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In Access 2010 Power Shortcuts, Access expert Alicia Katz Pollock shares hundreds of tips and shortcuts to vastly increase efficiency and get the full power out of Access 2010. The course includes tips for working with the Ribbon and Quick Access toolbar, managing files, customizing and automating Access, rapid data entry and editing, working with tables, queries, forms, and reports, managing your database, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.
When your user has specific choices of information that they can enter into a field, one way of making it easy is to give them a series of option buttons to push, like you would on a web page. When you choose one, it eliminates the other choices. This technique is called creating an Option Group. Scroll down in the navigation pane to the Forms and open up the Sales Reps and Customers Form. This form is missing the selection for the representative gender, male or female, so we need to add it in. We will create radio buttons to choose between one or the other.
Switch over to the Layout View. Now, the trick with an Option Group is that the button is not actually available in the Layout View. If I look at my control choices, an Option Group isn't one of them, but if I switch over to Design View, I have some additional choices. This is because many of these cannot be used within the Layout Views grid. I'll go ahead and choose Option Group. And when I bring my curser down to the form, I get a plus sign. I will click in this open area and drag down to the approximate size that I want the group to be.
When I let go, a wizard opens. My first step is to type in the option names. I will type in Female and I will Tab down and type Male, then I will click Next. If in your database, one of your choices is more common than the others, you can set it as a default, but in our case we have a 50-50 split, so I don't want to default, I will click Next. Here is where you set the value that is stored in the table. These values do need to be numerical, so we are going to stick with Female as 1 and Male as 2 and click Next.
We are going to store that number 1 or number 2 in the field for Gender and I will click Next. Now we get to choose the type of control. Here are our option buttons. I could select Checkboxes, these are generally used when you have a list and people can select more than one item on the list. Here is what the Toggle buttons look like. We'll go back to the Option buttons. Here is where we choose the style of what we want it to look like, Etched, Flat, Raised, Shadowed or Sunken.
We want Etched, and I will click Next. The caption is what the Option Group is going to be called. I will enter in Gender and then click Finish. I will use the arrows on my keyboard to fine- tune the location of the box in the window. Now, when I go over to Form view, here is what it looks like. Jordan is a male, Lilah is female. Notice if I chose one over the other, the dot moves. Creating an Option Group gives your users an easy-to-understand choice to make and selecting a radio or toggle button automatically adds the value to your table.
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