There are several ways to put such a vertical nav bar on your layouts, but you'd need to add it to each and every layout. Care must be taken with some methods for this as the "table context" can differ from layout to layout.
One method would be to use a portal where each portal row is a button.
Another is to just place a vertical columns of buttons on your layout and copy/paste it to all other layouts.
In both cases, the table occurrence specified for the layout in layout setup (Show Records From) has to be be taken into consideration as you set up a portal and/or the scripts performed by a button click.
I chose the method of copy/pasting the menu bar to each layout. How can I prevent the creation of records? I am using only portals in some of the layouts. For example a fax log that is a scrollable list. No need to create new records for this, since one list is all that is needed. If a user accidentally creates a new record, they will be calling me saying that the fax log is deleted ( I don't want to have to explain that they need to go to the correct recrod). Thanks
If you have FileMaker Advanced, you can give the layout a custom menu where there is no menu option for creating a new record. This will disable the menu option, the tool bar button and the keyboard shortcut.
If your users are using a password to access the database, you may be able to set up a privilege set for them that does not permit creating or editing records in this table.
If you use relationships for your portal based on the X operator or that use a match field in the layout's table that uses a calculation field that returns a constant value, accidentally creating a new record might not have any visible affect on what you see on the layout.