Access Tab Control: How To Create Multi-Page Forms
If you have been developing with Access Forms for a while then you may have noticed the Access tab control which allows you to split logical sections of fields into smaller and more manageable chunks and reduce the need to scroll all over the place keeping screen views neat and tidy.
Just as a reminder (or even if this is something new to you), take a look at the video tutorial below on how to add a tab control in a form (though the narrator is using an earlier version of Access – looks like Access 2000!).
From the demonstration, it is clear how to move (cut and paste) existing fields and their controls between sections and that each page tab has its own encapsulated area binding controls as if it were a mini-form.
Access Tab Control: How To Create Multi-Page Forms – Some Tips
As you move through the generations of Microsoft Access to the latest version 2010 (though we are currently in the beta release of Access 2013), the Access tab control really hasn’t changed too much.
It was added to follow the standard working practices of avoiding the need to scroll out of view to other elements of your screen interface improving usability and navigation.
Make sure you only need the tabs required and not to have spare tabs sitting in the control. Having this control in a form invites and tempts you to adding more fields and other controls which will start to impede on performance if you are not careful and you really to strike a good balance.
If you feel there are too many fields in a form consider using a button to call another form (as a pop-up) or even create a sub-form and bind it to the main form. Again, sub-forms do present potential performance related challenges too.
You can re-arrange and modify other properties to this control and with later versions this component can be found in the Ribbon bar.
Simply right-mouse click on a page tab to modify individual sections or the top banner for the whole control’s properties (as shown above).
Finally, you can of course add VBA code to trap for events that are triggered when switching between tabs which make this a great technique for running validations across pages if this were for example a fill-in form exercise where the previous screen needed to be completed.
You may wish to learn about good Access form design techniques widen the scope on whether this control or using an alternative method would be a better solution by starting with my eBook on How to Build Access Database Forms – Interacting with Microsoft Access which is great value for money offer backed with my usual money back guarantee.