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It may be a clich? that a picture is worth a thousand words, but when it comes to analyzing data, the chart is worth at least 10 minutes. It's possible to put charts right into your forms to give you instant visual insight into your data. Scroll down in your Navigation pane and open up your Customers Order Form. Here we see all the necessary information about each of our customers, including a list of all the orders that they have placed. We can enhance this form by including a pie-chart here on the right that demonstrates what products they have ordered. I'll go up to the Customer Order Form object tab, right-click on it and choose Design View.
Note that I can't go into Layout View. The chart tools are not available there. I'll scroll over to the right-hand side, and I need to make my form a little wider. So I'll hold my cursor over the edge until I get a double-headed arrow and I'll drag over to the 10 inch mark. Now I'll go up to the ribbon and choose Chart. My cursor becomes a crosshair, and I will click in my form and drag a square wherever I want the chart to go, a wizard opens. We'll base our query on the Orders Table and click Next.
We want to know what products each customer ordered. So I'll click on Product and the right arrow to move it to the right-hand side. We also want to know how many of each product they ordered, so I'll move over Quantity as well. I'll click Next. We'll choose a 3D Pie Chart to compare the quantity of products ordered and give it some visual interest. Click Next. Now this looks great. The colors are the different products ordered and the size of the wedge is the sum of the quantity that was ordered. I'll click Next.
This screen lets us make sure of what field links our two tables CustID in the Customer table is the common field with Customer in the Orders Table. I'll leave these just as there. When I click Next, I'll title my chart. I'll give it the name Olive Oils Ordered, and it will include the legend. I'll click Finish, the simple chart appears. But it just has filler data because were in Design View. Right-click, change over to Form View and now we have a chart on the right-hand side.
I can instantly see that the company all kinds of taste has ordered three times as many PMD016 as they have PCH008, and as I scroll through each of my customers, I can see the proportion of the products that they've ordered. Now I do notice that my text has a little smudge together, and maybe I am not sure if I like the color of my pie slices. So let's edit the chart. I'll go back to Design View, scroll over to see my chart, I'll right-click on it, go up to Chart Object and choose Edit. I now have many of the tools that I would see in Excel.
Since Access is using the Microsoft Graph Engine to produce this chart, I also notice that my ribbons are different as well. I can right-click on the Chart Title and format that. I can right-click on the Legend and format the Legend. I can right-click on the Chart itself and if I click on the pie slice again, I can get dots around that pie slice. When I right-click on the pie slice, and format it, it will allow me to change my colors and I'll change this maroon to green, since I am working with olive oils and I'll click OK. Now to make this a little wider, I need to make my form wider first.
So I'll hold my cursor over the right-hand edges of the form, notice that it flashed and I am out of the Chart Editing controls and backup to my regular toolbars. So I'll grab the right-hand edge of my form and move it over about an inch further and I'll grab the middle handle of my chart and make it a bit wider. My text already looks better. When I go back to Form View, there is my new and improved chart. Inserting charts into your Access forms is an unusual but powerful tool that you can use to enhance your data analysis.
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