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Key Points

  • A form is an organized and formatted view of some or all of the fields from one or more tables or queries. Forms work interactively with the tables in a database. You use controls in the form to enter new information, to edit or remove existing information, or to locate information.

  • When you know what table to base your form on, and have an idea of how the form will be used, you can use the Form Wizard to quickly create a form. You can make modifications to the form in Design view.

  • The two most common views to use in forms are Form view, in which you view or enter data, and Design view, in which you add controls, change form properties, and change the form layout.

  • In a form, each text box (the box where data is entered or viewed) is bound—or linked—to a specific field in the form’s underlying table. The table is the record source and the field is the control source. Each control has a number of properties, such as font style, size and color, which you can change to improve a form’s appearance.

  • In Design view, you can resize any of the three basic sections of a form: the Form Header, Detail, and Form Footer. You can customize any section of your form’s layout by adding and deleting labels, moving labels and text controls, and adding logos and other graphics. The most popular controls are stored in the Toolbox.

  • The objects in your form can recognize and respond to events, which are essentially actions. But without a macro or VBA procedure attached to it, an event doesn’t actually do anything. Knowing how to handle events can greatly increase the efficiency of objects, such as forms. For example, as you enter the first and last names of a new customer, your form could respond to one (or more) events to create an ID based on the customer’s first and last name.

  • The quickest way to create a form that includes all the fields from one table is to use an AutoForm, which can easily be customized later in Design view.

  • If you want to display fields from several tables or queries in one form, you have to give some thought to the relationships that must exist between those objects. In Access, a relationship is an association between common fields in two tables, and you can relate the information in one table to the information in another table. There are three types of relationships that Access recognizes: one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many.

  • After you define a relationship between tables, you can add subforms to your forms. For example, for each category displayed in your main form, you might have a subform that displays all the products in that category.

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