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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.
The Format tab on the Ribbon gives you a quick place to change some of the most common settings for your form elements, such as color, font, and size. But those options are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the vast number of properties that each element possesses. To see the full list, we will have to dive into the Property Sheet. I have got my Employee Directory form open form the last movie. We are going to go ahead and change our view back to Design view here. We will go ahead and get rid of the Field List window by clicking the x here, and I am going to turn on the Property Sheet. The Property Sheet has lots of different ways you can get to it. First you can find it in the Design tab of the Ribbon, under the Property Sheet button here, and I can press the shortcut key Alt+Enter or another shortcut key. F4 and that one is actually my favorite one.
The other way you can do it is just double-click on an object. For instance, if I double-click on my LastName here, it will open up the Property Sheet for that object. Now every object on your form, including the background, if I click back here, and the form itself, if I click on the box up here, have properties. Let's look at some of the things that we might want to change. Let's go back into Form view for a moment. Now in my Employee directory, first of all, I want to make this a scrolling form, so that each record appears right on top of the other. Next, I want to get rid of some of the clutter. This thing over here on the left side is called s record selector, this big gray bar with the arrow on top of it. You can click on it and it turns black, but it doesn't look like it does anything else.
Let me show you a record selector at a table, just so you can see what this is. If I open up the Employees table here, the record selector is this gray box here. It selects the entire row. So I can go through and select different rows. That's what a record selector is. Let me close the table. So in the form right now, the record is this entire thing. So the record selector extends all the way from the top to the bottom. But essentially what I have done by selecting this is select the record, just like if I had done that on the table. The other thing I want to get rid of, since this will be a scrolling list, are the Record Navigation buttons down here at the bottom. It will be a scrolling list, so I don't need to have this.
Finally, I want this to be a review-only document. I don't want people to be able to go in here, for instance, and start changing data, like renaming people or changing their phone number. I want people just to be able to look at this and not edit the data that's in the underlying data table. So let's make those changes in the Property Sheet. I am going to change the View menu and go back to Design view. I am going to change the Property Sheets for the form. Again the shortcut for that is this button right here between the two rulers and click that so I get this black box here. I can also change to the property of this specific object by using this drop- down menu in the Property Sheet.
Here I can find the listing of every object, including every label inside of my document. I am going to choose Form. Now we're at the Properties for the form itself. The Property Sheet is made up of five different tabs. The Format tab here has options to deal with formatting, including a Caption, which would appear on the tab up here at the top, any kind of Default Views, pictures, borders, colors, scrollbars, and things like that. Let's go through and change some of these. First of all, I am going to change the default view. I will change it from Single Form, and using the dropdown menu here I can change it to Continuous form. And I am actually going to make this little wider so we can see the whole thing. There we go.
So the dropdown said Continuous Forms here. We can change what View modes are allowed. These will control what shows up in the Views button here. So for instance, I have no need to see PivotChart or PivotTable or Layout or Datasheet view; I can turn all those off here in the Property Sheet. So Form view is the standard for interacting with it. I want to make sure I keep that. But for allow Data Sheet view, I will change the dropdown to No. Now instead of using the mouse, you can use your arrow keys to move around. I could use the down key to move down and the up key to move up or if you prefer the right key and the left key to move down and up.
If you prefer left-handed controls, Tab will move you down and Shift+Tab will move you back up. While you are in the left side Ctrl+Tab will cycle through the tabs. Now we could go through and change some things again. I will press Shift+Tab to move up to allow PivotTable view and instead of using the dropdown menu, since I know my only two options are yes or no, I can press N to go to No. I will press Tab to go down a view and again PivotChart View, that one is no as well. Next one down with tab, Layout view, nope, don't want that one either. The next one I want to change is the Record Selectors.
That's about halfway down. So I am going to press Tab a few times until I get to Record Selectors, and it's right there. I am going to turn those to No as well, so I will press N. And right below that there is Navigation Buttons. Those are the ones that appear at the bottom. I am going to change that to No as well. Two more down is Dividing Lines. Since this will be a scrolling from, with each record appearing right on top of itself, I can turn on dividing lines to provide a visual cue where one record ends and the next one starts. I am going to press Y to change that to Yes and press Tab to finalize that. Let's take a look at some of the options in the other tabs. I will switch to the Data tab.
We can use the mouse here to click. The one that I want to take a look at first is this Recordset type. Right now it's set to Dynaset. This is providing the dynamic link between the form and the data table behind it. If I change this here to Snapshot, that will prevent people from being able to edit the data. This will just show a snapshot of the data table as it existed when the person first opened that form. Let's take a look at the next step. I will click on the Event. The Event tab has all the different ways that you can control running macros from your form, so for instance, when a user clicks on something, or down here, if they double-click.
I can trigger a macro when somebody clicks the mouse down and another if they have clicked the mouse up, using these two properties here. There's lots of different ways that you can add interactivity to your forms and reports. Let's look at the Other tab. The Other tab has miscellaneous options. For instance this Pop Up one here, if I change that to Yes, that will make it a floating pop-up window instead of the Tab window. If I change the Modal property to Yes, that will force the user to have to interact and close the form before Access will let you do anything else. And finally, the All tab here has a long master list of every other property in the other four tabs.
So if I can't remember where it is in these other four tabs, you can always come to the All list and find it here. Now let's take a look at the changes that we have made here in the Property Sheet. I am going to up to the View menu and change to Form view. Now you can see it's a scrolling list of all my employees. I can see a slight problem here. I can see that I have got a lot of white space in between each record, so I can go through in Design view and tighten that up a little bit. Go back into Design view. Now scroll down to the bottom here, until I get to the bottom of my form, which is this bar right here, and I will click and I will drag that up little closer to my records.
Now each one will be a narrow view. Back into Form view again and there it is. It's looking pretty good. If I scroll through my employees, we get a nice, continuous rolodex-style list going. So the property sheet is an extensive resource of everything you might want to control in your database, and you will be happy to know that both forms and reports share this common interface. While some of the most common settings can be changed through the Ribbon tabs, the Property Sheet is generally my go-to Resource because it gives access to all of the available settings, not just the most common ones, and often I found the Property Sheet to be a great discovery resource too.
It allows you to find settings and options that you didn't even know you wanted to change until you saw it in the list. Now I am not going to be able to go through all the properties in this course, but I definitely encourage you to scroll through that list and explore it further.
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