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« Queries Forms Form Controls »

Forms are used as an alternative way to enter data into a database table.

Create Form by Using Wizard

To create a form using the assistance of the wizard, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Create form by using wizard option on the database window.
  2. From the Tables/Queries drop-down menu, select the table or query whose datasheet the form will modify. Then, select the fields that will be included on the form by highlighting each one the Available Fields window and clicking the single right arrow button > to move the field to the Selected Fields window. To move all of the fields to Select Fields, click the double right arrow button >>. If you make a mistake and would like to remove a field or all of the fields from the Selected Fields window, click the left arrow < or left double arrow << buttons. After the proper fields have been selected, click the Next > button to move on to the next screen.
    [Form Wizard dialog box]
  3. On the second screen, select the layout of the form.
    • Columnar - A single record is displayed at one time with labels and form fields listed side-by-side in columns
    • Justified - A single record is displayed with labels and form fields are listed across the screen
    • Tabular - Multiple records are listed on the page at a time with fields in columns and records in rows
    • Datasheet - Multiple records are displayed in Datasheet View
    Click the Next > button to move on to the next screen.
    [Form Wizard dialog box]
  4. Select a visual style for the form from the next set of options and click Next >.
    [Form Wizard dialog box]
  5. On the final screen, name the form in the space provided. Select "Open the form to view or enter information" to open the form in Form View or "Modify the form's design" to open it in Design View. Click Finish to create the form.
    [Form Wizard dialog box]

Create Form in Design View

To create a form from scratch without the wizard, follow these steps:

  1. Click the New button on the form database window.
  2. Select "Design View" and choose the table or query the form will be associated with the form from the drop-down menu.
  3. Select View|Toolbox from the menu bar to view the floating toolbar with additional options.
    [toolbox diagram]
  4. Add controls to the form by clicking and dragging the field names from the Field List floating window. Access creates a text box for the value and label for the field name when this action is accomplished. To add controls for all of the fields in the Field List, double-click the Field List window's title bar and drag all of the highlighted fields to the form.
    [form example]

Adding Records Using A Form

Input data into the table by filling out the fields of the form. Press the Tab key to move from field to field and create a new record by clicking Tab after the last field of the last record. A new record can also be created at any time by clicking the New Record button new record button at the bottom of the form window. Records are automatically saved as they are entered so no additional manual saving needs to be executed.

[Form View]

Editing Forms

The follow points may be helpful when modifying forms in Design View.

  • Grid lines - By default, a series of lines and dots underlay the form in Design View so form elements can be easily aligned. To toggle this feature on and off select View|Grid from the menu bar.
  • Snap to Grid - Select Format|Snap to Grid to align form objects with the grid to allow easy alignment of form objects or uncheck this feature to allow objects to float freely between the grid lines and dots.
  • Resizing Objects - Form objects can be resized by clicking and dragging the handles on the edges and corners of the element with the mouse.
  • Change form object type - To easily change the type of form object without having to create a new one, right click on the object with the mouse and select Change To and select an available object type from the list.
  • Label/object alignment - Each form object and its corresponding label are bounded and will move together when either one is moved with the mouse. However, to change the position of the object and label in relation to each other (to move the label closer to a text box, for example), click and drag the large handle at the top, left corner of the object or label.
  • Tab order - Alter the tab order of the objects on the form by selecting View|Tab Order... from the menu bar. Click the gray box before the row you would like to change in the tab order, drag it to a new location, and release the mouse button.
    [Tab Order dialog box]
  • Form Appearance - Change the background color of the form by clicking the Fill/Back Color button on the formatting toolbar and click one of the color swatches on the palette. Change the color of individual form objects by highlighting one and selecting a color from the Font/Fore Color palette on the formatting toolbar. The font and size, font effect, font alignment, border around each object, the border width, and a special effect can also be modified using the formatting toolbar:
    [formatting toolbar]
  • Page Header and Footer - Headers and footers added to a form will only appear when it is printed. Access these sections by selecting View|Page Header/Footer on the menu bar. Page numbers can also be added to these sections by selecting Insert|Page Numbers. A date and time can be added from Insert|Date and Time.... Select View|Page Header/Footer again to hide these sections from view in Design View.
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