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Old April 5th, 2007, 06:02 AM
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Default access autoformat on forms


What I would like to have is to create a new autoformat to use on all of my forms. I know I can customize an existing one, but this is not exactly what I want...

I would like to have a picture as a backgound on all of my forms, instead of using the access available formats. After using them for a while, I kind off start to 'hate' them...

What I have done so far is to use the forms 'Picture' property and set the 'picture size mode' to 'stretch' and the 'picture type' to 'linked' (otherwise the front-end is becoming to big, cause I have something like 30 to 40 forms).

This could do the trick, but I'm still not completely satisfied. When a form that has multiple subforms is opening, I can see that the picture is loading several times (1 for each form/subform). Here at home where I make this, is't not to bad, cause my computer is quite quick, but what if the user that will have the front-end has a much slower computer? This will make the loading of the picture everytime a form opens quite ugly and maybe annoying after a while...

This is the reasing why I would like to make a new one that I can select in the list. I guess this way, there would be no loading time... (but I might be wrong here). (I have already tried to customize an existing format with the picture added, but the loading picture pop-up also appears)

If anyone knows how to do this or even has a better idea, you're always welcome and I thank you already...

Old April 5th, 2007, 06:42 AM
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Hi Vince,

As far as I know, this is not possible, to put it simply, Access was not really designed to have a killer UI.

I think if you use an "Unbound Object Frame" you can insert an Image as "Linked" and its loads faster than the Forms Picture property, but then you have to create this frame on every form, and you may have layering issues etc.

Give it a whirl if you wish, if so, can you let me know the results, I have never used that on a large scale (like you would be).

You may then be able to create a hidden form with the OLE Object and Image in, and then set a reference to that in all the subforms (so you only need to change the one)..

Create an Unbound Object Frame on a form.
On each form that has a background pic:
Public Sub FormWhatever_OnLoad()
Set formsOwnUnbObjFrame = [Form_HiddenForm].ParentUnbObjFrame
'Add Code to Resize the control as necessary.
End Sub
Note: These are purely ideas as I have never put a lot of Images in the Access UI as it handles them pretty badly.

I hope this may give you some ideas.


Old April 5th, 2007, 09:30 AM
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I also had another idea, but I don't realy know if this can be done.

I have added a splash screen when the db opens. What I could do is to load every form then, because the splash screen works with a timer anyway... and then keep them loaded and show and hide them instead of opening and closing them. I know there is a load, show, hide and unload property in VB, but I don't know if VBA has these properties... (and if yes, how to use them)

If this is possible, it could also solve my problem, because I would only load the forms that will be used more often, and the ones that would be used from time to time or even rarely I would open and close normally... If these ones has to load the picture every time, it would not be that bad... The forms that will load on the splash screen would make the picture loading pop up to appear, but when you load the application and they only appear then is not too bad. This could be a solution I can live with :)

The only thing that would be important than, is that they hide instead of closing and there would be no window for the hidden forms on the taskbar.

Don't know if this is clear for you.

Old April 6th, 2007, 06:54 AM
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Another solution, of sorts, is to keep it simple. A lot can be said about having a plain background with a simple, small logo on the top corner of your forms. The logo can serve as a "Home" button; i.e. people click it and it takes them to the switchboard or main form. The advantages of this approach is that the forms are kept much easier to read this way and you have less eye strain reading forms sitting on top of photographs. There is such a thing as "too much."

Greg Serrano
Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality, Air Quality Division

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