Controls Design Fundamentals
To populate a form or a report, you will use various objects called Windows controls or simply, controls. The controls are available in the Ribbon when the form is in Design View:
If you resize the Ribbon to a size that cannot show all controls, to show the hidden objects, you can click a down-pointing arrow:
In our lessons, we will mostly use controls listed in the Controls section of the Ribbon. If they are not enough, to access more controls, you can click the ActiveX Controls button. This would bring the Insert ActiveX Control dialog box from where you can select a control:
After selecting the desired control, you can click OK.
The Windows controls are represented with small icons in the Controls section. Each item is identified with a name. Here is an example for an option group:
For the rest of our lessons, each control will be referred to by the name that displays from the tool tip.
To select a control, click it in the Controls section of the Ribbon. Then, on the form or report, click an area of your choice. To add the same control many times to a form or report, in the Controls section of the Ribbon, right-click the control and click Drop Multiple controls. On the form or report, click where you want to (temporarily) position the control. To dismiss the multiple choice, in the Design tab of the Ribbon, click the Select button.
Practical Learning: Adding Controls From the Ribbon
Using Rulers and Dimensions
To assist you with design, a form or a report in Design View is equipped with two rulers, one horizontal in the top section and one vertical in the left section. To remove or hide the controls:
Because you can ignore the rulers during design, you should leave them on.
Control Design and the Grid Lines
To assist you with setting the characteristics of a control, a form or a report in Design View is equipped with grid lines on its body:
While designing a form or report unrelated to a table, if you decide that it must display data from a table, you can use a special window named Field List. To display the Field List, while the form or report is in Design View, on the Ribbon, click Design. In the Tools section, click the Add Existing Fields button: . When the Field List is displaying, that button is highlighted: .
If you create an independent form or report that doesn't get values from a table, the Field List is empty:
To specify the table that holds that data. This done using the arrow of the Record Source combo box to select a table. Here is an example:
The Field List and the Property Sheet use the same window. This means that when one is displaying, the other is hidden.
Practical Learning: Accessing the Fields List
When designing a form or a report, one of the most usual actions you will perform consists of adding items from the Field List to the form or the report.
To add a field to a form or a report, the Design View:
Practical Learning: Adding a Field from the Field List
To add many fields to a form or a report, first select them:
Then drag the selection to the form or report.
Practical Learning: Inserting Fields
Selecting One Control
After adding a control to a form or report in Design View, to manipulate it, you can first select the control. To select a control:
A control that is selected displays 8 handles around its body with the top-left handle thicker than the others:
When a control is selected on the form or report, the Property Sheet shows only its characteristics and you can change only the characteristics of the selected control.
Selecting Various Controls
To select more than one control, at random, click one, then press and hold Shift. While holding Shift, click each of the desired controls. After selecting the controls, release Shift.
To select controls aligned vertically, click inside of the horizontal ruler above the highest positioned control. Everything that would be touched by the fake line will be selected:
In the same way, you can select controls that are horizontally aligned by clicking inside the vertical ruler. To select many controls in the same area on the form, click next to one of them and draw a fake rectangle that covers each of the desired controls:
All controls touched by the fake rectangle would be selected when you release the mouse
To select all controls on the form or report, you can press Ctrl + A. You can also click inside of one of the rulers on one end:
And drag to the other end. After selecting the controls, you can change the common properties of the selected controls.
To remove a control from the selected controls, press and hold Shift, then click the undesired control. You can include an object back by pressing Shift and clicking the control.
To dismiss the selected controls, simply click an unoccupied area of the form or report.
When many controls are selected, the Property Sheet shows (only) the characteristics common to those controls. This means that you can change the common characteristic(s) that many controls share and each would receive the change.
Practical Learning: Ending the lesson
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