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Using lines and rectangles

From: Access 2010: Forms and Reports in Depth

Video: Using lines and rectangles

The next two controls that I want to explore are the Line and Rectangle controls. They're useful for marking of space and grouping elements together in your forms and reports. Generally, they are pretty passive and not really all that exiting, but proper use of them can go a long way to making your forms and reports legible and unambiguous. Let's go ahead and open up this Controls form that I've got here, we've created in the last movie. Now right-click and say Design View to jump straight into Design View. Now the line control is here in the Design ribbon. I can click on it and drag out a line. Now lines have a kind of a weird property to them when they're completely horizontal like this or completely vertical like this they're invisible to you.

Using lines and rectangles

The next two controls that I want to explore are the Line and Rectangle controls. They're useful for marking of space and grouping elements together in your forms and reports. Generally, they are pretty passive and not really all that exiting, but proper use of them can go a long way to making your forms and reports legible and unambiguous. Let's go ahead and open up this Controls form that I've got here, we've created in the last movie. Now right-click and say Design View to jump straight into Design View. Now the line control is here in the Design ribbon. I can click on it and drag out a line. Now lines have a kind of a weird property to them when they're completely horizontal like this or completely vertical like this they're invisible to you.

The only way you can see what you're doing is to look at the ruler on the left side, while you're dragging out a vertical line or the ruler across the top when you're dragging out a horizontal line. Once I let go of the mouse though the line will appear and it will be selected. Now lines have a couple of properties associated with them, you can see them in the Property Sheet here. Under the Format tab, I change the Shape outline, so I can make them thicker or thinner, I can change that line type to dashed or dotted, I can change the color right up here. All of these properties are also available in the Property Sheet. So for instance I can change its style from Solid to Dotted or Dashed.

I could change its Border Width from Hairline to 6 point, and I can change its color here using the Color Picker or selecting from a list. Let's take a look at the Rectangle Tool. We'll go up to the Design Tab, the rectangle is on the second row, and depending on the size of your screen all of the controls might appear on a single row or you might have a scroll through the list. You can also use this down arrow here that says more, and I click that all of the different controls that we can work with will appear. The Rectangle control is this one right here and it looks a lot like this other one here which is the Button Control, so I want to make sure that we're using the Rectangle and not a Button.

The Button has the access in it, the Rectangle is just empty. So we'll choose a Rectangle Control, we'll drag one out as well. Now the Rectangle control also has a property into formatting of Shape Fill, I can use a Shape Fill here to choose a color. I can use the Fill Bucket here in the Font section to choose a color or I can change its color here the Back color right there. I can change its Border Style, Width, and Border Color here just like I can with the line. Now lines and rectangles also have another property which makes them really useful. I go to Arrange, you can take a look at this Anchoring button. Let me go ahead and click on the line and I'll click on Anchoring, and we can see that it's anchoring right now is in the top-left.

With the default anchoring what happens is Access draws the line exactly as you place it, in reference to the top-left corner of your form. Let's change it to Stretch Across Top and see what happens. I'll click Stretch Across Top for the line, we'll go to the Home tab and press Forms and switch into Form view. Now we see that the line is much longer than what I drew it. With Stretch Across Top what Access does is references both the left-hand side and the right-hand side, so it maintains a space from the left to the line and the right to the line, and save the actual length of the line. So Lines and Rectangles play an important role in organizing other elements in your forms and reports.

They can be used to mark of space or to group like elements together such as a box around a grouping of buttons.

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This video is part of

Image for Access 2010: Forms and Reports in Depth
Access 2010: Forms and Reports in Depth

38 video lessons · 14376 viewers

Adam Wilbert
Author

 
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  1. 1m 27s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
      25s
  2. 15m 53s
    1. Introducing forms
      2m 41s
    2. Designing for the end user
      45s
    3. Exploring the database
      1m 49s
    4. Creating a form with the Form Wizard
      6m 43s
    5. Refining the form in Layout view
      3m 55s
  3. 24m 33s
    1. Organizing the form elements
      7m 14s
    2. Formatting
      4m 48s
    3. Modifying the form through its properties
      6m 56s
    4. Adding a header and some polish
      5m 35s
  4. 1h 2m
    1. Introducing form controls
      3m 48s
    2. Using lines and rectangles
      2m 48s
    3. Organizing screen space with tabs
      4m 47s
    4. Adding buttons
      5m 3s
    5. Linking to external content
      4m 15s
    6. Entering and selecting data
      5m 8s
    7. Controlling input with option groups
      6m 0s
    8. Attaching documents
      6m 49s
    9. Attaching images
      5m 8s
    10. Understanding the subform control
      4m 13s
    11. Adding charts
      7m 9s
    12. Linking controls
      7m 41s
  5. 21m 42s
    1. Creating the main menu
      8m 49s
    2. Adding a splash screen with startup options
      5m 35s
    3. Creating a customer form
      7m 18s
  6. 45m 20s
    1. Grouping and sorting data
      4m 36s
    2. Understanding report structure
      6m 12s
    3. Building reports from wizards
      5m 0s
    4. Building reports from queries
      6m 34s
    5. Formatting conditionally
      6m 59s
    6. Calculating fields
      4m 35s
    7. Adding the finishing touches
      4m 49s
    8. Populating pre-printed documents
      6m 35s
  7. 15m 8s
    1. Printing reports
      3m 6s
    2. Tweaking the design
      7m 10s
    3. Automating the workflow with macros
      4m 52s
  8. 58s
    1. Next steps
      58s

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