Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Copy & Design Action in Navigation Pane Relief v2.0

I use form and report templates when putting together Access applications. This new feature of Navigation Pane Relief v2.0 takes 4 steps out of the process of turning a template into an application object.

For me, a template is simply a form or report that I copy and use as a starting point when designing a new form or report.

I used to right click on the template, select copy, specify a new name, then find the copy in the Navigation Pane, then right click on it and select "Design", then make my changes to it. With the new "Copy & Design" feature in Navigation Pane Relief, I double click "Copy & Design", I specify a new name, and then the copy is automatically opened in design mode. A great time-saver (2 steps instead of 6) if you work from templates.

More information about the new version of Navigation Pane Relief can be found at the Navigation Pane Relief Homepage.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Help Tab

In my latest application, I've included an extra tab on each form with help information. I thought this would be easier than writing an entire help add-on. We'll see how my customer likes it.

Other Microsoft Access Blogs

Here are some other Access blogs I check out every now and then:

Connecting to Other Applications Using Late Binding

Here are some great examples of how to use late binding to connect to other Office applications like Excel, PowerPoint, and Word.

I especially like the way the code checks first for an existing instance of the application, and if not found, gets a new one.

Documenting Using Dia

Visio is nice if you want to create a diagram to document some process or flow in your Access application, but if you don't have Visio, there is a nice (and free) alternative called Dia. You can download it here:

I use a flowchart diagram to help me track where different queries are used and what they are used for.

Print Barcodes from Access

You'll need a barcode font, if you don't already have it. Once you install the barcode font on your computer, you can print using that font and your text or ID number will appear as a barcode that can be scanned. Here's the site to download the barcode font:


A customer from 10 years ago just contacted me to upgrade ShrinkerStretcher to the latest version. So I would have to assume that he was using the 10 year old version all of this time. That's longevity!

We're now on ShrinkerStretcher version 11.7. You can find out more at

Learn the Structure of an Access Database

A client of mine has requested, as part of a training session, to provide an overview of Access. Well, I've never done this before - usually I provide training only for an application that I've developed. So I was pleased to find this on the web. It's basically an outline of a beginning Access course:
Learn the Structure of an Access Database
Thank you, Microsoft.

Windows 7 and Mapped Network Drives

Mapped network drives sometimes show a big red X in Windows 7. When you open them with Explorer, all seems to work OK. But if you have to connect to them first with a program like Access that may be trying to connect to a database back-end you'll get a nasty error message, and the back-end won't connect.

The problem may be that Windows 7 attempts to connect the network drive before the network connection is established. Sounds like it could be a bug.

The work around is a registry entry (hack?) that you can implement with this handy .reg script. Just create a .reg file and put this text in it:




... then open it ("Merge" it) on each Windows 7 computer that has the problem. Reboot and all should connect OK.

UPDATE 9/15/2011:

A user reports that the above registry fix/hack did not resolve the problem. So I'm still looking for a way to get Windows 7 to reconnect network drives AFTER the network connection has been established. Can you help? Any ideas?

DBForums Access Code

Need some free Access database code? Some samples to help you get started, or help you learn something new? Check out the DBForums Access Code bank:

Lots of great stuff to download and incorporate into your database.

Moving Posts to This Blog

I'm moving some posts from my new blog "Deep into Access" to this blog which I started years ago, but never continued. I like the blogspot software better. So, this old blog will be my new new blog. I'll rename it to "Deep into Access" shortly