You will notice that the Admin Control Panel is divided into three distinct areas. The first and most obvious of these is the main panel, which currently shows the home page. This area (the main panel) is where the majority of your attention will be focused when administering your board.
At the top of the page is a tab bar with a link to the Site Home Page (the starting point of the public area of the board). To the right of the tab bar is a link to the messages page for your admin user and a link allowing you to log out of the control panel. Directly below the open Admin CP tab is a narrow strip that contains information about the vBulletin version you are currently running and the latest version available to download. To the right of the strip is a search box allowing you to search the forums.
To the left of the page is the navigation panel. This long, thin area is the key to getting around the Admin CP.
When you first visit the Admin CP, you will notice that all the sections of this panel are in a collapsed state.
You can click the gadget on each section to expand it and show its contents, and click the gadget again to collapse that section again. Double-clicking a section's title will also toggle its state and either expand or contract it.
You can expand and collapse any sections at any time. You are not limited to having just a single group expanded at any one time.
When you have a section or sections expanded, hovering your mouse over the included links will highlight that link. You can then click to open the corresponding page in the main panel.
You can use the expanding and contracting sections to build a customized control panel layout for yourself. For example, you may find that you regularly use the 'Styles & Templates' tools, but very infrequently use the FAQ manager.
When you have established a set of expanded and collapsed sections that suits your way of working, you can save the state of the sections by clicking the [Save Prefs] button.
When you reload the Admin CP, you will find that the sections in the left navigation panel will have automatically expanded and collapsed in the manner that they were when you clicked the [Save Prefs] button.
You can expand and collapse any section in your administration session, and at any time you can click the [Revert Prefs] button, which will revert the expanded/collapsed state of all the sections to how they were when you saved your preferences.
If at any time you want to return to the home page of the Admin CP, clicking the [Control Panel Home] button at the top of the navigation panel will do this.