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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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