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Chapter 4. Working with Forms > Modifying Controls

Modifying Controls

Access allows you to assign an AutoFormat to your form when you create it with a wizard. If none of the pre-fabricated looks is quite what you're looking for, you can easily customize your controls'appearance with a few mouse clicks.

There are three different ways, for instance, that you can modify the color of your control. Changing a control's fill/back color modifies the control's interior or background color; changing a control's fore/font color changes the control's text; and changing the border/line color changes the outline of the control (or a freestanding line) to the chosen color.

Changing a control's color is just one example of how you can modify your controls, you can also change the font the control's text appears in or the thickness and style of the control's border.

To modify a control:

1.
Click the Forms icon in the Objects pane of the main database window ( Figure 4.25 ).

Figure 4.25. Clicking the Forms icon displays the forms in your database.


2.
Select the form you want to modify.

3.
Click the Design button on the toolbar ( Figure 4.26 ).

Figure 4.26. The Design button opens your form to change.


4.
Click the control you want to change and click the drop-down menu button corresponding to the aspect of the control you want to change ( Figure 4.27 ).

Figure 4.27. Click the toolbar button corresponding to the aspect of the object you want to change.


5.
Click a color from the palette that appears ( Figure 4.28 ).

Figure 4.28. The basic color palette.


To pick a custom color:

1.
Click the control you want to modify and click the Properties toolbar button.

2.
In the Properties dialog box, click the Format tab and click the specific property you want to change.

For this example, we chose Back Color ( Figure 4.29 ).

Figure 4.29. Click the property you want to change.


3.
Click the Build button that appears next to the property's text box.

The Color dialog box appears. The default palette here is larger than the previous one, but you can open an even more powerful color-choosing tool.

4.
Click the Define Custom Colors button ( Figure 4.30 ).

Figure 4.30. Click the Define Custom Colors button to display more than the basic set of colors.


5.
Click the color you want from the color spectrum, and then click OK ( Figure 4.31 ).

Figure 4.31. Click the color on the spectrum that you want to apply to your object.


6.
Close the Properties dialog box. Access applies the color to the control.

Tip

The Fill/Back, Fore/Font, and Line/Border toolbar buttons display the last color applied with that button. To apply the color to another control, simply click the button.


Tip

You can change your color's brightness by clicking the spectrum at the far right of the expanded Color dialog box, which runs from white at the top to black at the bottom. The current brightness is indicated by a left-pointing arrow.


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