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Open forms and popups, navigation; suggestions

P: n/a
Hello,

I have a main form that is maximized when my application loads; this
main form contains links to all other forms. I've had to specify the
Popup property of these other forms, so that they are not maximized
when they load. Unfortunately, this seems to have had the consequence
of removing them from the Windows taskbar, which makes navigating
between open forms more difficult.
How would you developers deal with navigation between open forms when
you can't use the taskbar?

Thank you,
Robert Waters

Dec 24 '06 #1
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4 Replies


P: n/a
Robert, you asked how others deal with this, so you probably expect
different answers from different people.

My personal approach is not to maxmize forms, not to use popups (except for
a special purpose), and not to use Windows in Taskbar. Users can therefore
switch between forms just by dragging them into position so they can see the
overlapping forms they want, and click them. Alternatively, they can choose
the one they want on the Window menu.

In Access 2007, you have the choice of overlapping forms (as above) or
tabbed documents.

--
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.

"robert.waters" <ro***********@gmail.comwrote in message
news:11**********************@42g2000cwt.googlegro ups.com...
>
I have a main form that is maximized when my application loads; this
main form contains links to all other forms. I've had to specify the
Popup property of these other forms, so that they are not maximized
when they load. Unfortunately, this seems to have had the consequence
of removing them from the Windows taskbar, which makes navigating
between open forms more difficult.
How would you developers deal with navigation between open forms when
you can't use the taskbar?

Thank you,
Robert Waters

Dec 24 '06 #2

P: n/a
IMHO ...

I try to mimic the two GUI interfaces that users are most likely already
familiar with: Windows, and the Web.

In Windows, form navigation is through pull down menus. The problem with
this is that you usually have to know what you're looking for already, as
pull-down menus don't 'browse' very well.

On the web, most menus are on the left-hand side, and are either shown as a
simple list or as a treeview. This seems like the easiest way to 'browse'
an application, and keep the form choices visible, especially for new users
of the app.

Another choice is tabs, as in Opera tabbed browsing and Excel spreadsheets.
The Windows taskbar is really just a version of that, using buttons instead
of tabs. While this is great for having many open windows or documents, I
have found that it is not so great for forms that you want users to actually
use. For some reason, users do not see tabs that same way as drop-down or
left-side menus, and they tend to ignore forms that are not on the top tab.
I would only use tabs for documents that they create/open themselves, not
for your forms.

The last method is the switchboard, where all the navigation buttons are
visible at once. Really, the only place you see this is in Access apps and
TV/Cable/VCR remote controls, and if you've ever tried to use an all-in-one
remote control, then you know what users feel like when they try to use a
switchboard controlled app.
--
Darryl Kerkeslager

"robert.waters" <ro***********@gmail.comwrote
Hello,

I have a main form that is maximized when my application loads; this
main form contains links to all other forms. I've had to specify the
Popup property of these other forms, so that they are not maximized
when they load. Unfortunately, this seems to have had the consequence
of removing them from the Windows taskbar, which makes navigating
between open forms more difficult.
How would you developers deal with navigation between open forms when
you can't use the taskbar?

Dec 24 '06 #3

P: n/a
robert.waters wrote:
Hello,

I have a main form that is maximized when my application loads; this
main form contains links to all other forms. I've had to specify the
Popup property of these other forms, so that they are not maximized
when they load. Unfortunately, this seems to have had the consequence
of removing them from the Windows taskbar, which makes navigating
between open forms more difficult.
How would you developers deal with navigation between open forms when
you can't use the taskbar?
I use a menubar. I rarely put buttons on forms (maybe on something like
a calendar to advance a year) and my initial screen is invariably grey
and blank. One great thing about menus is that their controls
(commands) are always available. Another is that they can act
independently of the current situation.

Buttons are wonderful manifestations of an operating system in which I
used to program extensively (and successfully I might add). It is
called DOS. I made wonderful, powerful, beautiful buttons.

Menu Controls are wonderful manifestations of an operating system in
which I now program extensively (and, before I retired, successfully,
I might add). It is called Windows. I make dull, powerful, pathetic
little grey menu controls. They work. Users like that. So do I.

Dec 24 '06 #4

P: n/a
Lyle Fairfield wrote:
I use a menubar. I rarely put buttons on forms (maybe on something
like a calendar to advance a year) and my initial screen is
invariably grey and blank. One great thing about menus is that their
controls (commands) are always available. Another is that they can act
independently of the current situation.

Buttons are wonderful manifestations of an operating system in which I
used to program extensively (and successfully I might add). It is
called DOS. I made wonderful, powerful, beautiful buttons.

Menu Controls are wonderful manifestations of an operating system in
which I now program extensively (and, before I retired, successfully,
I might add). It is called Windows. I make dull, powerful, pathetic
little grey menu controls. They work. Users like that. So do I.
Yet there are many buttons in Windows apps (and Windows itself).

On those occassions where I have given users both options they have almost
universally preferred menu forms with buttons and/or links over menu bars in the
parent window.

IMO each has their place being superior in some situations and inferior in
others.

--
Rick Brandt, Microsoft Access MVP
Email (as appropriate) to...
RBrandt at Hunter dot com

Dec 24 '06 #5

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