Reduce repetitive formatting for Access objects

Reduce repetitive formatting for Access objects

Summary: If you find yourself constantly making formatting adjustments to Access objects on the fly, you're bogging yourself down unnecessarily. A couple of tricks can save you tons of time: Either change control defaults for a particular form or report or customize a form or report and turn it into a template.


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    Objects come with a set of built-in properties that determine how they look and behave. As you create new forms, reports, and controls, you can adjust an object's default properties as required. But often, you'll find that objects require the same changes. For instance, you may want to use a font other than the default throughout your database. Changing the font for every new control on every form and report is inefficient. There are two ways to reduce your work when the default formats Access offers aren't adequate:

    • Change control defaults for the current form or report.
    • Use a custom form or report as a template.
  • If a control's default formats aren't adequate, you can change the default. There's a trick to the process, and it's not easy to discern. But it's easy to implement once you know how. Let's apply this trick to change a control's default background color:

    1. Open a blank form in Design view.
    2. Insert a text box control. Most likely the default background color is white, but it doesn't matter.
    3. To change the default background for subsequent text box controls, click the Text Box control in the Toolbox, but don't click inside the form.
    4. Click the Properties button. Notice that the resulting window's title bar identifies the current control as the Default Text Box.
    5. In the Properties sheet, change the Back Color property to any color other than the current color. (Click the Builder button to display an easy-to-use palette.) At this point, you can change as many properties as necessary.

Topics: Data Management, Data Centers, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Storage

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  • access ease of use

    Thanks, that's useful
  • Interesting, But....

    After looking at a few (not all of the screenshots), it's apparent that this HOWTO is directed at Access 2007 users. It mite be nice to note that in the initial text of the article....