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Creating a Form

Although you can work with your data quite easily in the table it is often helpful to create a form which will display one record at a time on the screen.  This makes it easier to see a lot of data at once, the information can be arranged in a sensible way for the purpose it will be put to (eg address fields underneath each other) and you can even use different font sizes and colours to make certain fields stand out.  To create a form, go to the Forms section of the database window and click on the New button. You will now see a window appear as below where you can choose the method you want to use to create your form.  Select the table or query that you want to use as the basis for your form from the drop-down list at the bottom of this window.

The easiest method from this window is probably the form wizard, this lets you choose the fields you want to place on your form and Access then arranges them automatically.  Click on the Form Wizard option from the list in the window as above and the wizard will let you select the table and fields for your form as below.  Click the arrows in the centre of the window to add or remove fields for your form.  The fields which will be on your form are shown on the right hand side of the window.

When the right hand list contains all the fields you require, click on the Next button and you will see the window shown below.

Click on one of the bullet marks in the window shown above to choose the type of layout you want for your form.  Probably the most commonly used is the Columnar layout, after you have selected this layout you can go into design view and move the fields to any position you like on the form.  The other three views all give a very table-like layout but if you are happy working in the database table you probably won’t need to create a form which looks like a table!  Click here to see some examples of the different form layouts.

When you have chosen the layout of your form, click on the Next button at the bottom of the window and you will be able to choose a design for your form.

The Standard option will give you a plain grey background but you will need to make sure you select that option if you do not want one of the fancy backgrounds!  Now click the Next button and you will see the window below.

Enter a name for your form which hasn’t been used before (it doesn’t matter if it is the same name as a table, but you can’t have two forms with the same name).  You also have an option in this window to change the design of the form but it is probably best to leave the option for entering information selected and to use Design View when you are in the form if you want to change anything.

Here is our completed form:

Another method for creating a form from a table or query is to use the AutoForm icon on the Standard toolbar.

To use this icon, click on the table or query that you want to use as the basis for your form in the Database Window and then click the small black arrow beside the AutoForm icon and select AutoForm from the menu that appears.

Your form will be created straight away and will appear on the screen.

The form is not yet saved, if you click the cross in the top right-hand corner of the form window you will see a message asking if you want to save the form.

Click Yes and you will see a suggested name for the form, you can change this if you wish.

Click OK and your form will be saved, you can open the form again by double-clicking on its name in the Forms section of the Database Window.

Click here to return to the Access index.