and buttons manually, assigning macros to those buttons that open database objects (including queries), and creating an AutoExec macro for startup display options including a message if preferred.  This method gives you more control and flexibility.Microsoft Access Fantastic Features 5 To do this:
  1. Create a blank form in Design view.
  2. On the Design Tab in the Controls group, add labels and name each label appropriately.Microsoft Access Fantastic Features 6
  3. Add a button, use the Command Button Wizard to assign an applicable macro (i.e. to open the object) to the button, and name the button Repeat as often as necessary.Microsoft Access Fantastic Features 7
  4. Save the form.

Using the AutoExec Macro

To do this:
  1. Create a macro in Design view.
  2. Enter the actions and set the arguments.
  3. Save the macro as “AutoExec”. Important: It must be named AutoExec to work.Microsoft Access Fantastic Features 8
  4. Close and reopen the database to verify that the macro runs properly. The Navigation Form and the Welcome message should open.  ClickEnable Content” to close Security Options.Microsoft Access Fantastic Features 9
  5. You may want to uncheckDisplay Navigation Pane” in Options as described above. To prevent users from getting into Layout view or Design view, you may also want to uncheckAllow Full Menus” and “Allow Default Shortcut Menus” and “Use Special Access Keys”.
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This is the first blog article in a three-part Access series.  Be sure to watch for future blog articles in this Access series. The next topic will feature Terrific Tips and Tricks and then Outstanding Options.   NOTE: There will not be a Lunch and Learn for this series of blogs. For more information about these and similar features, take an Access Class from Centriq. For course descriptions and dates, see our website here. In addition, if you would like more information about Access or other training classes available, contact a Centriq Training Advisor online or at 913.322.7062 for assistance.