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Goodies in 2003?

The conversion of my department's 12 machines has gone really well and
I have had no big problems with any of it. Now for another question --

Are there any new "goodies" in Access 2003 that are really helpful.
And I guess that I could say in 2002 as well as I started with 2000

Dec 18 '05 #1
2 1653
For reports, the Printer object, and OpenArgs for OpenReport.

2003 also offers you the ability to trace dependencies. But because this
requires Name AutoCorrect to be turned on, I've not found that usable.

The themed controls look pretty on Windows XP, but have problems such as tab
controls that don't respect their Transparent property, check boxes that
don't visually distinguish 3 states, and the flickering described in this

Allen Browne - Microsoft MVP. Perth, Western Australia.
Tips for Access users - http://allenbrowne.com/tips.html
Reply to group, rather than allenbrowne at mvps dot org.

"Deb" <ko*****@swbell.net> wrote in message
news:11**********************@g49g2000cwa.googlegr oups.com...
The conversion of my department's 12 machines has gone really well and
I have had no big problems with any of it. Now for another question --

Are there any new "goodies" in Access 2003 that are really helpful.
And I guess that I could say in 2002 as well as I started with 2000

Dec 18 '05 #2
Here is a re-post of some new featuers:

Also, here is a fabulous post by MVP John Viescas on this
very subject late last year. Incidentally, he has a book out on
Access 2003 so he really knows what he is talking about.
(This was comparing Access 2003 to 2002).

Here it is:
They didn't make any major changes. Here's a summary:

View information on object dependencies

In Microsoft Office Access 2003, you can view information
on dependencies between database objects. Viewing a list
of objects that use a specific object helps maintain a
database over time and avoid errors related to missing
record sources. For example, the Quarterly Orders query in
the Sales database is no longer needed, but before
deleting it, you might want to find out which other
objects in the database use the query. Then, you could
either change the record source of the dependent objects,
or delete them, before deleting the Quarterly Orders
query. Viewing a complete list of dependent objects helps
you save time and minimize errors.

In addition to viewing the list of objects that are bound
to a selected object, you can also view the objects that
are being used by the selected object.

Macros, modules, and data access pages are not searched
for dependencies. Access projects do not support this

Error checking in forms and reports

In Microsoft Office Access 2003, you can enable automatic
error checking for common errors in forms and reports.
Error checking points out errors, such as two controls
using the same keyboard shortcut, and the width of a report
being greater than the page it will be printed on.
Enabling error checking helps you identify errors and
correct them.

Propagating field properties

In previous versions of Microsoft Access, whenever you
modified a field's inherited property, you had to manually
modify the property of the corresponding control in each
of the forms and reports. Now, when you modify an
inherited field property in Table design view, Access
displays an option to update the property of all or some
controls that are bound to the field.

Smart tags

In Microsoft Office Access 2003, you can use the SmartTags
property to add a smart tag to any field in a table,
query, form, report, or data access page in a database.

Back up a database or project

You can back up the current database or project before
making major changes to it. The backup will be saved in
the default backup location, or in the current folder.

To restore a database, go to the location of the backup,
rename the file, and open it in Access.

Windows XP theme support

The Microsoft Windows XP operating system offers you
several themes. If you have chosen a theme other than the
default, Access will apply the chosen theme to views,
dialog boxes, and controls. You can prevent form controls
from inheriting themes from the operating system by
setting an option on the database or project.

Improved sorting in controls

You can now specify the ascending or descending sort order
of up to four fields in the List Box and Combo Box Wizards
in forms and reports, and the Lookup Wizard in an Access
database. The sort page added to these wizards looks and
behaves like the sort page in the Report Wizard.

Autocorrect options

In Microsoft Office Access 2003, you have more control
over the behavior of the AutoCorrect feature. The
AutoCorrect Options button appears near text that was
automatically corrected. If you find on occasion that you
don't want text to be corrected, you can undo a correction
or turn AutoCorrect options on or off by clicking the
button and making a selection.

Enhanced font capabilities in SQL views

In the SQL and query Design views of a query in both a
Microsoft Access database and Microsoft Access project,
you can now change the font and font size of the text by
using the Query design font option added to the
Tables/Queries tab of the Options dialog box under the
Tools menu. These settings apply to all databases and work
with the high-contrast and other accessibility settings of
your computer.

Context-based Help in SQL view

In the SQL view of a query in a Microsoft Access database,
you can now get help specific to Jet SQL keywords, VBA
functions, and Access functions. Simply press F1 to bring
up the help that corresponds to the text near the cursor.
You can also search the Jet SQL and VBA function reference

Importing, exporting, and linking

Importing, exporting, and linking to a Microsoft Windows
SharePoint Services list from Access

You can perform the following operations with a Windows
SharePoint Services list:

?Export the contents of a table or a query to a list.

?Import the contents of a list into a table.

?Link a table to a list.

Exporting and linking to Access data from Windows
SharePoint Services

You can now export a list in its Datasheet view from
Windows SharePoint Services to a static table or to a
linked table in Access. When you export to a static table,
you create a table in Access. You can then view and make
changes to the table independent of the original list in
Windows SharePoint Services. Similarly, you can change the
list in Windows SharePoint Services, and that will not
affect the table in Access.

When you export to a linked table, you create a table in
Access and establish a dynamic link between the table and
the list such that changes to the table are reflected in
the list, and changes to the list are reflected in the
table as well.

Make a local table from a linked table

In Microsoft Office Access 2003, you can make a local copy
of the structure or data and structure contained in a
linked table.

XML support

With the enhanced XML support in Microsoft Office Access
2003, you can specify a transform file when you import
data from or export data to XML. The transform is then
applied automatically. When you import XML data, the
transform is applied to the data as soon as the data is
imported, before any new table is created or an existing
one is appended to. When you export data to XML, the
transform is applied following the export operation.

Often times a database contains lookup values that are
stored in another database. You can now include these
related tables when exporting. You can also include any
predefined filter or sort order for an object when
exporting the object.

Security enhancements

Macro Security Microsoft Office Access 2003 allows you to
protect against potentially unsafe Visual Basic for
Applications (VBA) code by setting the macro security
level. You can set the security level so that you are
prompted every time that you open a database containing
VBA code, or you can automatically block databases that
are from unknown sources.

Additionally, Access uses Microsoft Authenticode
technology to enable you to digitally sign a macro project
by using a digital certificate. The certificate used to
create this signature confirms that the macro originated
from the signer, and the signature confirms that it has
not been altered. When you set the macro security level,
you can run macros based on whether they are digitally
signed by a developer on your list of trusted sources.

Block Potentially Unsafe Functions Access utilizes the
Microsoft Jet Expression Service enhanced sandbox mode to
block potentially unsafe functions from being used in

The last one is a real pain. You need to install JET SP8
from Windows Update (not included with Office 2003) to get
this to work properly. I suspect most folks will change
their macro security setting to Low to avoid the security


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