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Access 2007: How to view multiple tables or queries side by side

Access 2007 defaults to showing a tab-view of tables and queries, allowing you to view only one table or query at a time. Earlier versions of Access allowed you to have multiple overlapping windows open so you could view several tables or queries at the same time - this was especially handy when using a large widescreen monitor when working on a database.

Whilst its hidden away, the good news is that you can change the behaviour of Access 2007 to either show tables and queries using its default tab view or to show the traditional multi-window view of tables and queries.

  1. Open the Access database.
  2. Office (Start) → [Access Options]
  3. Select "Current Database"
  4. Under "Document Window Options" (which is under the title "Application Options") select the radio button:

    Overlapping Windows

    This will show one window per table or query. This allows you to view multiple tables and/or queries side by side.

    The default option is "Tabbed Documents", which allows one table or query to be viewed at a time. If you select this then I suggest you have "Display document tabs" checked.

  5. Click [OK]
  6. You will now see a dialog window saying:

    You must close and reopen the current database for the specified option to take effect.

    Click [OK] and then close the database and then reopen it.

Assuming you selected "Overlapping Windows" in the above sequence you should now be able to open multiple tables and/or queries and arrange them to be able to view them side by side.

These notes have been tested with Microsoft Access 2007, but may apply to later versions as well.

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