Project 4: Forms & Reports
Did you want: Working with Databases: Access 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016
Designing a good form requires that you know how your users will be using the form. Are they entering data? Are they selecting among choices? Seeing read-only data?
Form Design Goals
For some of the above, you may have to guess. For example, your choice of colors depends on whether your users have color printers or just black/white. Your choice of form width/height depends on the screen resolution you expect your users to use and on the size of the paper they will print on. Many monitors still use 800 x 600 though new monitors can display crisp text at much larger resolutions. Letter size paper is most common in the USA but many countries use A4 instead, which is narrower and taller. Opportunities for problems abound!
Project 4: Forms & Reports
Uses for Forms
There are several different types of forms that are useful in a database.
Data entry/editing: A form for entering or editing data is what we usually think of as a "form". A good form arranges the fields neatly so that you can see them without having to scroll sideways as you usually must do in Datasheet View. You control the order of the fields on the form and can include directions for how to fill it out.
Data display only: A form can be used to just show the data and
not let the viewer make changes. It's not a lot of trouble to create such a
form. You can just copy a data-entry form and
make a few changes to disallow data changes.
Switchboards are forms that let you choose one of several forms,
reports, or actions. When you know what the users need to do regularly, a
switchboard form can present those choices handily.
When your form or report has several parameters, it is useful to create a
form where the user can enter them all in a single place, instead of one at
a time. Such a form can also remind users of important information or
choices, without cluttering up the original form.
Most dialogs and message boxes
modal popup forms, meaning that the user cannot switch to another
window until taking an action (make a selection, click a button, enter
text, close the form). It is frustrating when you do not realize what is
In Access 2002 and 2003 the list of actions that you can undo/redo is limited to 20. That is not very many actions once you start formatting a form or report!
The Properties dialog lets you take full control of how your form and all its parts look and how they behave. Some properties can be controlled only from this dialog. You normally work with this dialog in Design View.
Each control on the form, each section of the form, and
the form as a whole have their own properties. The dialog
automatically changes to show the properties of the selected object. You
can also open the list at the top of the dialog and select the object you
want to work with.
What's on the tabs:
Different objects will have different properties and show different tabs.
from Form View:
Help on Properties
The F1 key brings up a Help topic for the property that the insertion point is in.
Such articles explain more than you probably want to know!
article includes what the property is good for, what kinds of objects it
applies to, and what values are acceptable. This information is actually helpful! The
examples are not as helpful since they are examples of programming code
to use to manage the property.
~~ 1 Cor. 10:31 ...whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. ~~
Last updated: 30 Apr 2012