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In Access 2010 Essential Training, Alicia Katz Pollock gives a comprehensive overview of creating databases in Access 2010, whether using predefined database templates or building from scratch. This course covers each step of constructing and modifying databases for custom purposes, as well as working with tables, forms, queries, macros, and reports and charts for record keeping and analysis. Exercise files are included with the course.
Layout View makes it easy and intuitive to create and modify your forms. Double-click on the Sales Reps and Customers Form to open it, and drop down this button to change it to Layout View. When you click on the different words in the boxes, they get an orange box around them so that you can modify them. These words are called labels, or unbound controls. The boxes that contain the data are called bound controls, because they're bound, or attached, to the source data in the table.
Let's start by choosing a theme. Click on this button and go down to Foundry. Themes change the colors and the fonts in your object. We'll click on Foundry, and it turns our forms green. It makes the font more interesting. You can also come over to this Colors dropdown and modify the color scheme. If you want to create your own for use across your entire database, click down here on Create New Theme Colors. For example, let's change the Background from white to a very light green.
Change the Name down here to Two Trees, and click Save. Now we have a green background. If you don't like it, you can open up the Color dropdown again, and right-click on your Custom color scheme and edit it, and change the color to something else instead, and then click Save again. Click on this Plus sign in the corner of the form to select the whole thing at once. You can then change the font scheme for the entire form.
We're going to go ahead and leave it on Foundry. Now, Layout View is table-based, so, the controls are all organized into rows and columns. You can resize the fields as a group, by clicking on one of the cells, holding the cursor over the side you want to move, and dragging it. For example, HomePhone is cut off, so I'll click on it, get the double-headed arrow, and make it a little wider. I noticed that my State field is awfully big, because it's in the same row as my picture.
If I rearrange the form, I can also put CellPhone down here, below HomePhone. So, click on the Arrange tab, then click on HomePhone, and up here, insert a new row below the HomePhone. Click on the CellPhone label and hold your Shift key to click the phone number as well. Get a four-headed arrow, pick them up and drag them down into this cell, and drop, and they'll both move. Resize the bottom to make it a little bit taller.
Let's move these labels and controls up. Click on Email, hold the Shift key down, and click on the $11.00. Because I held the Shift key, it highlights all of those cells. Use this Move Up button to move them all up at once. Click on Flag and Shift+Click on the check box, use Move Up again, and it will jump above Photo into the blank space. Now, click on the photograph itself and hold the Shift key down, and click on the third row below the picture, so that all four of these cells are highlighted, and then click on Merge to turn them into one.
Also notice the Split Vertically and Horizontally buttons, if you want to align controls next to each other. Now, click on the State field, grab its bottom border and drag it up. There, much better! Now, if I want to see more of my Customer table, I have a few different options. I can drag my fields bigger and smaller, or double-click on them. I can also hide fields that I don't want to see. If I right-click on Address, I can come up here to Hide Fields, and I'll do the same for Address2.
I also have the Scroll Bar, so I can scroll over to the right-hand side. I can also make the sub-form longer by clicking on the right-hand edge and dragging it longer. If I want to change the alternating row colors, come up here to Form tools for the Datasheet, and it has its own specific set of colors. I'll click on Alternate Row Color, and I'll change it from blue to green so that it matches the above. Next, let's make our labels bold. I'll click on EmpID, the label right here, and go to the Arrange tab, and I'm going to select the column.
Then I'll go to the Format tab, and choose B, for Bold. Then I'll do the same thing for this row right here. I'll click on Email, click on Arrange, select the column, go back to Format and make it bold. If I don't like the appearance of the boxes, I can change those as well, using Shape Fill and Shape Outline. I'll click on the Plus sign to select the whole form. Click on Shape Fill, and I'll choose a slightly lighter green to fill the boxes.
If I want to change the outlines of the boxes, I can change the color of the outline here, and the thickness here. I could also make it dotted or dashed, if I'd like. Next, I'm going to do some conditional formatting to highlight some unusual values. For example, maybe I would like all of the salaries above $15 to turn red. I'll click up on Conditional Formatting and make a new rule. I am going to use the values in the current record, and I want the Field Value to be greater than or equal to 15.
I'll make those bold and red. Then I'll click OK. If I want to set Conditional Formatting Rules for more than one field, or if I want to make multiple rules for one field, I can do that right here in this window. I'll click OK. Now, nothing happened here for Jordan, but if I go to the next Sales Rep, Lilah, she makes $31 an hour, so hers are bold and red. Let's go back again to Jordan. Now, I can also control the distance between the words and the edges of the cells, and the distance between the cells themselves using, on the Arrange tab, Control Margins and Control Padding.
First, select the entire table using this plus right here. Control Margins, let's try the different options: Narrow, Medium, and Wide. Let's go back to Narrow. Then for the Padding, try Narrow, Medium, and Wide. We're going to go with Medium. Now that we've made so many changes to our form, let's go over to the Design tab, and then click on the Datasheet View to see how it looks.
As you can see, using the Layout View makes it easy to modify your forms so that they are both functional and attractive.
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