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With the release of Access 2010 gone are the days of aligning your forms and reports one control at a time. The improved Layout view you makes designing forms and reports to snap. Let's open up our Salaries table and then switch to the Layout view. When you open up a form in Layout view new sets of ribbons open up on the right. We now have a set called the Form Layout Tools with Design, Arrange and Format. Let's start with Design. Now, you can apply the same themes to your forms and reports that were available in Word and PowerPoint 2007.
I click on Themes and all I have to do is hold my cursor over the different themes and it will change the look and feel of my forms and reports. You can also do the colors and the fonts independently. Next, you have buttons for your controls. They are no longer tiny. They are front and center on the Ribbon, and now let's take a look at the Arrange tab. The Layout view now makes extensive use of table structures: rows, cells and columns to lineup your data labels and controls.
To add additional fields you can now click on Insert Above, Insert Below, Left or Right to add rows and columns to your table. Now that I have added that row I am going to go back to Design, open up Add Existing Fields, and drag my Salary into my table. Now, I'll go back to Arrange. You can drag a cell's border to resize it and it will resize all the controls in that row or column to keep them aligned. You also have the ability to merge and split your cells like you would in a Word table.
If I want to reorder my rows or columns I can now move them up and move them down with a click of a button. I can select the entire layout or a column or a row in order to make a change. Let's say I wanted to change these labels. I'll click on one of them and then select the column. Now, I'll go over to the Format Ribbon and when it make any changes to the font, for instance, bold or green, it will change everything in that row, column or the entire table. You can also control the layout grid, cell padding, and margins.
I'll click on Control Margins. This is the distance between the text and the edge of the cell. When I click on Wide you could see the text move away from the edges. I can make it Medium or Narrow and then Control Padding is the distance between the cells themselves. Again, I can make it Wide or Medium or Narrow. By arranging forms and reports in a table grid it's now easy to create your desired look and feel in a much shorter time.
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