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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.
In the last movie, we looked at how we can add references to our data tables with the field list and how the arrange tab in the Form design will help you organize elements on the page. Now let's turn our attention to the Format tab. The Format tab has many of common formatting options that you might recognize from other programs, such as Word or Excel. Right now, I have got the Employee Directory form open that we're working with earlier. I am going to change its View to Design View by going to the View menu and Design. On the ribbon up here, I am going to change the Format tab. We will take a look at this. One the left side, I have got a Selection section, in the drop-down menu where I can select different object on my form.
Now I can select from any object here, if I select Address for an example, here I will choose Address Box. If I want to choose one of the labels, I can choose say Label2 here, I am not sure exactly which one label 2 is though, apparently it's the phone number one. So I could choose objects here from this menu. I could also say Select All and it will select everything. I will go ahead and click down anywhere in the space down here to deselect. The next section changes Fonts. So I am going to go ahead and click on first name here where I could change the fonts here if I wanted to, I could change the size which I will.
I am going to go ahead and change this to a 14 point. I can change whether it's Bold, Italicized or Underlined and I am going to choose Bold. I can change the Font color, right now its looks kind of a dark gray and it is, you can see it here. Let's go ahead and change it to black. I could also change the font background. And now this is going to change the background color of the entire bounding box. So for instance, if I choose this red color here, Red Accent 2, I will see it fills up the entire space underneath the orange. I will go ahead and change that back to Automatic. I can choose whether, I want to take my text Left aligned, Centered or Right aligned and this tool up here is a paint brush, it's call the Format Painter and we will take a look at that in just a moment.
The next section is called Number and it applies to numerical data. So for instance my HireDate, it is a date field, it is a number, if I select that, it will give some options here to deal with those numbers. For dates, I can either choose to display them in their standard format or I can display it in a different format. For instance, I am going to choose Medium Date and we will see the result of that change in a little bit. The next section here Background, you can apply Background Image. Now it doesn't matter what object you have selected if you choose this Background Image, it's going to apply the Background Image to the entire form, back here. So it doesn't matter if I have HireDate selected or nothing selected, choosing this Background Image option would apply a Background Image to the entire form regardless.
And over here I have got Control Formatting which would change to a Quick Style or Shape for things like buttons or other shapes. I have got Conditional Formatting which we will look at later in this course and I could change Shape Fill, Shape Outline, or Shape Effects, for things like Rectangles, and Lines and Buttons. Okay so let's go through and change a couple of the objects here. First of all I am going to change the boxes, it appear around all of my text objects. I can go to the Select All menu to just grab everything it wants and I will go to Shape Outline and change it to Transparent. So we won't see those boxes around all of our data fields.
Next I want to apply the same formatting to Last Name that I have now on FirstName. I can select the FirstName box, click the Format Painter and click on LastName. Notice that when I click on LastName, it deselects the Format Painter up here. If I want to change all these to the same size, I could do that in different way. I might choose the phone number one for example, change it's Font size, maybe down to 10. I could double-click on the Format Painter to lock it on and now I can paint multiple objects at once. So I click on Email, Address, City, HireDate, State, Zip, and Department and I click on Format Painter to turn that off.
The other thing I can do is Shift+Click to select multiple objects. So let's say I want to choose these labels here. I will click on Phone number, I can Shift+Click, on the other labels here on my form and I can change their formatting all at the same time. Let's say I wanted to make them a green color. I will click on the Font Text here, and I will make them this dark green, Olive Green, Accent 3, Darker. So let's go and see the results of our changes, I will go to my Design Tab and click on the Form View button here and I will click on here, so that's de-highlighting the name here. So I do see one little error that I want to change here, I can see that the word guy here, the y is being chopped off the bottom, I need to adjust the size of my textbox a little bit.
Let's go back into Design View and fix that real quick. Click the View menu>Design View. I will click FirstName and LastName at the same time and I am going to press the Shift+Up button and that can make it shorter. If I press Shift+Down that will make it taller. If I press Shift+Right that will make them wider, if I press Shift+Left that will make it narrower. So I am going to press Shift+Down a couple of times to make the boxes taller and then I am going to let go the Shift key and I will press the Up arrow to move the objects up. That's probably going to work out better, we will click on the Form View button here and that's looking better for the names.
Okay let's go ahead and save our changes, press the Save icon here and our form is set for the next movie. Now the Design tab puts many common controls right up front in the ribbon, changing fonts and colors and line styles here could be really quick especially if you make good use of the Format Painter tool. But for some serious control over every aspect of our forms we are going to need to dig a little bit deeper and explore the Property Sheet.
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