Introduction to Form Controls in Microsoft Access 2010
Introducing form controls
In this chapter we're going to be taking a look at each of the control objects that are available to us when working with Forms and Reports. We've seen a couple of them in the last few movies, but I think it's important to explore each one individually and see what some of the options we have are when working with them. In this movie we're going to take a look at the Selection arrow and the Label control, so let's start by going up to the Create tab here and starting a new form in Design View with the Form Design button. That will start a new form in Design View and for the purposes of this chapter, I actually want to change this default background a little bit, when you first start a form in Design View, Access places this dot and grid pattern in the background.
This helps you align everything on your form, but I think that the purposes of these movies the dots are going to be a little bit distracting and make it hard to see what I'm doing. So I'm going to go ahead and change this a little bit. On the Property Sheet for my form I'm going to scroll at the bottom and these two properties here Grid X, Grid Y, and they're currently both set to 24. I'm going to change these to smaller value like six, which will reduce the density of the dots in the background, and I think that will make it easier to see on these movies. I will go ahead and save this form by pressing Ctrl+S and I'm just going to call this Controls. And we'll use this form throughout the rest of this chapter. Okay, so let's take a look at a couple of controls.
Up here in the ribbon, on the Design Tab, I have got this whole section called Controls. This Controls box essentially a toolbox of all the different objects that you can add into your form. The first one here is the Selection arrow, and the Selection arrow isn't really a control because it's not an object that's going to go on your form, but it's what you're going to use to interact with all the different objects. The other one I want to look at in this movie is this one here, the Label. The label we have seen in prior movies, and this is a static bit of text, it doesn't change as you scroll through records on your form. Now this is a slightly confusing terminology because in other programs such as Word or PowerPoint when you want to put text on the page you use something called a Text Box.
In Access the text box is this object right here, and in Access the text box is specifically tied to data in the data table. So when you want to place just a piece of static text, you're going to use a label, when you want to display data that's when you use a text box. So let's go ahead and take a look at the Label. I'm going to click on the control here and I will click down on my form to add a label. You notice that once I do that a couple of things happened the first thing is I get those box down here with a flashing cursor in it, ready for me to type. The other thing that happens is its deselected label and it's automatically switched back to the Selection arrow. Let's go ahead and just type in the word text and then press Enter.
Now that object is saved and I'm back in the Selection arrow. If you want to add multiple labels at once or in fact multiples of any of these controls, you could simply right-click on the button and say Drop Multiple Controls. I'll click on that and now I can add multiple pieces of text at one time, so I'll click once and you notice it didn't automatically select the Selection tool here, It stayed on the on the label. So I'll type in text again and press Enter; now I can click third time, text again and press Enter. When I'm done I'll switch back to the Selection arrow here. Now in prior versions of Access, you used to be able to double-click on the button to add multiple options and that no longer functions in Access 2010.
So just use a right-click menu and choose Drop Multiple Controls from there. So now that I have a couple of labels on my form I can do a few things with them. I choose the Selection arrow to make sure not selecting anything, and now I can click each individual piece. I can Shift+Click to select multiple objects by click off of them, I will deselect them. I can use the control handles with or around the edges to resize them. So I can drag up on the middle or right on the right side and if I want to move them around I can use either the handle in the upper left-hand corner or click anywhere on the bar between panels to drag them around. I can use the arrow keys on my keyboard, so I can move things down or right or up or left using the arrows.
And if I want to resize them I can use the keyboard as well by pressing Shift and using the right arrow to enlarge it, the left arrow to shrink it, down arrow to make it taller, and the up arrow to make it shorter. And if I want to get rid of an object all I need to do is press the Delete key once it's selected. So I'm going to go ahead and select these other two, I am going to press the Delete key that will set this up for the next movie when we look at Lines and Rectangles. The Label Control is one of the most common controls that you'll be working with when you create Forms and Reports. You'll use them anytime you want a static bit of text, a title, or a piece of instruction to stay on your form.
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