How to Create a Navigation Form in Access 2016

By Laurie Ulrich Fuller, Ken Cook

Access 2016 provides several layouts for Navigation forms; which one you choose depends on what you need done. A Navigation form helps end users open forms and run reports in a database without needing a lot of Access knowledge. Here’s how you build a Navigation form:

  1. Open the database file that will contain the Navigation form and click the Create tab on the Ribbon.

    The Forms group appears toward the center of the Ribbon.

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  2. Click the Navigation button on the right side of the Forms group.

    A drop-down list of Navigation layouts appears.

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  3. Select a layout from the drop-down list.

    The selected Navigation form appears in Layout view, ready for design.

  4. Show the Navigation pane, if necessary. (If you don’t see it, press the F11 key.)

    Your database objects appear.

    Don’t confuse a Navigation form with the Navigation pane. The former is a special type of form that you create from a command on the Ribbon; the latter is the built-in window that displays your database objects.

  5. From the Navigation pane, drag an object that you want your users to open on top of an [Add New] tab on the Navigation form.

    The object’s name appears in place of the Add New tab; the object itself appears in the middle of the form.

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  6. Repeat Step 5 for each object you’d like added to the Navigation form.

    A new tab appears on the form for each object you add. In Layout view, you can edit the tab name by clicking on the name until a cursor appears.

  7. Click Save on the Quick Access Toolbar to save and name the form.

    The form appears in the Navigation pane and is opened like any other form.