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Parts of a form - Nomenclature

Expert Mod 5K+
P: 5,397
Last Update - 2018-07-18

The brainchild behind this article is to help establish some sort of common naming of the basic parts of form construction and controls to assist our Experts and Members describe what is happening.

While this would seem to be basic common knowledge, there have been many threads where a lot of confusion could have been avoided if we were using the same name for the same control/section of the form

This is a work in progress

Main Access Window
How to even get to where we need to be to start designing a form and where is the form located...

So to start a basic form design one can use the Wizard and while this is great for some basic things we need t be able open a new form for design
On the ribbon, create tab, forms group, form design
[IMGnothumb][/IMGnothumb] -Note: if any the images are too small (I'm in the bi-focal crowd myself :) ) right-click on the attachment below and open in a new window or tab to see the larger image.

Notice the navigation form, these are NOT for the faint of heart, I'll have another article covering these love/hate forms... for a preview see here:
Post#2 these are very nice to use; however, have a lot of quirks

Also avoid split-forms - these are a nice concept; however, the implementation is difficult for many users to handle.

Ok if you have clicked on the correct control in the Ribbon>Create>Forms group it open a basic form in the design view - The initial form is blank and unbound


I've set the form's [Pop Up] property to true so you can more easily see the form separated from the Form's property sheet and added a few text boxes. Notice two things here; first, that I have the form selected as shown by the dot on the form and in the property section drop down list and second that this is an "unbound" form as I haven't set the [Record Source] property.

So the form when it's loaded for the user should look like this

Referring back to image <03_FrmDsgnVw.JPG> clicking on the tool box drop arrow will show all of the available controls one can add to a form
<05_FrmDsgnCtrlTBx.JPG> [imgnothumb][/imgnothumb]
Hovering you mouse over each tool will open a tool-tip that shows the name of the control, in order;
  • 1st Row: Select,Text Box, Label, Button (or Command Button), Tab Control, Hyperlink, Web Browser Control, Navigation Control, Option Group, Insert Page Break, Combo Box.
  • 2nd Row: Chart, Line, Toggle Button, List Box, Rectangle, Check Box, Unbound Object, Attachment, Option Button, Subform/Subreport, Bound Object Frame
  • 3rd Row: Image

In <05_FrmDsgnCtrlTBx.JPG> the [select] tool is active as well as the "User Control Wizards" - normally I do not use the control wizards so one of the first things I do is toggle that setting off – other than toggling the Wizards, this article will not go into the “Set…” or “ActiveX…” options.

The [select] tool is the only tool that does not have a presence on the form itself; however, when it is active the select tool allows you to select the form, control object, or set of control objects on the form – hovering your mouse over this tool will provide you with a short description of its behavior

So, because there is a limit on the number of attachments for each post, I’ll be putting each control on its own post as it appears initially when added to a form in its unbound state along with its name and, when applicable, links to object references, etc… I invite my fellow moderators to edit each post to add any additional context.

>> In order to keep this article easy to read, please post any feedback, suggestions, or complaints to this thread:
instead posting into the Insight Article

Thank You
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 01_AccessGUI.JPG (129.7 KB, 1761 views)
File Type: jpg 02_CreateForm.JPG (70.6 KB, 780 views)
File Type: jpg 03_FrmDsgnVw.JPG (166.2 KB, 1298 views)
File Type: jpg 04_FormSmpleView.JPG (61.7 KB, 566 views)
File Type: jpg 05_FrmDsgnCtrlTBx.JPG (30.7 KB, 564 views)
Jul 18 '18 #1
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Expert Mod 5K+
P: 5,397
Text Box and Label controls

Because the Label and the Text box are so intimately related, it seems fitting to cover them both in "one go:"

The “Text Box” (or “TextBox”) control when it’s added to a form will normally include a default “Label” control that is associated with the TextBox control.
For the TextBox shown here are when the TextBox is completely unbound, when it is bound to the form’s record-set, and finally a calculated value. I’ve set the caption for each associated Label to reflect the TextBox’s state.

For the Label, shown are the Labels associated with the TextBox controls and a few unassociated Labels in the header and footer sections of the form. Labels can appear anywhere on the form; however, keep in mind that Label controls in the detail section will repeat with each record.

Not shown - but you can also place a TextBox controls (and most other controls) in the page header/footer and form header/footer sections.

And, of course, what the control looks like when the form is loaded and active...

> The most common mistake is to use the name “Text Box” when referring to a “Label” – these two names are not interchangeable:
  • “Text Box” controls have “Values” and usually display record values, calculated results, or are for user data entry
  • “Label” controls have “Captions” and are usually used to display static information; however, I often use these to display information that is not stored in the database to users about the status of queries or other information that I do not want them to interact with instead of using a locked textbox

for more detail about the inner workings here are some starting points:
Relocating the post - working
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 101_TextBox_Design.JPG (163.4 KB, 575 views)
File Type: jpg 102_TextBox_Form.JPG (58.2 KB, 588 views)
Jul 18 '18 #2

Expert Mod 5K+
P: 5,397
Button or Command Button

The command button consists of the object itself and the caption within.
It's simple.
It's direct

[IMGnothumb] 8[/IMGnothumb]

Microsoft: CommandButton Object (Access)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 200_CommandButton.JPG (48.7 KB, 543 views)
Aug 7 '18 #3

Expert Mod 5K+
P: 5,397
Tab Control
<under construction>




There is some more detail about this control here: if you read through this thread hopefully the need for a common naming scheme is apparent, otherwise, we spend a lot of time just trying to figure out what we're talking about.

Microsoft: TabControl Object (Access)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 300_DrawTabControl.JPG (103.0 KB, 522 views)
File Type: jpg 301_TabControlParts.JPG (94.5 KB, 552 views)
File Type: jpg 302_TabControlPartsAddCtrl.JPG (95.7 KB, 913 views)
File Type: jpg 303_OnTabPgCtrlsAreDffrnt.jpg (47.3 KB, 904 views)
Aug 7 '18 #4

P: 38
I've just now seen this even though you posted it a couple years ago, so I'll put comments here instead of the other thread as you asked ...

zmbd, Your terms look good!

1. Nice! typo: Navigation Pan

2. Totally agree about not using Navigation forms! 'a lot of quirks' is putting it mildly ... they can't handle complex logic with multiple copies of a subform and are referenced differently which makes you always have to look up the right syntax. Their big benefit seems to be loading on demand -- but then they UNLOAD! While performance is faster to open the form, and less connections are being used, in the end performance would be better using a tab control and loading when the tab is activated/unloading when form is unloaded or sooner if desired.

shortcuts in lower right good to point out, but I wouldn't call them shortcuts; perhaps commands, tools, or icons.

not sure about 'Form section dropdown list' for
the object drop-down list on the Property Sheet

4. Good. Personally, I'd drop "Form" from the beginning of everything though. Maybe also point out the scrollbar, scroll box, and scroll arrows?

5. Oh how I miss vertical toolbars for the toolbox! Getting the tool you want was faster. At least we can dock the Edit toolbar in VBA along the side ;) ... and list them vertically in documentation ~
Sep 14 '20 #5