How to: Use Existing Custom Menus and Toolbars

Access Developer Reference

This topic explains how custom toolbars and menu bars that you created in earlier versions of Access behave when you open those older databases in Microsoft Office Access 2007. This topic also explains how to turn off the Ribbon so that you can use just your custom toolbars and menu bars.

How earlier version databases behave in Office Access 2007

If you have an .mdb file that contains custom toolbars, custom menu bars, or a custom startup behavior, those options apply when you open that earlier version database in Access 2007 and when you convert the earlier version database to an Access 2007 file (an .accdb or .accde file). For example, if you turned off built-in toolbars and replaced the default menu bar in a database created in Access 2003, that behavior remains in place when you open the database in Access 2007.

In addition, you can hide the Ribbon when you open legacy files (.mdb, .mde, and .mda files) in Access 2007, and when you use Access 2007 to create a legacy file — something you cannot do with .accdb and .accde files. You can define different behaviors for legacy files, because the earlier version database formats use a different working model than the new .accdb and .accde files. Earlier versions of Access opened each object in a separate window; in contrast, Access 2007 (by default) opens all objects in a single, tabbed document and separates open objects with tabs.

In addition, you can turn off the Ribbon for a legacy database by setting options for that database in Access 2003, or by setting global program options in Access 2007. Steps later in this topic explain how to perform both tasks.

When you open a legacy database and you choose to display the Ribbon, any custom toolbars appear as groups on the Add-Ins tab. Each group in the tab corresponds to a custom toolbar, and each group uses the name assigned to the original toolbar. However, the toolbars must be visible in the legacy database or they do not appear on the tab.

Reminder  If you want to bypass any custom startup behaviors, press and hold SHIFT while you open the database.

The following steps explain how to open and use a database that contains one or more custom toolbars, how to open a database that uses customized startup behavior, and how to hide the Ribbon.

Open and use an earlier version database that contains custom toolbars

  1. Click the Microsoft Office ButtonButton image, and then click Open.

    The Open dialog box appears.

  2. Use the Look in list to locate your legacy database (a .mdb or .mde file), and then click Open.

    Access 2007 opens the earlier version database. The database objects — the tables, forms, reports, and so on — appear in the Navigation Pane. If you set a form, switchboard, or other object to appear on startup, that object also appears in the Navigation Pane. Also, if you created any custom toolbars or menu bars, they appear in the Add-Ins tab as one or more groups. Each group uses the name originally assigned to the custom toolbar or menu bar.

  3. Click the Add-Ins tab.

    Your custom toolbars appear as one or more groups, and you can use them when doing so is logical. For example, suppose that one of your custom toolbars contains the Print Relationships command. Access does not enable that command until you display the relationships for the open database.

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If your database does not contain a custom toolbar, the Add-Ins tab remains hidden.

Open and use an earlier version database with custom startup behavior

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These steps assume you have a database created in an earlier version of Access, and that database uses custom startup settings. If not, you can ignore these steps.

Open a database

  1. Click the Microsoft Office ButtonButton image, and then click Open.

    The Open dialog box appears.

  2. Use the Look in list to locate and open the earlier version database.

    Access 2007 opens the database and runs any startup settings. For example, if the earlier version database was set to run a parameter query before opening any data-entry forms, the dialog boxes for that query appear in Access 2007.

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If the database uses Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) code, Access blocks the code by default.

Turn off the Ribbon and use just your custom menu bars

These steps explain how to hide the Ribbon by changing settings in Access 2003 and in Access 2007. To follow these steps, you must have a database created in an earlier version of Access, and that database must contain a custom menu bar. For information about creating a custom menu bar, see the Help for your earlier version of Access.

Set Access 2003 to use a custom menu bar

  1. Using Access 2003, open your legacy database.

  2. On the Tools menu, click Startup.

    The Startup dialog box appears.

  3. From the Menu Bar list, select your custom menu bar.

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    You must select a menu bar. You cannot select a toolbar.
  4. Clear the Allow Built-in Toolbars check box, click OK, and then close the database.

    When you open the database in Access 2007, Access shows the Message Bar (if necessary), the custom menu bar set for the database, and any other startup settings, such as a form and any custom toolbars.

Set Access 2007 to use custom menu bars

  1. Open your legacy database in Access 2007.
  2. Click the Microsoft Office ButtonButton image, and then click Access Options.
  3. In the Access Options dialog box, click Current Database.
  4. Under Toolbar Options, clear the Allow Full Menus and Allow Built-in Toolbars check boxes.
  5. Click OK.