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  1. #1
    jeffhook
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    Fill/BackColor- page tabs on forms (Access 97 SR1)

    I guess I should apologize for bringing an
    Office 97 question all the way from the remote "Stone Age" to this
    forum. I'm a complete Access 97 novice. I simply never used my
    aging Office 97 Professional edition copy of Access until now. I've
    made some progress on my own so far in my overall use of this
    application, by noodling along in the program, by ransacking Office 97
    Help, and by running a raft of searches on Google (where I read many
    tutorials), but I've been unable to find a specific mention of my
    problem, so here I am.

    MY OBJECTIVE:

    I wish to remove the solid background color (it might be called "fill")
    which appears on the tabs ("tab controls") which I use for
    a two-page form in Access 97. Alternatively I'd like to know how I can operate the
    Fill/Back Color Formatting Toolbar button for the tabs themselves in
    Form Design View. That button is functional for all my labels and
    text boxes which I've installed
    ON the tabs, but it's shaded for the tabs themselves, even though
    right-clicking the tabs produces the same type of formatting pop-up
    menu as I obtain by right-clicking on the labels or on the text boxes
    of my form in Design View. (This is a more specific query, as my
    preliminary investigation suggests this MIGHT be the direction in
    which I MIGHT find a solution, but I really am floundering in this
    new application which I don't know at all, so I have no idea if this
    "hunch" is reasonable.)

    HOW I CREATED THE FORM WHICH I'M USING:

    I should mention that I've created this tentative two-page form by
    using the Tabs tool in the tool box, and by
    then expanding the tabs OVER the blank form which first appears in the
    Design View display. (The tab controls therefore slightly overlap the form,
    which can't be seen under the tab controls.) That in itself might have been an error, but
    there seemed no alternative. (The two tabs were wholly of the
    undesired solid background color when I first created them in this
    way.) I then used the Design View tool bar's Field List button to
    display a drop-down list of the fields in my table. I used
    Ctrl+left-click to select non-consecutive fields, which I then clicked
    and dragged ONTO THE TABS THEMSELVES. I saw no way to format one
    form and then to apply two tabs to it, or to format two forms and then
    to join them together somehow with tabs. I suspect I've used the tabs
    correctly by expanding them to the desired size (c. 4 x 6 inches) and
    by then applying the labels and text boxes (i.e. the "controls") onto
    them. Clicking and dragging fields from the Field List to the two
    tabs meant I originally had a selection of non-formatted
    fields ON the two solid-color tabs. I was then able to format those
    fields (i.e. their labels and their text boxes) exactly as I wished,
    but they're still surrounded by that residual solid color in which the
    tabs originally appeared. (It's like the "cosmic background radiation
    from the 'Big Bang' "...) This "background color" or "background
    fill" prints on paper exactly as it appears on the screen.

    DETAILS OF THE CURRENT FORMATTING OF MY FORM:

    I should also mention the desired formatting which I've used for
    my text boxes and for my labels. If these details are irrelevant
    please skip the next paragraph. The formatting is:

    Allow Auto-Correct: No; Visible: Yes; Display when: Always; Enabled:
    Yes (When I selected No in response to that query the entirety of
    each of the two tabs was "filled in" with the undesired background
    color and the black text in the labels and in the text boxes was all
    shaded. This was a disaster, as it was the OPPOSITE of the effect
    which I desire.); Locked: No; Auto Tab: No; Back Style: Normal (When
    I select "transparent" I lose the desired white background color of
    the labels and of the text boxes and it's replaced with the undesired
    background color.); Back color: White (i.e. 16777215); Special
    effect: flat; Border style: solid; Border color: white (i.e.
    16777215); Border width: hairline; fore color: Black (i.e. 0) I find
    no explanation anywhere in Office 97 Help of the word "Detail," which
    appears on a horizontal bar which is immediately above the two tabs,
    only in Design View. I don't know if it's relevant to my problem.

    INTENDED USE OF THE FORM:

    I wish to create an Access 97 database which I can use to print both
    sides of 6 x 4 inch blank index cards. I'll develop only a handful of
    different forms at most, and all will refer to the fields in one common
    table. I've managed to stumble along and to produce the effect which
    I desire IF I use one separate form for each side of each card. In the
    single-page mode (i.e. with no tab controls) there never is any "solid background
    color" (such as appears on the multi-page-form tab controls) to begin with.
    When these single-page forms are printed on paper only the text
    box labels and their contents appear in black on the white paper of
    the cards, which is exactly the effect I wish to produce in my
    two-page forms. I wish to produce cards with NO background color
    at all. These are replacements of simple handwritten cards, and I
    wish them to consist only of simple black inscriptions on the plain
    white paper, without visible text box margins or other formatting features.
    If I could only remove this "background color" or "background shading"
    from the two-page form which I've created, that form would be perfect
    for my intended purpose; it has no other defects.

    It seems my best option would be to use tab controls to create
    two-paged forms. This would keep the data for the two sides of each card
    together more effectively than I would by creating separate forms for
    each side of each card. The two pages would be "front" and "back"
    or "obverse" and "reverse." It seems I could first print all the "obverse"
    tabs which are in a new series of two-page forms, I could then turn the
    paper pages over, return them to my printer, and print all the "reverse"
    tabs in that series of new forms on the backs of the first pages, so the
    "obverse" and "reverse" of each card would be "back-to-back" on one
    sheet of paper, which I could then cut into 6 x 4 inch cards. (As you might
    imagine, as I live here in "The Stone Age" I have a primitive printer
    which I don't think is able to print objects as small as 6 x 4 inch
    index cards.)

    Can anyone tell me how to induce this wonderful application to
    produce my desired effect? Surely it CAN do what I'm hoping of it ...

    Thanks very much,

    Jeff Hook
    NJ, USA

  2. #2
    Gold Lounger
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    Re: Fill/BackColor- page tabs on forms (Access 97 SR1)

    >>but I've been unable to find a specific mention of my
    problem, so here I am.<<

    See, if you had come here first, you wouldn't have had all of that frustration!

    You can't change the backcolor of the Tabs or the TabPages. This is controlled by the Windows color scheme chosen by the user. The best you can do is put a label or image control on the tabpage, and make its dimensions fit the page. Once you have placed it on the form, from the Main Menubar select Format | Send-to-Back to place the control behind all the other controls on the page.
    Mark Liquorman
    See my website for Tips & Downloads and for my Liquorman Utilities.

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Changing Tab Control Color

    No apologies needed. Access 97 was a solid product and it still widely used. The government office where I work as a contractor only went to Office 2000 less than a year ago. <img src=/S/shrug.gif border=0 alt=shrug width=39 height=15>

    I don't understand what you mean by creating two-page forms for a card in the first place, but I would question why you're trying to print these with forms when it makes more sense to use reports. Reports don't have any background color to deal with unless you add it and you can lay them out to print both pages of your record simply by the way you design the report.

    Tab controls are gray, period. You can change them to transparent to show the backcolor of the underlying form, and you can change *that* to white. The tabs themselves and the tab strip to the right of the tabs will always remain gray. You can turn off the tabs but then you would need another means of navigating the pages. And you can create a subform with a white backcolor and position that in the same area as the gray strip. The subform will float to the top when the report is opened, effectively hiding the tab strip. However, a report is still a better way to do what you're trying to accomplish.
    Charlotte

  4. #4
    jeffhook
    Guest

    Re: Changing Tab Control Color

    "Good golly Miss Molly!" What a SUPERB reply!

    First, as I just said to Mark, allow me to apologize for the verbosity of my query, which resulted from my attempt to provide as much information as I could, even though I had no real idea of what might be relevant. I attempted to "moderate" the "repulsive" effect of so much text by breaking it up with topic headings.

    Charlotte, your advice is precisely of the type which I

  5. #5
    jeffhook
    Guest

    Re: Changing Tab Control Color

    (Please bear with me! I hope I don't try your patience! You may choose to think of me as the spokesman for all the absolute neophytes who must be reading this very authoritative board in search of some elementary-level guidance. )


    Because you thought I should be using "reports" rather than "forms," and because I knew next to nothing about reports, I attempted to investigate them. It seems a major distinction between reports and forms is that a single report can relate to many individual records, while a single form might display only one record. It seems I failed to clarify that all I wish to do (to begin) IS to set up ONE record for each paper index card and then to print EACH RECORD in my database on a SEPARATE paper index card. Therefore I only wish to include a SINGLE record in each "printed unit," whether that "unit" is a "form," a "report," or whatever.

    It seems all databases grow record-by-record, as new records are added, and it seems they may eventually reach the size at which reports can extract information from them and can analyze that information usefully. However, my database hasn't even been CREATED yet and therefore it has no contents which any reports could analyze. Its first record will be the "electronic equivalent" of a paper index card. There'll be a one-to-one correlation in this database between each record and its printed version on paper. (As I'll be using one common table, with several different types of paper index cards, each of which will correspond to one record, some of the fields will be blank in some of the records, and, of course, those unused fields won't even be printed on the paper versions of those records.)

    I certainly anticipate using Access's ability to analyze my data when my new database has grown large enough that this would be productive, but my initial purpose is simply to replace handwritten index cards with computer-printed cards. This database will exist only as a collection of "digitized" paper index cards, each of which will comprise one record. Although I plan to create several different types of cards, I plan to add one new record to the common "table" for each new individual card of those different types. I stress I'm not at the stage at which I wish to compose reports which will sort and combine the records in my database; I'm at the stage at which I just wish to build this new database from the ground up, by accretion.

    Does this clarification that I only wish to print one record for each 6 x 4" paper index card change your assessment of the situation, or am I still "way off base" in my understanding of reports?

    The attempt to assure that each record in the database is in a "two-page" format is simply an attempt to reproduce electronically the format which I used when the cards where handwritten. Each of the blank paper index cards onto which my records will be printed has two sides ("front and back" or "obverse and reverse"). When I was handwriting these cards I was writing on both sides of them, and now I wish to retain that format, so I'm allocating some of the fields in each record to one side and the rest to the other.

    Thanks for your continued help and for your patience. If, after this additional clarification you confirm your belief I should be using reports rather than forms I'll dive in and I'll study reports.

    Jeff Hook

  6. #6
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: Changing Tab Control Color

    Hi Jeff

    I am new to all electronic wizadry and have not used 97, I beleive the following for A2000 was the same for 97 though.

    We prefer to print a form page rather than a report because it is so much easier to print just the page you want (Watch me get shot down in flames now). In design view I would firstly right click on any empty space on your form and choose the background as white. On the greyed command buttons right click and on the view properties set to screen only (these buttons will not now print). Select 'File, 'Page Setup' and set your margins making sure they corrospond with your form. I know nothing about duplex printing except that if you have the right machine to do it or you replace the paper manually.

    I shall now retire to the comfort of my trench and wait for the bombs to fall.

    Regards

    Steve
    Cheers

    Steve

    Asking the questions everbody wants the answers too but feels too stupid to ask themselves :-)

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Changing Tab Control Color

    <hr>We prefer to print a form page rather than a report because it is so much easier to print just the page you want <hr>
    Sorry, but it's normally harder to print just the page you want in a form than it is a report. With a report you can either filter the recordset down to the single record you want or you can specify the preview page you want to print. If you try that with a form, you'll get all the screens/records that will fit into one page. <img src=/S/shrug.gif border=0 alt=shrug width=39 height=15>
    Charlotte

  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Changing Tab Control Color

    We try to help with answers to all levels of questions, from absolute novice to quite advances, so don't be shy about asking.
    <hr>single form might display only one record<hr>
    This is a perception. In fact a form displays all the records, but when you set the form to Single Form view, you only *see* one at a time. If you try to print this, the result will depend on the size of your form. If it's small, you will print as many forms as will fit on a page. With a report, you can filter the recordset down to a single record if you wish. You can also print each record on a separate page.
    <hr>This database will exist only as a collection of "digitized" paper index cards, each of which will comprise one record<hr>
    I don't quite understand what you mean by this. Are you printing these things or not? If so, why? The point of the database is to give you quick access to the information without having to shuffle a bunch of pieces of paper. There isn't any real need to have the electronic version look identical to the old cards, and there are probably very good reasons not to.
    Charlotte

  9. #9
    jeffhook
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    Re: Changing Tab Control Color

    Thanks for your contribution, Steve!

    "Misery loves company," so I appreciate the cheerful and ironic sympathy of another novice. (This is even while I hope the knowledgeable experts at this board won't tire of "casting their pearls before us swine"!)

    I wasn't clear about whether you were talking about how to remove the background color (or you may wish to call it the background "fill") from a form with a "tab control" (i.e. with two pages associated with each form, by use of the "tab control") It seems you aren't talking about such a form. I had no difficulty creating a "plain white" form before I applied the "tab control" which gave me two pages per form.

    Of course, I may misunderstand you.

    Jeff Hook

  10. #10
    jeffhook
    Guest

    Re: Changing Tab Control Color

    Thanks very much for staying with this. I greatly appreciate your patience and I respect your expertise, which is invaluable to me. (I really do think, by the "tip of the iceberg" principle, that there are hundreds of additional neophytes who may be reading this thread and who may be benefiting around the world, although they're unseen, as I'm sure you know very well.)

    I appreciate your clarification that I'm wrong when I think I could print only one "form" at a time. Of course, this project is in its infancy and I have only a few trial "forms." One includes only three two-page "items" so far. I HAVE noticed that when I printed those, all three "obverses" (the "front" page in the two-page tab-control-equipped "form") printed in a connected series of three items (two on the first page and the last on the second page) and that the same was true for the "reverse," i.e. for the "second pages" or the "backs" of that tiny series of three two-page forms. I was wondering how I'd be able to print just one of these two-page forms in the future. I planned to add rather large numbers of new records (as "forms," as "reports," or whatever) to this database frequently, and I was wondering if I'd be forced to print the entire series ("old" records and new) whenever I attempted to print only the new items in the future. I wondered if the only printing option would be to print the entire series. (HOWEVER, that is NOT a major concern at the moment, and I DON'T wish to "de-rail" my own thread, which I hope can remain focused on creating a "two-page" "printed record" of some type {"form," "report," or whatever} which will be printable as a "plain white" paper index card with no background and no "fill"! I'd be delighted if I could achieve this first desired outcome, and I'd gladly worry about the printing complications later.)

    With respect to your confusion about my comment that "This database will exist only as a collection of 'digitized' paper index cards, each of which will comprise one record":

    I was merely attempting to stress that I'm not dealing here with a gigantic "pre-existing" database from which I'm "extracting" data from certain fields which I'll then display in "forms," "reports," or whatever. Rather, this database doesn't even EXIST yet, and its first content will be created when its first record is created. Right now my ideal achievement would be to create several different index card formats, for different types of index cards. Each individual item which would be created, in each of those several categories, both electronically (as an entry in the database) and as a printed paper index card, would correlate to one record in the database, i.e. to one "row" of data, identified by its "primary key," its "card number," and incorporating data which would be entered in some of the database's "columns" (i.e. its fields) but not in all of its "columns."

    You express incredulity that I'd wish to print EVERY ONE of these records. In fact you even enter a very strong statement into the record:

    "There isn't any real need to have the electronic version look identical to the old cards, and there are probably very good reasons not to."

    It's true that I'm a complete and flagrant incompetent with respect to this bewildering Access 97; the evidence is "all over" this thread! However, I'm NOT a complete and flagrant incompetent otherwise! Please don't misunderstand my "tone;" I don't say this with "animus," but only with emphasis: My purpose here is not to convince you why it's not only desirable but essential to print all of these items, but it's helpful that we're "knocking heads" a bit on this point. This is a crucial element in my project, and it's important that you are willing to accept my assertions that printing of each of these database records to paper is not only desirable but essential. I'm very proud of this little idea of mine, which may not be so profound but which would constitute a significant improvement in the activity for which it's intended. It also has some potential as a "business product," and I'm therefore loath to broadcast here on the World Wide Web all the details of my plan so someone who's engaged in the same activity for which this is intended but who has more computer competence than I can "poach" it from me and derive benefit from it!

    Let me just review what I've said about the "genesis" of this project. I've been using handwritten index cards which are handwritten ON BOTH SIDES of blank white 4 x 6 inch index cards. Writing the cards by hand during the proceedings for which they're used is disruptive and time-consuming and, as a result of my haste, the cards are neither well-composed, nor very legible! It'd be a big improvement merely to note the need for particular cards during the related activity for which they're used, to then create these cards "after the fact" electronically, and finally to print them on paper. You're skeptical, indeed incredulous, that paper index cards would have any value, but this is a regrettable "issue" in our discussion! In the activity for which these PAPER CARDS are used, records in an electronic database are USELESS, except as a means of producing the paper cards which CAN be used! "Paper ain't dead yet," and I beg you to believe me, that I'm not "cuckoo" and I have a very good reason for printing every single one of these database records. Indeed, my primary motivation in "dreaming this idea up" was just to replace scribbled handwritten index cards with computer-printed cards. They'd be a great improvement in the activity in which I'm engaged. As I've been attempting to explain, these cards aren't just an optional or ancillary function of a pre-existing database. This database was initially conceived SOLELY as a means of PRODUCING improved paper cards. The paper cards are the PURPOSE of this database. They're not optional, they're ESSENTIAL.

    To use your own language (again not with "animus" or with sarcasm, but only with emphasis, for clarity) "the point of THIS database" WAS initially to PRODUCE better PAPER index cards! I think this idea should not be "beyond the realm of possibility," even in the year 2001! I eagerly await the "true" electronic benefits of the "digitization" of these cards, which will be significant. (They'll include all manner of statistical analyses of the cards which I produced.) However, that's "a whole other topic." Just using this database to compose and to print the improved paper cards will be enough of an initial improvement.

    Are we now reading from the same (PAPER!) page?! HAH!

    When I attempted last night (after an unavoidable two-day hiatus) to follow your advice to abandon "forms" and instead to use "reports" I went to the "Form" tab of the little trial database which I'd created. I right-clicked one of my trial forms, and I noticed "Save as report" was an option in the pop-up menu which appeared. I exploited that option, and I thereby created that "form" as a new "report." However, it had the identical format which it did as a "form" (to me this is surprising, and by that I display my Access 97 stupidity, which I can understand as a reason for you to assume I'm just a "dope" in ALL respects, not just in Access 97!).

    It's just not fair for me to say "Oh, Charlotte! Please tell me all I need to know about reports vis-

  11. #11
    jeffhook
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    Re: Changing Tab Control Color

    Charlotte:

    Please check the direct E-mail account which is identified in your forum profile for a complete "confidential" explanation of what I'm attempting to do. This information seems essential, and I've not been very forthcoming here in the forum.

    Jeff Hook

  12. #12
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Changing Tab Control Color

    I check my email twice a day at least, but that ISP sometimes takes a day or so to deliver a message at random, do don't be surprised if you don't receive an immediate reply.
    Charlotte

  13. #13
    Super Moderator WebGenii's Avatar
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    Re: Changing Tab Control Color

    This might be a moment to use two office applications in together. Have you considered using Word?
    You can run a query of your Access DB from Word and run a mailmerge. A mailmerge doesn't have to be a letter it can be index cards. You have all the formatting control of the output that you are accustomed to getting in Word.

    This is kinda refreshing... I usually spend my time trying to convince my students that they don't want to keep their 4,000 records in Word. From my perspective you're already half way there.

    Cheers
    Catharine
    [b]Catharine Richardson (WebGenii)
    WebGenii Home Page
    Moderator: Spreadsheets, Other MS Apps, Presentation Apps, Visual Basic for Apps, Windows Mobile

  14. #14
    jeffhook
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    Re: Changing Tab Control Color

    GOOD, Thanks! I hope you find the message interesting.

    Jeff Hook

  15. #15
    jeffhook
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    Re: Changing Tab Control Color

    Thanks, Catharine. This is an interesting idea, but (I'd say "hold on to your hat," but I can see from the "artist's rendering" of you which accompanies your message that "you don't appear to be wearing a hat...") it exceeds my puny skills. I haven't used Word 97 much recently, as I've been making very heavy workaday use of Works 6.0 (aka Works 2001) for all my word processing. I've never once used the "mailmerge" technique, nor have I even run a single query (are you wondering how I can even be TYPING this text at the moment?! HAH! Gee, I thought I was a busy guy, but what HAVE I been DOING?!) but I'm fascinated by your suggestion that I combine a word processing program and the database. (I guess I could use Works 6.0, with which I'm so familiar.) It looks like I'll be acquiring some new skills...

    I just thought "database" here because it's so clear each two-sided index card in my anticipated use is a single database record.

    I'll certainly be studying your suggestion. Thanks for this idea.

    Jeff Hook

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