Project 2: Access Basics
Task Pane

Title: Jan's Illustrated Computer Literacy 101
Did you want: Working with Databases: Access 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016

The Task Pane appears at the right of the Access window and changes, depending on what you are doing. The Task Pane offers shortcuts to frequently done tasks. Access uses the task pane much less often than other MS Office programs.

MS Access window with Task Pane showing at the right

Where you are:
JegsWorks > Lessons > Databases

Before you start...

Project 1: Intro

Project 2: Access Basics Arrow: subtopic open
    Interface Arrow: subtopic open
        Database Window
        Task Pane
    Getting StartedTo subtopics
    Access ObjectsTo subtopics
    RelationshipsTo subtopics
    ExercisesTo subtopics

Project 3: Tables & Queries

Project 4: Forms & Reports


Available Panes

There are more task panes available in MS Access 2003 than in 2002.

Icon: Access 2002MS Access 2002 only offers 3 panes:

  • New File
  • Clipboard
  • Search

Icon: Access 2003 MS Access 2003 offers several panes:

  • Getting Started
  • Help
  • Search Results
  • File Search
  • Clipboard
  • New File
  • Template Help
  • Object Dependencies

TipClip Art:  Unlike other Microsoft Office programs, in MS Access there is no pane for inserting clip art. You must insert an Object and choose the clip art program, Microsoft Clip Gallery.

Sample Task Panes

By default, only certain Task Panes have a menu command or toolbar button that opens the pane. The appropriate Task Pane should appear automatically as you work.

You can add a command or button to the menus and toolbars, if you wish, for the Task Panes that don't already have one.


Icon: Access 2002 New File -
Lists recent documents and links for new documents and templates.

File | Button: New New

Button: Button: New

Task Pane: New File (2002)

Icon: Access 2003 New File-
Links to create a new blank database or data access page or to create from a template or an existing presentation.

Also offers to search for a template and lists the most recently used templates.

File | Button: New New

Button: Button: New

Pane: New File (2003)

Icon: Access 2003 Getting Started -
Links to recently opened presentations and Microsoft Office Online.


Pane: Getting Started

Clipboard -
The Office Clipboard keeps track of up to 24 selections or images that you copied or cut in Office programs. This is not the same as the Windows Clipboard, which only remembers the last thing you copied.

Edit | Button: Office Clipboard (2002)  Office Clipboard
or button: Office Clipboard (2003) Office Clipboard

TipThe Office Clipboard may need to be open to track your actions.

Pane: Office Clipboard

Icon: Access 2002 Basic Search
Icon: Access 2003 Basic File Search
Allows you to search selected folders or your own online sites.

Searches for the text you specify, but primarily in Microsoft Office files or web pages. You need to let Office index your documents for this to work.

Button:Button: SearchSearch

Menu: File | Button: SearchSearch or File Search

Pane: Search    

Managing the Task Pane

Default pane

Icon: Access 2002) Access 2002 and Office XP: New File task pane
Other Office XP programs use a name that is  appropriate for that program, such as New Document for Word, New Workbook for Excel and New Page or Web for FrontPage.

Icon: Access 2003 Access 2003 and Office 2003: Getting Started task pane

Switch panes

As you work, the pane will change if you use certain menu commands or toolbar buttons. You can customize the toolbars to show a button for a pane that doesn't have a button in the default toolbar.

You can switch what the pane shows from the pane itself. Clicking the down arrow Down arrow at the top of the pane will open a list of available panes for you to choose from. First in the list are the standard Office panes, then come any panes that are special to the particular program.

Task Pane: New File - List of panes Task Pane:Getting Started - list of panes (2003)

Access 2002 and Access 2003
Default pane with list of available panes

Hide pane

Several close buttons in the windowYou can hide the Task Pane by clicking Button: Close its Close button. Be careful not to click the button that closes the maximized window on top, or the one that closes Access. So many Close buttons!

Menu: View | Task PaneShow pane

If the Task Pane has been closed, you can show it again with the menu command  View  |  Task Pane .

You can also open the Task Pane by right clicking a toolbar and selecting it from the popup list of toolbars.

Icon: TroubleMenu is missing some commands: If the Task Pane and Object Dependencies command are missing, there is a fix in the Microsoft Knowledge Base involving resetting some toolbars:;en-us;833219
Be sure to follow the directions exactly, without having a database open, just the Access window.