MS Access forms are ways of making your data entry convenient, safe without exposing its profound work to most database users and provide a smooth workflow reflecting business practices. The benefit of taking the time to build good and workable forms will pay dividends later.
Importing/Creating The Database
In creating an access form, the first thing you need to do is to either import or create the database. As a pre-step, follow the simple steps below:
- When you open your Microsoft Access 2013, select “Blank desktop database”.
- To import the database, go to “External Data” tab then select XML file or another file format.
- Browse the location where you either unzip the file or load the file and click the OK button.
Microsoft Access Database 2013 Tutorial On Forms
An Ms Access Form is a customisable design object that allows users to have an accessible and easier database experience. A well-designed form supports efficiency and improves data entry accurateness. Therefore, it is worth learning the fundamentals such as tables to save yourself time, editing costly errors.
Creating The Form
Here are the steps in creating an ms access form:
- From the “create” tab, select FORM.
- Click “quick save” in the top right screen.
- Then you can simply drag and drop the form fields.
- If you want to delete a field, you can right click it and select “delete” from the options.
Alternatively, you can use the Access form wizard tool to step through various screens but will require some housekeeping once it has finished generating the form for you (more steps later).
There are a wide range of design options in the Form Layout Tools context tab. To further customise your form, check out the following:
- Instant theme changes
- Colour and font selections
- Header and footer options
- Additional field creation
- Form controls: buttons, navigation tools, lists, menus and sub forms
In the Form Layout Tools tab, you can select any of the form customisation fields that will improve the appearance of your form. Try each of those to see how your form transforms from a plain and very basic look into a more sophisticated design.
If that isn’t engaging enough for you, you can also select some sensible options, too. To do that, go back to the “home” tab where you can find the view option. Here you can navigate through the existing form views.
Form Creation Made Easy Through Form The Wizard Tool
Microsoft have included a rather manageable Form Wizard to allow the skipping of the grubby, hands-on detail.
The Access Form Wizard is a beneficial, express form development tool that puts you in the driving seat for design, and provides you with presets for columns, rows, table sizes, styles and themes.
The wizard enables you to quickly decide which form style suits your database and user requirements.
Types of MS Access Forms
You might not always need to import a database and set up a plain form. There are some other form formats, depending on your data, as well as design controls to support user navigation.
The Four Form Formats
Single Table Form It is a single form which corresponds to a single database table. It is functional, simple and can be used to accomplish a number of tasks.
Single Table Form with Lookup Field Still using just a single form and single database setup, the lookup field lets us to show data from another table or database, or scheme the summarised values of a data range. The data is ‘looked up’ as required.
Master/Detail Form Master to Sub form relationship i.e. one master form directs many sub forms.
Master/Detail Form with Lookup Field The same master/sub form relationship, but with additional lookup fields in either the master or sub forms.
One of these four form formats will be found in almost every Access database form, so you should take time to make yourself familiar with their appearance, strengths, weaknesses and where they should be applied.
Use The Properties Sheet
The Properties Sheet is a jolly useful sidebar that is found in the Form Layout Tools tab. It comprises reams of useful information about your form and you can use it to quickly edit, modify and toggle numerous options.
The permutations of setting combined properties will change the look and feel as well as the behaviour of a form so it will take a while to master.
Hide A Field
Microsoft Access lets you hide individual field entries so others will not be able to access it. How you do that – Select the field you want to hide. When you select the field, the properties sheet should update and you’ll be able to toggle field visibility through a drop-down box (Visible = True/false).
Lock Your Form Up
If you want other users to have access to your database but you don’t want them to edit data with the finely tuned inner-workings of your tables and queries, and especially not any of your programming VBA or macro code, you can lock your form up. Simply follow the steps here:
- On the properties sheet, scroll through the top drop-box to find FORM.
- On the tab ‘Data’, you will need to set properties to ‘NO’ including Allow Edits, Additions, Deletions and Data Entry.
- Switch to design view (if not already so).
- In the properties sheet drop-down box, find FORM.
- Toggle Allow Layout View to NO −this stops any additional users accessing the layout view, where they could directly edit the Form.
There are many others – just a snippet here!
Save your current database. Make several copies of your original database file, in case of a database corruption. Next, convert the file from .accdb to .accde which will also add some extra protection and seal the database (not covered in detail here). In this manner, any further design changes or field editing will be restricted. Then we can now distribute our database!
To learn more about form designs and get a better handle of Microsoft Access databases, please take a look at our six eBook bundle offer which covers the main components with examples and design processes. All come with a 30 day money back guarantee (if not satisfied) – what do you have to lose?