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- View Offline
- Designing for the end user
- Organizing form elements
- Formatting a form
- Adding headers
- Linking to external content
- Entering and selecting data
- Adding charts
- Creating a main menu
- Creating a customer form
- Understanding report structure
- Building reports from wizards and queries
- Printing reports
Skill Level Intermediate
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 the orders that included that product. Now we need to polish up the layout a little using the tools available to us in the Layout View. In the last movie we created this Product Selection form. I'll go ahead and double-click on it and you will see that I could scroll through the records to select different products in our company and I can choose the Order By Product button to see a listing of all of the orders that included that particular product. Now we can clean up the design of these two forms by using the Layout View. First let's take a look at some of the things we might want to change.
In this form when we go to Product Selections first of all I want to change the background color to better align with the Two Trees Olive Oil Company's color scheme. Second, I want to get rid of the box around this label here. I also want to change the styling of this button. Now in the Order By Product's form, click on that, again I am going to change the background color here, I want to change these labels here, the OrderID, OrderDate, FirstName and LastName, right now these values are coming straight out of the data table, those are the fields from the table. I want to make them a little more human-readable by adding spaces between them. Next I want to get rid of the boxes around the data, these boxes don't really add anything to the legibility of my data, so I can get rid of them to clean up the visual clutter.
And then I want to reduce the height of each record, so they are not using up so much space and I get fit more vertically. Okay, let's go ahead and go into Layout View to make those changes. First our Product Selection form, I'll click on it here and in the View menu I will switch to Layout View. I can click on the background color here and switch the Format tab where I can find my paint bucket, I'll use a drop-down menu and we are going to go ahead choose this Color Swatch here, the Olive Green, Accent 3. Next I want to change the styling of the button, I'll click on the button, and under the Quick Styles menu I am going to choose this light green option here.
Next I want to get rid of the line that surrounds this bounding box. I will click on the object here, and in the Shape Outline I am going to change it to Transparent so it's invisible. I will click off anywhere in this white space to see what the results look like and that's looking pretty good. So I am going to switch over to the other one, Order By Product. Once again I am going to select Layout View, I go into View menu here and go into Layout. Next I am going to change the color of the background by clicking on the background blue, into the Format tab, I'll click on the Paint Bucket icon, which is already loaded with the green color. Next I want to change the labels here.
But if you remember in the last movie we had to adjust the label because it was over the button, well that applies to this form as well. First I will click on this label and you will see that the box is actually covering these other three labels. I am going to click on the bottom here and drag it up. Now I can click on these forms down here, I will double-click and I will add a space in between, so it's little more legible, double-click on OrderDate and add a space, double-click on FirstName and add a space and double-click on LastName and add a space, and I will click out here to select. Next I want to change the height of my records. I will go ahead and click on this FirstName one here and I'll Shift+Click to select LastName at the same time.
Now I need to drag these up to match the height of the OrderDate and OrderID fields. And the handle here gets a little tricky if you're too low you'll end up dragging the top of the one below. So you kind of need to be a more than halfway up between those two lines, right about here. I'll click and I can drag up. That will collapse my form vertically so I can get more data on the screen. Next I want to get rid of these boxes, I'll Shift+Click to select the other two fields and then I will go to Shape Outline and say Transparent. Select off of it, now let's switch back to Form View by going to the Design tab and clicking the View to Form View.
I could find the same icon by going to the Home tab and clicking the icon there as well. So I will switch back into Form View and that's looking pretty good. So I am going to go ahead and close this down and I'll save my changes, yes, and this one looks good as well, I will close it as well and save the changes. So now let's take a look at how the workflow is working. I will double-click on Product Selection, I can scroll to my records, I can click Orders By Product and I can see a better look at my data. 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 we will need to dive into the full design environment and we will do that in the next chapter.