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  1. #1
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    Dealing with Different Screens (Access 2003)

    How should I approach the size and layout of a Form keeping in mind that it will be displayed on both 4:3 and widescreen monitors?

    In other words what's the most accepted method of displaying a form's controls and making the most of the space available when it will be displayed on different size monitors. I'm aware of tab controls but besides I have a need to display a fair amount of textboxes and labels on one form so it needs to be fairly precise. Is it good practice to check screen resolutions, resize and move controls when loading or is it acceptable enough to perhaps have a long Form that is scrollable?
    Last edited by Seraphelia; 2012-11-17 at 08:38.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Seraphelia,

    This has been an ongoing problem for Access. Attempting to resize forms and controls to the monitor resolution currently in use is so code intensive that it is counter productive, IMHO! The best bet is to design for the 4:3 screen and live with it. If you don't have too many forms/controls you could design 2 of each and then have your startup code check the resolution and select which set to use but again this does take some code to implement and you have to make sure any changes are done on both copies, generally a maintenance nightmare. Another approach would be to design for the wide screens since the 4:3 screens are on the way out, i.e. it's getting hard to find them any more.
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    I agree with RG on the approach. As long as you have a set of existing users with existing PCs, you will have to design to the 4x3 format. But you may want to insist the users run a minimum resolution of something like 800x600 pixels. We have complex applications displaying literally hundreds of fields from various tables on tabbed forms with multiple subforms, and insist on a resolution of 1024x768. But every one in a while we get a user who insists on increasing their font size to 150% and then the user has to start scrolling, and then they complain. So you do want to include scroll bars on your forms just in case - we tried turning them off and that caused an uproar with a few users.
    Wendell

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    Building for the smaller 4:3 screen sounds like good advice for me at the moment and is actually what I've now set out to do. When I get to a useable'ish stage then I may be tempted to do as suggested and make another interface for a widescreen. That shouldn't be too much trouble to do and certainly easier than moving everything via code.

    It is for a work project for maybe 10 users who don't have control over most settings including resolution, which are all set to at least 800x600, so that's fairly safe. Having no idea if there was a standard approach and having seen some very confused interfaces I appreciate you both setting me on track.

    Big thankyou!

  5. #5
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    I develop for a resolution of 1024x768 for most situations, especially when I'm not sure what the user might have. I think requiring this as minimum resolution is not unreasonable. Many users have desktop monitors that can handle a much higher resolution, but then other users may be using laptops where the 768 is the constraining dimension.
    Mark Liquorman
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