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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.
There is a third view, called Design View, that gives you complete control over your forms. Use it to make freestyle changes. We're going to start with our Customers Order Form. Double-click on it, and let's take a look. I see here that several of our labels are cut off. This Documents does not need to be this big at all, but our Notes could be bigger. And then here we've got a big space where there are Orders and a small Orders table so we can rearrange these. To make those changes, go up to the View button, drop it down and move it into Design View.
Let's start over here on the right-hand side. If your Property Sheet is open, for now, close it. The first thing we're going to do is move our Documents over down here, and make it smaller. First, I'll make it smaller by clicking on the Documentation. I'll hold my cursor over this dot to get a double-headed arrow and shrink it up. I'll put my cursor in the middle of it to get a four-headed arrow, and I'll drag it down and over, until its right-aligned with Flag. In fact, I could even move this down a little bit more and put Documents on top.
So drag this down a little bit more to make room, and there is a gray dot in the corner of Documents. This allows me to move the label without the bound control, or vice versa. Then click on Document again and make it longer so that we can see the whole word, Documentation. We want to move all of these controls over so that there is more room for these words and the labels in the first column. To highlight all of these at once, I could Shift+Click on them, or I can simply click above and pull down and anything that it's touching will get selected.
I'll put my cursor in the middle of one of them and drag them to the right to make more room. Then I want to move these labels. I'll highlight just the labels, and I'll use the resize handle on the left-hand side to make them all a little bit bigger, until all the words fit. We need a little bit more. Email Address is the longest one. Then scroll over to the left-hand side, and let's do something similar. First, drag another marquee to highlight all of those boxes, and then pick one up and move them over until they are lined up nicely, and then we'll do the same thing to resize these labels.
Use that middle handle and make them long enough to read. Now, I have a little extra room on this side. I'm going to draw a marquee around all of them. And this time, I'm going to use the arrows on my keyboard to move them over. Sometimes it's easier to use the keyboard then it is the mouse, so that you can actually line them up carefully. Now, let's scroll down here, and we'll work with Orders. I'm going to click on this Orders box, and I don't actually need this label, because it's fairly obvious that these are the Orders.
So, I'll just click Delete to delete it. Then I'll click on the subform, grab the bottom left-hand handle and make it wider, and then over to Datasheet View. That's looking much better. The last thing I need to do here is simply double-click to resize my fields, and now we have a finished Customers Order form. Let's go ahead and close it and save that. It will say, do I want to make changes to the following objects? It's referring both to this top-order form and to this subform down here, and we'll say yes.
Now the fun begins. We're going to build a form completely from scratch with some advanced controls. Go to the Create menu, and this time we're going to click the Form Design button, and we have a blank form. This is going to be our Customer Service form. The first thing I want to do is set our Theme to Foundry, so that it matches the rest of the forms in our database. We're going to add in our logo. Click up here on Logo, and it will ask where you want to go to get the file, and I'll click on the folder where that file resides, find the file that I want, and click on it.
Notice that it has now separated into a Form Header and a Detail area. The Form Header is the top of the form, and the Detail area is the part that's going to repeat for each record in the table. So I'm going to go ahead and pull down this Design Form, and it's going to make my logo bigger. Now, let's add in a Title. And we're going to call this Customer Service Form. Let's also add a Date and a Time to it.
I click on this Date and Time button. I'll include the Date, and this is the format that I want. And because it is a Customer Service Form, I'll include the Time as well, and click OK. It puts fields right here. Let's see how this looks when I go to Datasheet View. There's how my form looks so far. I'm going to click on the dropdown to take it back to Design View. I want to adjust this text so that it's centered in the box. I'm going to go to Format, and I'm going to center the words "Customer Service Form." Now, we're going to add a control in the Detail area so that we can pick which customer we're performing our customer service for.
Go to the Design tab, and here are our controls. This one right here is a Combo Box, which is a dropdown box. I'll click on it, and I'll click right about the 2-inch mark to place it. And now it's going to give me the list of values to choose from. And I'm going to do find a record on my form based on the value I selected in my Combo Box, and click Next. We're going to choose CustomerID, and Company. Click Next.
We're not going to hide the key column because when we're choosing our customers, we want to both see their zip code and their location for the companies I have that have more than one branch, and click Next. We're going to call this Customer ID and click Finish. The next thing I'm going to do is put in what's called an Unbound text box, so that I can write text on my screen. And this is going to be the customer service message that our reps are going to say on the phone. So, I'll click on label right here, and I'm going to click right underneath the edge of that box right here, and it asked me to start typing.
And I'll type "Customer service is our highest priority." Hold the Shift key down and hit Enter to go to the next line. "What can I do for you today?" Okay. Now, notice it has a little green indicator in the corner. When I click on it, it gives me a smart tag, and it is an unassociated control.
So I'm going to ignore the error. That means that it has nothing to do with the data in any of our forms. The next thing we're going to do is add in a Tab Control so we can have multiple windows down on the bottom. That's this one right here that looks like some file folders. I'll click on it, and I'm going to draw approximately how big I want it to be. So I'm going to start on the left-hand side, at this one-inch mark, and I'm going to drag it down to the six-inch mark and about four inches or so, and let go. Here are two tabs.
The numbers on yours will be different than mine. To change the names on the tabs, come up here to the Property Sheet, and it says Page 15. And here's where we're going to write in "Service Request." And then click on Page 16 and change that to "Website." Now click back on Service Request. Here, we're going to drop in our Service Request table so that we can fill in information for this particular customer.
So we're going to use a subform. Drop this down right here, and we want this icon right here for subform. Click on it, and when I bring my cursor down over the tabs, it already highlights where it's going to go. All I have to do is click. It wants to know if I want to use an existing table or query, or if I want to use an existing form. We're going to go ahead and use our Service Requests table. So click on the Next button, and that gives us the place to choose it right here, ServiceRequests.
And we want all of our fields, so hit the double arrow to move it over, and click Next. Now, it's going to recognize that we have a relationship between our Customers in our table and the Customer ID that we've chosen here. So go ahead and click Next. We'll leave this as Service Requests subform, so that we recognize it with the word subform right here, and click Finish. Here's what it looks like in Design View. I don't actually want this label here, so I'm going to click on it so it has an orange box around it, and hit Delete.
I'm going to click back on the subform, and I'm going to use the arrows on my keyboard to move it so it's placed a little better inside the box. And let's go and see what that looks like. I'm going to come up to the Datasheet View. And when I pick my customer up here, it will appear properly down here. I do need to change how my table looks over here. It's going to be easier to do this, instead of in the Design View where I can't really see it, let's go to the Layout View. And then I can go ahead and double-click my columns to resize them so that everything fits.
Right now, there's nothing in the Request field. I'm going to go ahead and make this bigger since this is where we're going to type in the information that they are requesting. So far, so good. Let's go back to the Design View and do some more. Click on the Website tab. What we're going to do here is put in what's called a Web browser Control, which is actually going to show us the contents of a Web site that we specify. In our case, we're going to put in our own Web site with our customer service phone numbers so that we have them at our fingertips.
Click on Web browser Control, hold your cursor over the Website tab and click. It wants to know the address, and we're going to point it to twotreesoliveoil.com/contact.html, and when I hit Tab, it reformats itself to the base URL and the path. I don't have to do anything to that.
I can just go ahead and click Ok. Now, I want to move this up into the corner and make it absolutely as big as I can, because it is pulling in a Web site, after all. If I'd like to give it even more room, I can pull this down. The last thing that I would like to do is I want to put a nice little line between my Form Header and the data, so I'm going to use this control right here that says Line.
Click on it one time, and I can see a little crosshair where it's going to start. I'm going to aim right there and drag it all the way across my form. Be careful, if you see it being thick like that, that means that it's not actually straight. So you wanted to be as invisible as possible, and let go. If I want to make it thicker, I can come over to Format, choose Shape Outline > Line Thickness, and make it a little thicker.
Let's also change its color to the greens that we've been using on this Web site. Now, let's take a look at our form. Go to the Design tab and come over to Datasheet View, and now we have a Customer Service Form, where I can write in what they need. And let's take a look at the Web site. When I click here, it brings us to Two Trees Web site, and here's all our contact and customer service information so that we can give it to the customer.
So as you can see, using the Design View takes much longer to build a form by hand, but you have complete control over every element.
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