The more accustomed to working on Access you are, the more likely you are to make these mistakes when designing your forms. Bookmark this page so that you can periodically remind yourself how to avoid some of the most frustrating Access mistakes.
Microsoft Access has many good points, but there are simply some mistakes that nearly everyone makes. When it comes to your forms, you really cannot afford to be making mistakes that are easy to avoid.
To ensure you don’t become victim to the most common mistakes, take the time to read and periodically review this information. You may find that it saves you having to rework data, redevelop objects, or even have to have a Access file recovery done on your database.
1. Require Spell Check with Every Update
This seems like an obvious part of the process, but it is a step that is frequently skipped. It does not take that long to verify that everything is spelled properly. All you need to do is build spell check into the process.
Don’t forget that there are also hidden texts in labels and validation text fields that you need to check. Since they are hidden, it is more likely you will miss them. This can be incredibly embarrassing if you have copied the text from one box to another, then failed to update it or left it with placeholder information.
2. Track Your Hotkeys
Hotkeys are great, but you have to be careful when you assign them. If you duplicate a hotkey, you will quickly find yourself in trouble. The best way to avoid this mistake is to track and test your hotkeys twice when you make changes to the database.
3. Review the Order of Your Tabs
Users expect tabs to work a certain way. If Access does not take the user through in the expected order, you may find that data is entered incorrectly. Access should be setting the tab order by default, leading it from left to right.
Check your form to make sure that this is actually the way it works. If it is not working as you expect it to, you will need to determine the problem. If you want to change the default behavior (such as going top to bottom instead of left to right), you can. The key is to ensure the program acts as you intend it to.
4. Ensure AutoCenter is Yes
For a person entering data entry, one of the most annoying things to find when opening a form is to have half of it is hidden outside of the screen. The AutoCenter feature ensures this doesn’t happen. When set to Yes, the form will automatically center, letting the user see what they need to see from the start.
5. Ensure the Resize Property is Yes
Users appreciate when their forms automatically resize to fit their screen. When you have to start by adjusting the way a form looks, you lose focus on what is important. It’s a minor problem that is very annoying. By setting the Resize Property to Yes, you are making a much better user experience.
6. Properly Set up Combo Boxes
There are three parts of combo boxes that you need to ensure are set properly.
- The LimitToList property should be Yes. This limits users to only entering values provided by the list.
- The number of rows the combo box displays should be more than the default (8 or 16 depending on your Access version). The recommendation is 25 so that you won’t have to adjust it when you need to expand the list.
- The AutoExpand property of your combo boxes should be Yes. Since it auto-fills the field based on the drop down options, users definitely prefer that this feature is turned on.
Victor Ren is a data recovery expert in DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including repair xls data damage and word recovery software products. For more information visit www.datanumen.com