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Chapter 13. Advanced Form Design > Introducing ActiveX Controls—The Calendar Co...

Introducing ActiveX Controls—The Calendar Control

Although Access certainly provides a useful collection of controls to help you design your forms, for some tasks you might need something more complex. Access supports many ActiveX controls that provide functionality beyond the basic control set you can find in the form design toolbox. An ActiveX control is a small program that supports the ActiveX interface to allow Access to see the control’s properties and build a window to display the control’s user interface.

Microsoft Office 2003 installs dozens of ActiveX controls on your machine. It uses many of these in other applications such as Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 or Microsoft Office Excel 2003. As you’ll see later in Chapter 27, “Building Data Access Pages,” Access makes some of these controls available directly in the toolbox, such as Office PivotTable, Office Chart, and Office Spreadsheet. These controls are available for forms you design, but they’re not intended for that purpose. Controls that you can effectively use in your Access forms include the Calendar control (which presents a calendar to make it easy to select a date value), the ListView control (which allows you to navigate data in a tree structure), the ProgressBar control (which allows you to graphically display progress of a complex task, but you must write code to update the bar), and the Slider control (with which a user can set a value by moving a slider).


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