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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Re-skin Access 2000 (2000)

    This may be a dumb question but I'll ask anyway, is there a skin/theme/whatever available to make an XP-like interface for an Access 2000 database?

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Re-skin Access 2000 (2000)

    What exactly do you mean by an "XP-Like" interface? My Access 2002 doesn't look significantly different from Access 2000. Can you be more specific?
    Charlotte

  3. #3
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    Re: Re-skin Access 2000 (2000)

    Thanks for your reply. I'd like to make the buttons, colours, shapes in standard Access database navigation window look better than you seem to be able to do with the standard wizards, etc.

    Without going to a web front end or whatever, I was wondering if there are custom themes, styles, 'skins' (like say for media player) that can make an Access database look better. I've seen a screen grab of an Access database front end on the microsoft site that looks like Windows XP - does this depend on running it in XP or could you fake this in 2000 using a 'skin'?

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Re-skin Access 2000 (2000)

    I think the short answer is no, Access is not skinnable. If you run under Windows XP with one of the XP or customized schemes, the title bars, scroll bars etc. of Access windows will have the XP look, because they are not drawn by Access itself, but by Windows. But text boxes, combo boxes, command buttons etc. look like they always do.
    If you're convinced that it's otherwise, could you provide a link to the Microsoft site you mention?

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Re-skin Access 2000 (2000)

    There aren't any skins but there are some themes which I've never played with. I personally hate the default "teletubby" look of Windows XP and made mine look as much like classic Windows 2000 as possible, so I'm afraid I can't be of much help in that department. <img src=/S/shrug.gif border=0 alt=shrug width=39 height=15>
    Charlotte

  6. #6
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    Re: Re-skin Access 2000 (2000)

    Thanks for your reply, attached is the screen grab from the Microsoft site. Background to my question is that I'm having a debate with the database designer about how 'functional' the database is. Database person says the database is robust and funtions. I'm saying the interface is messy and won't entice people to use it (and in fact makes it more difficult to use), which is the key 'functionality' issue.

    The attached screen is nice and clean, and enticing. Can you do this white background and these clean text boxes in Access 2000?

    The record navigation panel at the bottom is not available in Access 2000 I'm told and needs to be done Visual Basic, which creates a problem when it is distributed to users who may not have those buttons in their library - and it's difficult to include new library items for users. Is this true?

    Finally, Can I make the data entry window not look like a Win2k window so it doesn't look like out of date software?

    Appreciate your patience.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Re-skin Access 2000 (2000)

    The blue title bar, the red close button and the vertical scroll bar with a ribbed grip are not governed by Access, but by Windows XP, they are part of the standard Windowx XP theme. If the user prefers a different theme, for instance Windows Classic, these elements will look like they did in Windows 2000.

    The white background and the style for the text boxes can be done in any version of Access:
    - The background is the Back Color property of the detail section.
    - The text boxes have Special Effect set to None, and Border Color set to gray.

    The navigation buttons at the bottom are available in all versions of Access. The Navigation Buttons property of a form is True by default. No Visual Basic or library is needed to make them work, they are part and parcel of Access forms. I'm surprised that your database designer told you that navigation buttons are not available in Access 2000.

    About your final question: you shouldn't want to force a Windows XP look on your users. Many users, such as Charlotte, make XP look as much like Windows 2000 as possible; and there are also custom themes that look very different. When developing for others, it is best to conform to their Windows settings.

  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Re-skin Access 2000 (2000)

    Without seeing what the developer has created, I would hazard a guess that it is quite different from your example, which is an extremely simplistic and totally exposed one. As a professional developer, I would never turn a form like that over to a user or client, so don't assume that what may seem appealing to you is a good idea. Developers have to keep in mind the tendency of users to shoot themselves in the foot regularly and insure against such self-destructive tendencies. Part of that insurance is to hide fields the users can't change and don't need to see and make it blindingly obvious which fields can be changed and which cannot.
    Charlotte

  9. #9
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    Re: Re-skin Access 2000 (2000)

    Thanks again.

    Upshot of all these investigations is that I've ended up getting a web page generated by Access as a front end for adding info to the database.

    The web page will look like the existing style for correspondence, printed stationery and other forms, which are currently available as Word documents that people can fill in on the intranet then print and file or, more often than not, print and fill in by hand. People can still do this with the web form but I'll obviously ecourage them to fill it in online and take advantage of other things they'll be able to do in the database.

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