If you have been using Microsoft Access Database for quite some time and been through a few upgrades over the years and ended up with the latest version (currently Access 2016/Office 365), then you will have noticed many changes, newer look and feel, new features and older utilities and tools being dropped (deprecated).
One example is the Switchboard Manager tool which up until version 2007 was the easiest way to create custom built menu forms to allow users to easily navigate to other objects (typically forms and reports).
With later releases of MS Access, a newer tool was added and replaced the older tool called Navigation Forms which can be found under the ‘Create’ tab on the ribbon bar.
However, to keep the seasoned user happy, you can actually still get access to the older tool as it’s not really gone but just hidden from view!
Also note, that If you were a dab hand at using the keyboard shortcuts in Access and knew the ALT + T + I sequence that used to call the tool pop-up but alas, that’s actually gone too.
So, here’s how to gain access to it:
1. You need to customise the ribbon bar and add the ‘Switchboard’ icon back via the Access Options, Customize Ribbon section (which can be found in the Backstage).
2. In the Access Options screen, locate the section and select ‘All Commands’ to view all icons available. You can create a new group under the current ‘Database Tools’ group and call it ‘Administrator’ (or anything you like). You can optionally set an icon for it too.
You can now drag n drop the icon called ‘Switchboard Manager’ over to the new group.
3. Close and return back to your main Microsoft Access database application window and view the ‘Database Tools’ tab and notice your new section and icon.
4. You can now run the tool and as expected, the same functionality and checks will operate as before.
There you have it, the old actually is still there (and makes perfect to keep it going).
I guess newbie users will lean towards the new Navigation Forms for building easy to use navigation with more and richer options to choose and leave us old-fogies alone!
Ultimately, if you are a VBA programmer, you may create a hybrid and real customised interface instead but that just shows you how powerful and flexible Microsoft Access databases can be.