Whichever version of Microsoft Access you are currently using, working with and designing Access database forms can be time consuming, challenging and unpredictability, misbehave!
The key to a successful form requires two key elements; a) a design plan with scope and b) knowing what form properties to apply to control workflows.
It’s the second aspect I want to highlight in this blog post today and in this example, learning how to set a form and behave as ‘read only’ can be achieved in one of several ways.
To get started, take a quick look at this video tutorial (it’s less than 4 minutes) which demonstrates how to apply a ‘read only’ state for a form.
Now the author covers a couple of ways you set your form even though his narration is a little dry, it gets to the point.
Access Database Forms: Working On Various Ways To Apply The Read Only State To Your Access Form Design
There are various methods to get your form to behave as ‘read only’ but consider whether you want a selective number of fields (or controls) or all fields to be locked which will partly determine what approach you take.
If you intend to lock all fields for a form, then you could apply one or all of the three form level properties to ‘No’:
- Allow Additions
- Allow Deletions
- Allow Edits
This will still allow users to click into a field and search for values across one or all fields and users will not have a clear indication of a form being locked without some additional formatting or clear captions to assist.
You can (as in the video) of course be selective and lock individual fields but first make sure the form level ‘Allow Edits’ is once again enabled (set to ‘Yes’).
You will find the following properties via the Data tab for a selected control(s):
One or both can be applied but note if you just set the ‘Enabled‘ property to ‘No’ then it will dim this in a grey looking style and automatically lock it as the cursor can no longer get the focus making the ‘Locked‘ property redundant.
If however, you wish to apply your own formatting (i.e. background shade) then you will need to also set the ‘Locked‘ property to ‘Yes’ too still maintaining a true lock (a disabled state).
By default, Microsoft Access does not provide standard templates for a ‘Read Only’ form but consider creating a generic one and then copy and paste Access database forms when wishing to quickly generate a locked form type which can also be imported from other databases too.
There are many other properties for a form and I have selected another 10 key properties that users should be in the know.
What properties do you like to use? Comment below and please share your experiences with others.