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Part 3: Creating Forms and Reports > Creating and Using Forms

Chapter 12. Creating and Using Forms

Access forms create the user interface to your tables. Although you can use Table view and Query view to perform many of the same functions as forms, forms offer the advantage of presenting data in an organized and attractive manner. You can arrange the location of fields on a form so that data entry or editing operations for a single record follow a left-to-right, top-to-bottom sequence. Forms let you create multiple-choice selections for fields that use shorthand codes to represent a set of allowable values. A properly designed form speeds data entry and minimizes operator keying errors.

Forms are constructed from a collection of individual design elements called controls or control objects. Controls are the components you see in the windows and dialogs of Access and other Windows applications. You use text boxes to enter and edit data, labels to hold field names, and object frames to display graphics. A form consists of a window in which you place two types of controls: some that display the data in your tables, and others that display static data such as labels or logos.

This chapter concentrates on creating forms that consist only of text-based controls. Part V, "Integrating Access with Other Office 97 Applications," provides explanations of object linking and embedding (OLE), the method Access uses to incorporate graphs and other graphical elements in forms and reports.

Access forms are versatile; they let you complete tasks that you cannot complete in Table view or Query view. You can validate entries based on information contained in a table other than the one you are editing. You can create forms that incorporate other forms (a form within a form is called a subform). Forms can calculate values and display totals. This chapter shows you how to create a form using the Access Form Wizard and how to modify the form to speed up data entry. Chapter 13, "Designing Custom Multitable Forms," explains how to use the Form Toolbox to add controls to forms, as well as how to establish default values and validation rules with forms.


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