Join Adam Wilbert for an in-depth discussion in this video Refining the form in Layout view, part of Access 2013: Forms and Reports in Depth.
- The form wizard gave us a good head start on setting up a couple of forms that will allow us to select a product and get a listing of all of the orders that included that product. Now we need to polish up the design using the tools available to us in the layout view. I've currently got the product selection form open that we created in the last movie. I can cycle through my 47 products down here and find one that I'm interested in. For instance, this K-eco phone charger. Let's go ahead and press orders for product to open up the orders by product form. That will give us a listing of all of those orders.
So let's modify the look of this default form. First I want to change the color scheme to better align with the company colors for Kinetico. Next I want to change these labels. For instance, this one that says order ID, I'd like to add a space between order and ID. The same thing with order date, first name, and last name. Next I'd like to change the spacing. I don't need this much room for the first name field. I can also change the vertical height to fit more on the screen. We can make all of those changes in a view mode called layout view. We can find it on the home tab here under the views button here.
Now right now I can click the upper half of the button to switch directly to layout view, or I can click on the bottom half of the view button to get a menu of the different view options. We're going to see design view in the next chapter, so right now I'll just switch into layout view. When we do that, we get three contextual tabs across the top: design, arrange, and format. The design tab has additional elements that we can add into our form. The arrange tab will allow us to precisely move elements around on the screen. Finally, the format tab is where we're going to go to change our fonts, colors, number formatting, and any images we might want to add.
Let's use the format tab to make the changes we just identified. First I'm going to click on this background color, this blue color here. To change the color, I can either use the fill bucket here underneath the font section, or since this is a shape, I can use the shape fill option here. When I open up this menu, I can choose from my theme colors, the standard color chips here, or I can come down to more colors and specify my own color. Let's go ahead and do that. I'll choose more colors here. In the custom tab, I'm going to come down here and specify my own color. For red, I'm going to type in a value of zero.
I'll press the tab key. For green, I'll type in 114. For blue, I'm going to choose 139. This is our Kinetico blue color. Let's go ahead and say OK. It'll change the background of my form here. Now let's change our font colors. I'm going to click on this orders for product here, and over here in the font section, I'm going to click on this text here to change the color to white. I also want to change the text color of the column labels, but if I click on it, it just selects this orders for product label up here, this title. If you remember from the last movie, we actually had to shrink this down in order to get to the underlying labels below.
I'll go ahead and select off of it, and then click on it once again so I get this orange box here. Now I can hover my mouse over the bottom edge and click and drag it up to make it a little bit smaller. Now I can click on these labels behind it. I'll click on the first one, order ID, and I'll shift click on the other three. We'll go over here to the font section. The font color is already loaded with white, so I could just click this button here to apply that color. Next, I'll double click on this one here to add in the space between order and ID. I'll do the same for the rest.
Next let's take a look at the size of these boxes here. For the first name, I can make this a little bit shorter. So I'll click on this first box here. I'll go over here to the right edge, and I'll click and I'll drag to make it shorter. Notice that when I do that, it adjusts that whole column here. I only have to adjust the first one to get the whole column. Let's go ahead and move last name over. I'll click here, shift click for the label, and I'll drag that over here to the left. Next we can adjust the height. I'll click on this box here, shift click on this one, and we'll go to the bottom edge, and I'll drag it up.
That will reduce the vertical height that's being taken up on this form. Next I want to get rid of these boxes that outline every single one of my number fields. To do that, I'll press the shift key and click on these other two. Then I'll go over here to shape outline and choose transparent from the list. If I click off of it, or select this record selector over here, you notice that the form is a lot more legible without the visual clutter of all of those boxes. Let's go ahead and adjust the spacing a little bit. I want to move my first and last name over to give my order date some breathing room.
I'll click on all four of these sections here. I'll use the arrow keys to nudge them over. Next I can adjust the way that my dates are being presented. If I click on the date here, I can come up here to the number formatting section here. From the drop down list, I can choose medium date, and that'll adjust how my dates are being presented down here. So that's looking pretty good for our orders for product form. Let's go ahead and close it. I'll save the changes that we just made. We'll return to the product selection form. Let's go ahead and make a couple of changes here. Once again, I'll change my view mode to layout view.
I'll click on the blue background color, come up to shape fill, and click that. From my recent colors, I can choose their Kinetico blue. Once again, I'll choose this product selection title here, and I'll change its font color to white. Then we'll come down here and remove the box around this K-eco phone charger label. I'll choose that, go to shape outline, and choose transparent. Finally I'll change the styling of this button. I'll click on the button. We'll come up to quick styles, and we'll choose a different style. I like this one right here, the colored fill orange accent two.
Go ahead and select off of it. We can see those changes. Let's go ahead and save this form. I'll press control s on my keyboard, or press the save icon up here on the quick access toolbar. We can test out our workflow. Let's go ahead and close it out. So when our employees want to review our orders, we can open up our product selection form here, we can browse to the product that we're interested in, once we find it, we can press orders for product here to view the orders that were placed. Notice as I scroll through these orders here this header information, the title, and the column labels, stay in place.
So the layout view gives you some easy to use tools for organizing the flow of your forms and making sure that everything is aligned. For even more flexibility though, we'll need to dive into the full design environment. We'll do that in the next chapter.
Then the course dives into reports: creating efficient and readable layouts, grouping data into categories, tying reports to queries, and using conditional formatting rules to highlight key takeaways from the data. Finally, Adam demonstrates how to link forms and reports together and print your results, and introduces unique ways to save time filling out paperwork and generating form letters.
- Creating forms with the Form Wizard
- Aligning form controls
- Adding buttons, links, and attachments to forms and reports
- Building database navigation elements
- Grouping and sorting data in reports
- Building reports from queries or wizards
- Calculating fields
- Linking forms and reports
- Printing and exporting reports