How to Create Your Own Split Form in Access using VBA

Split forms in Access are extremely useful. Unfortunately, they do not work when you place them inside a navigation form. Learn how you can create a VBA function that will simulate Access’ split form functionalities and make it work even inside a navigation form.

Split form allows you to have two views of your records at the same time – form view and datasheet view. It allows you to have an overview of all your records while at the same time giving you an option to view and edit them one by one.

Unfortunately, split forms will not work when you put them inside a navigation form – something that baffles me. Good thing there’s a workaround for this. Using VBA, you can create your own function that will be simulating Access’ split form. Just follow the steps below.

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If you want to start to use the feature as soon as possible, then you can:

Download the Sample Database with VBA Codes Now

Otherwise, if you want to DIY, you can read the contents below.

Steps to Create Your Own Split Form in Access using VBA

1. Open your split form and update the Default View to Single Form. Open Your Split Form And Update The Default View To Single Form

  1. Open your split form.
  2. While in design view, select the form.
  3. Go to the Property Sheet (ALT + Enter) > Form tab.
  4. Change default view to: Single Form.
  5. Close the form and save.

2. Create a copy of the form. This will serve as the datasheet view.

  1. Go to the navigation pane.
  2. Right click on your form and select Copy.
  3. Right click on a blank area in the navigation pane and select Paste.
  4. Change the Form name. Append it with “_Datasheet”.


  • Form: Members
  • Copy of the Form: Members_Datasheet

3. Open the Datasheet Form and update its form view properties.

  1. Open the Datasheet form.
  2. While in design view, select the form.
  3. Go to the Property Sheet > Form tab.
  4. Update the following properties:
    • Default View: Datasheet
    • Allow Datasheet View: Yes
    • Allow Form View: No
  5. Close the form and save.

4. Reopen the Main Form and add the Datasheet Form as subform.

  1. Open the main form (the one that was copied) in design view.
  2. Add a subform.
    • Go to Design menu. Select Subform/Subreport.Select Subform
    • Click on the Detail area of the form.
    • The SubForm Wizard will appear.The SubForm Wizard

1. Click on ‘Use an existing form’.

2.Select your datasheet form.

3.Click Next.Select 'Define My Own’

4.Select ‘Define my own’.

5.Click Finish.

3. The datasheet form is now a subform of your main form. Adjust it to your desired size and position.

5. Finally, add the code.

  1. Open the VBA Editor (ALT + F11).
  2. Select the main form and paste the code that follows.Select The Main Form And Paste The Code
Option Explicit

Private Sub Form_AfterUpdate()
End Sub

Private Sub Form_Current()
   If Me.NewRecord Then
   End If
End Sub
  1. After copying the code, replace all instances of the word Members_Datasheet with the actual name of your datasheet form.
  2. When done, select your Datasheet Form from the Project menu and copy the code below.
Option Explicit

Private Sub Form_AfterUpdate()
End Sub

Private Sub Form_Current()

  Dim pk_field As String, pk_tbox As Control
  Dim primaryKey As String, strSearch As String
  Set pk_tbox = Me.Member_ID 'textbox containing primary key *
  pk_field = "Member_ID" 'primary key field name *

  primaryKey = Nz(pk_tbox.Value, 0) 'change value to 0 if null
  pk_field = "[" & pk_field & "]" 'enclose field name with brackets
  If primaryKey <> 0 Then 'if not null (or not a new record)
    strSearch = pk_field & "=" & primaryKey
    Me.Parent.Recordset.FindFirst strSearch
  End If

End Sub
  1. Update the values for the following variables:
  • pk_tbox – refers to the text box containing the primary key.
  • pk_field – refers to the record source’s primary key field.

They each have an asterisk (*) in the comment section so you can easily find them.

  1. When done, save the changes (CTRL + S) and close the VBA Editor.

Now, you can add your very own split form inside the navigation form.  Try it out!

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2 responses to “How to Create Your Own Split Form in Access using VBA”

  1. Hi,
    really nice to see that.Is it possible to take this code to open a form? I do not want the whole database to protect only certain forms?

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