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Discover how to manage data entry and reporting tasks more efficiently using Access 2010. Author Adam Wilbert presents lessons on designing forms, organizing and displaying data with form controls, creating flexible queries, and building a form-based navigation system. The course also shows how to build reports from wizards and queries, highlight important data with conditional formatting, and automate reporting processes with macros.
The selective use of images throughout your database can accomplish several tasks. They can help your documents conform to company branding standards or reinforce organizational pride. They can also make your database more attractive and give it a bit of personality, may be even make a fun or inspirational for your end-users. Now there are four different ways that we can add unbound images to your forms and reports. And when I say unbound, I mean not connected to a data source like our employees photos were in the last movie. I am going to go ahead and go to this Controls Form, and I will right-click on it to open it in Design View. On the Controls part of the ribbon, we will scroll down and we can find the Image control here.
It's one of the mountain and the sun icon. We can also insert images using this button here on the right. When we use this button, Access creates a little gallery of images that we have used previously. So we would save the file here, so I could easily get to it again. Another way we can add an image is using the Logo button which is this button right here. When you use the Logo button, Access automatically formats it and sits it in the header as a logo, and makes a small little icon and it puts it in the header of your form or report. The fourth way we can add an image, is if you go to the Format tab, we have this Background Image here. When you use the Background Image button, Access places an image into the background of the form.
Let's go ahead and go back to the Design tab and we will add an image using the Image control here. I will click on it once, and I get my icon here that changes to a little cursor with the image icon, and I will drag out a box where I want my image. I can always change to the box later. Let's go ahead and go to our Desktop in our Exercise Files, Chapter 3 and we will choose this OlivesOnBranch. Go ahead and say OK. Access places the image inside of the bounding box that I selected. Let me go to the Format tab of the Property Sheet. And if your Property Sheet is not opened, you can press F4, Alt+Enter double-click on the Image control or press the button on the Property Sheet.
Go to the Format tab for the Image. Now there are a couple of properties that I want to take a look at here. The first one is this Size Mode one and it's set to Zoom. With the Size Mode set to Zoom, Access makes the pictures as big as it can, without distorting it inside of the bounding box. For instance, if I change the bounding box to make it narrow, Access fits the image inside of that new bounding box. I will go ahead and make it bigger again. If I change the Size Mode here from Zoom to one of the other options, for instance, Clip, Access puts the image in at full size or a 100% resolution and uses the bounding box as sort of a clipping border.
I can change the alignment, right now we are looking at the center of the image here, Picture Alignment Center. I can change where this image starts in my bounding box, for instance, I can say Top Left, and we will the top left of the image, or Bottom Right and we will see the bottom right image. So I can move the image inside of the bounding box with the Clip Mode. I will go ahead and set this back to Center. Here the Size Mode I want to look at here is Stretch. The Stretch Size Mode distorts the image inside of the bounding box. For instance, if I make it really narrow, you can see that it's squashes the image down. If I make it tall and skinny, it squishes at the other way. I will make it back out here I will change it back to Zoom.
In the Property Sheet we can also see that this image is Embedded right now. We can see Picture Type, Embedded. That means that when we added this image, Access actually put a copy of it inside of our database. We can add links to images instead of embedding everything. And we can do that by going to the Image Control here, clicking on it, drawing a box that we wanted, when the Insert Picture dialog box opens, go ahead and just say Cancel. Access leaves the Image control on the form, but it's not attached anything here, if I look in the Property Sheet. I can change the Picture Type now to Linked, and the Picture Property here where it says none, I will click the Build button here to add the picture.
The Insert Picture dialog box opens again, and I will choose the same one, OlivesOnBranch and say OK. Now I have got a second instance of this image. You can see that the picture source is linked to my hard drive. Now the problem with this is if I move my database or move the image, then you can break the link to this image and it would disappear from my database. The embedded image here would follow the database around but it adds file size to the database. So as a decision, you have to make on how best to proceed when you are using images in your database, whether you want to attach them to the file or link to them on your computer. Let me go ahead and get rid of both of these and we will take a look at another image.
I will click on the first one and press delete and I will click on the second one and press delete. Let's add one more image here; I am going to scroll down. I'll click on Image Control and I will just click once to add an image. This time I am going to choose this tile one, I will press OK, and it adds that into my form. Now I can turn on Picture Tiling right here in the Property Sheet, currently it's to no and I can change that to Yes. I will also change to this Size Mode here from Zoom to Clip. Now when I resize the bounding box, Access tiles multiple copies of the image across to fill up the space. I can go ahead and position this image here, for instance, in the top corner here and stretch it across my form, to add kind of an interesting border affect to the top.
Let's take a look at it in the Form View. I will click on Form View and I will see my border here. Now let me show you how we compare the image control with the attachment feature, so we can stretch this dynamically dependent on the size of the computer that the end user is using. If I go back to the View menu and switch in to Design View, with my image selected, I will go to the Arrange tab, and the Anchoring here, I will say Stretch Across Top. This will dynamically stretch it to whatever size monitor my end-users are using. Okay we will go back to the Home tab, switch to Form View and now it fills up the entire space all the way across. So these are just a few ways that you can use graphics inside of your forms and report designs, adding graphics when done tastefully and especially when it aids legibility, it can take a drab and grey collection of buttons and tables and turn it into an engaging tool for your end-users.
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