DEVELOPING DATABASE APPLICATIONS (INTERMEDIATE MICROSOFT ACCESS, X405.5)

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1 Technology & Information Management Instructor: Michael Kremer, Ph.D. Database Program: Microsoft Access Series DEVELOPING DATABASE APPLICATIONS (INTERMEDIATE MICROSOFT ACCESS, X405.5) Section 5

2 AGENDA 16. Creating/Customizing Forms 17. Form Properties 18. Basic Form Controls

3 Creating/Customizing Forms 16.

4 16.1 OVERVIEW OF FORMS 199 Forms are the primary tool to connect the data from the database with us humans. Utilize UI tools to connect data in certain ways to make them more meaningful to us. A well-designed form uses appropriate controls for certain data types, colors and lines to indicate proper workflow or directions, and sub forms to include one-to-many relationships in one form. Since form (and report) objects do not change daily (once a system is in production), they should not be stored on a file server for user access. Create a form in design view, only detail section is initially shown. Notice the grid of dots. This grid can be turned off.

5 16.1 OVERVIEW OF FORMS 200 Arrange tab Sizing & Ordering group, Size/Space Grid Grid is used for aligning objects on a form. To change the grid dot distance: Property sheet for Form Format tab: Grid X, Grid Y properties. To use the grid points effectively, turn on the Snap to Grid menu selection in the Form Design Tools contextual ribbon, Arrange tab, Sizing & Ordering drop down list. When this option is turned on, objects are aligned with the nearest grid point at the upper left corner of the object. Also moving and resizing will align objects accordingly to the nearest grid point.

6 16.1 OVERVIEW OF FORMS 201 Each form can have up to five different sections, designated elements of the form design. The five sections are: Form Header Pager Header Detail Section Page Footer Form Footer

7 16.1 OVERVIEW OF FORMS 202 To turn on or off these sections, right-click in the form to display the short-cut menu. Then click on the Form and Page Header/Footer icons in the short-cut menu again. To size these sections, hover your mouse over the edges of the horizontal bars of the sections, click and hold the mouse and drag it up or down.

8 16.1 OVERVIEW OF FORMS 203 Form Header: Displays a title for the form, instructions for using it, and command buttons that open related forms or carry out other tasks. Page Header: Displays information such as a title, column headings, or any other information which is useful only when the form is printed. Details Section: This section is for the actual database data. Depending on the form design, it can display one record at a time or multiple records. Page Footer: Again, the page footer is used only for printing purposes. Form Footer: The form footer can be used for the same items in a form header, such as displaying information or instructions, command buttons, etc. However, the form footer is also used for displaying summary information.

9 16.1 OVERVIEW OF FORMS 204

10 16.1 OVERVIEW OF FORMS 205 Page Header/Footer and Form Header/Footer can only be added or removed as a pair. If only a page header is needed, but not a footer, simply resize the footer section to height 0. To display section properties, simply double-click on the corresponding horizontal section band, double-click inside the section, or right-click on the horizontal bar or inside the section. Note the properties window displays a selection type, such as Section, then the drop-down box below lists the selected section, such as FormHeader, FormFooter, etc.

11 16.2 FORM DESIGN TOOLS 206 Property sheet is a major tool to set properties of forms and controls. To display the property sheet, click the property sheet button in the Design tab of the contextual Form Design Tools ribbon. Or simply double click almost anywhere in the form, and the property sheet is displayed for the double-clicked object. The header section of the property sheet dialog box carries the name of object for which the properties are displayed.

12 16.2 FORM DESIGN TOOLS 207 Remember, there are overall form properties, then section properties, and within each section there are control properties. Each property dialog box is divided into five tabs: Format: Properties to change the appearance of an object, such as color, style, size, special effects, and some other properties. Data: Properties to change data specific properties or methods, such as read only, data source, filters, record locks, etc. Event: Properties to change behavior of objects when a specific event occurs. For example, clicking a command button is an event, setting the property for this event could open a related form when button is clicked. Other: All other properties which do not fit into any of the preceding categories. For example, tab stops for a form, the name of the control, linking a control to a help file, etc. All: This tab shows all properties from the preceding four categories in one view, sorted alphabetically.

13 16.2 FORM DESIGN TOOLS 208 Another tool are the rulers, at the top and to the left of the form design window. The form design tab has also some important buttons, mostly located to the right. The most important tool is probably the Controls section. The Controls Section contains buttons to create controls on a form. Basically, simply click a desired control, and then drag an area on the form where the control is to be placed. Controls Section Field List Properties Code/VBA

14 16.2 FORM DESIGN TOOLS 209 Pointer: The pointer is used to select objects and is turned on by default. If a control is selected inadvertently, then click the pointer button to deselect the control. If a control is selected and placed on a form, the pointer button is turned on again. Control Wizards: If this button is turned on, then for certain controls a wizard will be launched. If it is turned off, the control will be placed on the form without the wizard. ActiveX: Another special button is the ActiveX control button, which displays all registered ActiveX controls in a separate window.

15 16.2 FORM DESIGN TOOLS 210 The field list comes in three flavors: Display only data source form is bound (linked) to. Display data source form is bound (linked) and related tables (based on relationships) Display all tables in the current database if form is unbound Using the field list you can drag fields onto the form s designer surface to immediately create form controls. When a form is bound to a data source, then you see only fields contained in that data source. When a form is unbound, meaning not based on any data, the field list shows all tables in the current database by default.

16 Form Properties 17.

17 17.1 FORM FORMAT PROPERTIES 211 The form s format properties mainly determine the form s appearance and the specific form window features. To access the form properties, display the property sheet and select the form by clicking on the square at the intersection of both rulers in form design.

18 17.1 FORM FORMAT PROPERTIES 212 Caption Property: The form title bar displays the form object name in form view if left blank. The caption property allows the user to provide a new form title. In form design view, you will always see the form s name in the windows title bar. Default View: This property determines which view is displayed when the form is first opened (Default View).

19 17.1 FORM FORMAT PROPERTIES 213 Default View There are five different properties for views allowed: Allow Form, Datasheet, Pivot (Table, Chart), Layout View The Views allowed affect the short-cut menu when you are in the default form view and you want to switch to a different view. The Allowed Views allows you to control between which different types of form views the user can switch.

20 17.1 FORM FORMAT PROPERTIES 214 View Allowed effect on shortcut menus. Properties relating to background picture for a form. Picture Type: Embedded, Linked, Shared Picture: The actual graphic file or the file path to the picture stored on disk. Picture Tiling: Yes/No, whether a picture is tiled within the form object or not. Picture Alignment Top Left, Top Right, Center, Bottom Left, Bottom Right, Form Center. Picture Size Mode Clip, Stretch, Zoom, Stretch Horizontal, Stretch Vertical

21 17.1 FORM FORMAT PROPERTIES 215

22 17.1 FORM FORMAT PROPERTIES 216 Width(Inches) The width of the form design surface, not the window itself. When you size the form design surface, this property setting is automatically set. Auto Center, Auto Resize (Yes/No) Auto resize will open a form and sizes its window to display a complete record. If turned off, the last saved form size will be used. Auto center will automatically center a form within the application window. Fit To Screen (Yes/No) To reduce the form size to fit the screen BorderStyle (None, Thin, Sizable, Dialog) To specify a border style for the form. Only sizable allows user to size the form in form view.

23 17.1 FORM FORMAT PROPERTIES 217 Record Selectors (Yes/No) Displays important status information visually, such as unsaved data, saved data, active record, and locked record. Navigation Buttons(Yes/No) To turn on or off the record navigation buttons at the bottom of a form. Navigation Caption To replace the caption Record in the Navigation Bar with a custom caption. Dividing Lines(Yes/No) To turn on/off lines separating form sections or records on a continuous form. Scrollbars(Neither, Horizontal only, Vertical only, Both) Whether to display scrollbars on a form, and this strongly depends on other form properties. For example, if a continuous form is created, at least vertical scroll bars should be present to allow the user to navigate between records.

24 17.1 FORM FORMAT PROPERTIES 218 Control Box (Yes/No) Setting the control box to no removes the form window control box, but also removes the Min/Max and Close button. Close Button (Yes/No) The close button can be turned on or off, when it is off, it remains visible on the form but disabled. Min Max Buttons (None, Min Enabled, Max Enabled, Both Enabled) Removes the minimize and/or maximize buttons depending on the settings. When set to None, the minimize and maximize buttons are not visible, but the close button still is.

25 17.1 FORM FORMAT PROPERTIES 219 Moveable (Yes/No) Whether form can be moved by dragging the title bar with the mouse. Split Form Size The size of the Form(not datasheet) portion in a Split form. Split Form Orientation (Datasheet on Top,.. Left,.. Bottom,.. Right) To define whether datasheet appears above, below, left, right of the form. Split Form Datasheet (Allow Edits, Read Only) When set to Allow Edits, Access allows edits to be made on the datasheet. Split Form Printing (Form Only, Datasheet Only) When Form Only only the form portion is printed, otherwise datasheet. Save Splitter Bar Position (Yes/No) Form opens with the splitter bar in the same position of last state. Subdatasheet Expanded (Yes/No), Subdatasheet Height

26 17.1 FORM FORMAT PROPERTIES 220 Grid X, Grid Y (0-60) To specify the density of grid points in form design view. This is useful for developer, not for the end-user. Layout for Print (Yes/No) You can use the LayoutForPrint property to specify whether the form uses printer or screen fonts. Note: Screen fonts are installed on your system, printer fonts when you install printer drivers. Screen and print fonts can differ. Orientation (Left-to-Right, Right-to-Left) Whether form elements are displayed from Left-to-Right or Right-to-Left. Palette Source To set a different color palette for images.

27 17.2 FORM DATA PROPERTIES 221 The form s data properties are an important aspect of the overall form behavior. To set a form to read-only, data entry form, specifying filtering and sorting, and the actual data source. Record Source To bind or link data to the form. The data can be in form of a table, query, or a SQL statement directly entered into this property. Based on this data source, fields can be placed on the form from that data source. Simply click in the Recordsource property and select a table or query from the drop-down list.

28 17.2 FORM DATA PROPERTIES 222 To create a SQL statement, click on the Build button to the right. If a table or query is already selected, then a SQL statement will be initiated using that table or query. A message box is displayed: Common query interface is displayed. Build query, then either save as individual query or close the query designer to save the SQL statement as RecordSource property. Recordset Type (Dynaset, Dynaset(Inconsistent Updates), Snapshot) A dynaset is a dynamic subset of table data. A dynaset allows updates to be made to the underlying data source whereas a snapshot is read-only.

29 17.2 FORM DATA PROPERTIES 223 Fetch Defaults (Yes/No) If set to yes then default values in fields are shown when adding a new record even before a new record is added. If no, then the default values are displayed only once a new record is being added. Filter You can use the Filter property to specify a subset of records to be displayed when a filter is applied to a form. The filter property is basically a SQL Where clause (fieldname = value). When you view the form, the filter is not applied until you click the Toggle Filter(Apply Filter) button in the Home tab in the Sort & Filter group.

30 17.2 FORM DATA PROPERTIES 224 Filter on Load(Yes/No) When set to Yes, a specified filter in the filter property is automatically applied when the form is loaded. If set to No, then the user has to click the Toggle Filter button to apply the filter. Order By The Order by property consists of the Order by part of a SQL statement. Use Desc after the field name to sort in descending order. Order By On Load(Yes/No) When set to Yes, the Order By property settings will be applied when the form is loaded. Wait For Processing The default setting is No. Choosing Yes tells Access to wait for the data macro to finish processing before returning control back to the user. Data Entry (Yes/No) You can use the DataEntry property to specify whether a bound form opens to allow data entry only.

31 17.2 FORM DATA PROPERTIES 225

32 17.2 FORM DATA PROPERTIES 226 Allow Additions If this property is set to no, only existing records can be updated or deleted, but no new records can be entered. Allow Deletions If this property is set to yes, the user is not able to delete any records. However, editing and/or adding records is still possible. Allow Edits When the Allow Edits property is set to no, the user cannot make any modifications to existing records. However, the user would still be able to add new records or delete existing records. If a read-only form is desired, then set also Allow Deletions and Allow Additions to no. Allow Filters If Allow Filters is set to yes, then the Filter property can be specified. If set to No, no filtering is enabled when the form is viewed in Form view. The filtering options in the Home tab, Sort & Filter group as well as the shortcut menus on the form are either disabled or removed. Record Locks This property setting is important when the database is set up for multi-user access and two or more users are editing the same record. MS Access allows for true record-level locking mechanism.

33 17.2 FORM DATA PROPERTIES 227 There are three record locking modes: No Locks (Optimistic Locking, assuming no or very few concurrency issues) All Records (Pessimistic Locking, locking all records) Edited Record (Record-Level locking) No Locks (Optimistic Locking) This is the default setting, also called optimistic locking. Two or more users can edit the same record simultaneously. If there is a write conflict, three choices are offered to the user. Save Record Copy to Clipboard Drop Changes

34 17.2 FORM DATA PROPERTIES 228

35 17.2 FORM DATA PROPERTIES 229 All Records (Pessimistic Locking) All records in the underlying table or tables are locked. No other user can make changes to any records in the tables affected, also called pessimistic locking. Edited Record (Record-Level Locking) An actual record is locked. All other records are not locked and can be used by other users for editing. If a record is being locked, and the form used contains a record selector, a locking symbol is displayed to indicate a locked record.

36 17.2 FORM DATA PROPERTIES 230 Record Lock symbol in record selector bar. Access Options: Set record locking default behavior.

37 17.3 FORM EVENT PROPERTIES 231 The events tab contains many properties, the so-called event properties. One can create code or a macro and set it to one of these event properties. When an event is fired, the code or macro gets executed. Events are entering and exiting a control for example, of changing of data, or using the mouse or the keyboard. The user can interact by using these events and trigger an operation, such as a validation for the entire form.

38 17.4 FORM OTHER PROPERTIES 232 The properties in the Other tab of the properties sheet are miscellaneous properties that do not fit into any of the first 3 categories. Pop-Up (Yes/No) Setting a form to pop-up makes the form window float on top of all other windows. Modal (Yes/No) If modal is set to yes, all other window elements become inaccessible until the form is closed. This is useful if an operation on a form must be performed before moving on. Pop-Up form: A form which stays on top of other windows. The Borderstyle should be set to thin. Useful to enter additional information, opened from the main form. Dialog-box: The Pop-Up and the modal property is set to yes, and the BorderStyle is Dialog. Useful to enter criteria information for running reports.

39 17.4 FORM OTHER PROPERTIES 233 Cycle (All Records, Current Record, Current Page) Cycle property determines what should happen if the focus is on the last control and the user presses [tab] or [Enter] to move to the next control. All Records: Focus is moved to first control of next record. (Implicit Save!) Current Record: Focus is moved to first control of current record. Current Page: Only applies to multi-page forms, moves focus to first control of current page. Ribbon Name To attach a custom ribbon that will be displayed when the form is opened. Menu Bar, Toolbar, Shortcut Menu, Shortcut Menu Bar To link customized menu bars, toolbars and shortcut menus to a form. Help File, Help ContextID To link a help file and a specific topic to a form. Has Module Whether a form has a module containing code, if set No, code will be deleted. Use Default Paper Size(Yes/No): Use default paper size Fast Laser Printing(Yes/No): Replace lines and rectangles by text character lines. Tag: Store additional information about the object.

40 Basic Form Controls 18.

41 18.1 SELECTING CONTROLS 234 One has to be careful about using the mouse, the [Shift] and [Ctrl] keys, and the arrow keys when dealing with controls. When a control is selected, many handles (little squares) are displayed around the perimeter of the control. An orange-colored frame is placed around the selected control. To select a control, click anywhere inside the borders of control without moving the mouse. Clicking once again enables editing the default property in that control.

42 18.1 SELECTING CONTROLS 235 When one of these controls is selected, the attached label is also selected in that it moves with the control. When selecting a control, the border lines of a control contain sizing handles and the upper left hand corner contains a move handle. When the label is selected, the label control contains all sizing handles and one move handle, and the associated control contains one move handle. Placing the mouse pointer over a move handle displays a fourheaded arrow pointer, and locating the mouse pointer over a sizing handle shows a double-opposite arrow pointer.

43 18.1 SELECTING CONTROLS 236 Different control selection methods are listed below: Single control selection method: Simply click once on the control. The move and sizing handles are displayed. Multiple controls selection method using [Shift] or [Ctrl] key: Click on the first control, then hold down the [Shift] or [Ctrl] key and select the next control. Rectangle selection method: Click in the upper left hand corner outside a control, hold the mouse, and draw a rectangle over all controls to be selected. Then release the mouse button, and all controls falling into the rectangle are selected. Ruler selection method When the mouse is placed into the ruler area, the mouse pointer shape is changing to a horizontal arrow (in the vertical ruler) or to a vertical arrow (in the horizontal ruler). Clicking the mouse in that position draws a line (either vertical or horizontal) through the entire form or report. Any controls hit by the line are selected

44 18.1 SELECTING CONTROLS 237 Single-click ruler selection: Dragging ruler selection:

45 18.1 SELECTING CONTROLS 238 Selecting all Controls To select all controls, press [Ctrl] + A on your keyboard. To group multiple controls together, select the controls, then choose the Arrange tab in the Form Design Tools contextual Ribbon, then click on the Size & Space drop down button in the Sizing & Ordering group. This grouping applies only to moving and sizing behavior, the controls remain individual in terms of properties. When selecting any of the grouped controls, then all controls are selected.

46 18.2 MOVING CONTROLS 239 To move a control, simply select a control and then move the mouse pointer over to control until the four-headed arrow is displayed as the mouse pointer. Click and hold the mouse button and drag the control to its desired location. When the location is reached, simply release the mouse button. If a compound control is moved, its associated label is moved as well. To cancel a move or a size operation, press the [Esc] key before releasing the mouse. To cancel a move or a size operation after the mouse is released, choose undo if available. If multiple controls are selected, place the mouse pointer over the group of controls until the four-headed arrow mouse pointer appears. Then click the mouse button and move the entire group of controls to its desired location.

47 18.2 MOVING CONTROLS 240 Moving controls can also be achieved by using the keyboard. In fact, movements can be accomplished in much smaller increments. Select a control, then either use the arrow keys alone or hold the [Ctrl] key, then use the arrow keys to move a control. Using the [Ctrl] key moves the control by a pixel, without the [Ctrl] key by a grid point. To move an attached label separately from its control, do the following: Hold down the shift key to achieve horizontally or vertically bound moving (Depending on whether the very first mouse movement is horizontally or vertically).

48 18.2 MOVING CONTROLS 241 A control can also be moved using its Left and Top properties. The left property is measured in inches from the left side of the form, and the top property from the top of the form.

49 18.3 SIZING CONTROLS 242 To size a control, select a control with the mouse, and use one of the following size handles: To size a control only in one direction, use the side handles, either the horizontal or vertical sides. Place the mouse over the size handle, the mouse pointer shape changes to a double-arrow, click the mouse, hold and drag to the desired size. To size a control in both directions simultaneously, use the corner handles. Place the mouse pointer over one of the corner handles, the mouse pointer shape changes to a double-arrow, click the mouse, hold and drag to the desired size. Sizing a control can also be achieved by using the keyboard. Select the control, then hold down the [Shift] key and use the appropriate arrow key on the keyboard.

50 18.3 SIZING CONTROLS 243 To size a control to the grid, follow these steps: 1. Select the control with the mouse. 2. Navigate to Arrange tab in the Forms Design Tools ribbon, in the Sizing & Ordering group, click on drop-down Size/Space, then click on To Grid. 3. MS Access resizes the control so that the corners snap to the grid. Use the Width and Height property of the property sheet of a control and enter the exact size. Sizing controls relative to each other. Arrange tab, Sizing & Ordering, Size/Space To Tallest: Sizes the selected controls to the tallest one. To Shortest: Sizes the selected controls to the shortest one. To Widest: Sizes the selected controls to the widest one. To Narrowest: Sizes the selected controls to the narrowest one.

51 18.3 SIZING CONTROLS 244 Sizing controls relative to each other requires at least two controls to be selected. The 4 options are grayed out if only one control is selected. However, To Fit and To Grid are enabled if one control is selected. The To Fit option sizes a control only vertically (height) to make the text fit inside the control including margins and padding. The To Grid option moves a control to the nearest grid point.

52 18.4 COPYING AND DELETING CONTROLS 245 To copy a control, either use copy in the Home tab (Or [Crtl] + [C]) and then paste (or [Ctrl] + V). Customize Quick Access toolbar to add Duplicate Control button. To apply only formatting from one control to another, follow these steps: 1. Select the control with the desired formatting to be copied. 2. Click the Format painter button in the Home tab. 3. Note the mouse pointer shape changes to a point brush 4. Click the control to copy the format.

53 18.4 COPYING AND DELETING CONTROLS 246 A Control can be moved into other sections of a form or report. To move label separately from control into a different section: 1. Select the label control. 2. Select in the Home tab, Cut, or key strokes ([Ctrl] + [X]) 3. Select the section where the label control is to be copied. 4. Choose Home ribbon Edit, Paste or key strokes ([Ctrl] + [V]). To separate compound controls, follow these steps: 1. Select the label of the compound control. 2. Choose Cut in the Home ribbon or key strokes ([Ctrl] + [X]) 3. Choose Paste in the Home tab, Paste or key strokes ([Ctrl] + [V]) To re-attach a label back to a control, follow these steps: 1. Select the label. 2. Choose Cut in the Home tab or key strokes ([Ctrl] + [X]) 3. Select the control to which the label is to attached. 4. Choose Paste in the Home tab or key strokes ([Ctrl] + [V])

54 18.5 ALIGNING CONTROLS 247 To align controls to each other use the following simple tools: Ruler Grid Snap To Grid To make fine adjustments to location or size of a control: [Ctrl] + arrow keys: To move a control or group of controls in all four directions. [Shift] + arrow keys: To size a control or group of controls in all four directions. Aligning controls: 1. Select at least two controls to be aligned with each other. 2. Select the Arrange tab, Sizing & Ordering group, drop-down Align. 3. There are four options available: Left: Controls will be left aligned to the leftmost control. Right: Controls will be left aligned to the rightmost control. Top: Controls will be left aligned to the highest control. Bottom: Controls will be left aligned to the lowest control.

55 18.5 ALIGNING CONTROLS 248 To space controls evenly, follow these steps: 1. Select the controls to be spaced evenly. 2. Choose Format Design Tools ribbon, then Arrange tab, Sizing & Ordering, Size/Space drop down. 3. Choose Equal Horizontal or Equal Vertical. To increase or decrease the space between controls, follow these steps. MS Access increases or decreases the spacing by one grid point. 1. Select at least two controls. 2. Format Design Tools ribbon, then Arrange tab, Sizing & Ordering group, Size/Space drop-down. 3. Choose Increase or Decrease (Horizontal or Vertical).

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