Creating Forms in Microsoft Access 2010

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Getting Started

Although Access provides a convenient spreadsheet-style datasheet view for entering data, it isn’t always an appropriate tool for every data entry situation. If you’re working with users you don’t want to expose to the inner workings of Access, you may choose to use Access forms to create a more user-friendly experience. In this tutorial, we’ll walk through the process of creating an Access form.

This tutorial walks through the process of creating forms in Access 2010. If you're using an earlier version of Access, read our Access 2003 or Access 2007 forms tutorial. If you're using a later version of access, read our tutorial on Creating Forms in Access 2013.

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Open Your Access Database

Mike Chapple

First, you'll need to start Microsoft Access and open the database that will house your new form.

In this example, we'll use a simple database I've developed to track running activity. It contains two tables: one that keeps track of the routes that I normally run and another that tracks each run. We'll create a new form that allows the entry of new runs and modification of existing runs.

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Select the Table for your Form

Before you begin the form creation process, it's easiest if you pre-select the table that you'd like to base your form upon. Using the pane on the left side of the screen, locate the appropriate table and double-click on it. In our example, we'll build a form based upon the Runs table, so we select it, as shown in the figure above.

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Select Create Form from the Access Ribbon

Next, select the Create tab on the Access Ribbon and choose the Create Form button, as shown in the image above.

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View the Basic Form

Access will now present you with a basic form based upon the table you selected. If you're looking for a quick and dirty form, this may be good enough for you. If that's the case, go ahead and skip to the last step of this tutorial on Using Your Form. Otherwise, read on as we explore changing the form layout and formatting.

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Arrange Your Form Layout

After your form is created, you'll be placed immediately into Layout View, where you can change the arrangement of your form. If, for some reason, you're not in Layout View, choose it from the drop-down box underneath the Office button.

Explore the icons on the Arrange tab and experiment with the various layout options. When you're done, move on to the next step.

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Format Your Form

Mike Chapple

Now that you've arranged the field placement on your Microsoft Access form, it's time to spice things up a bit by applying customized formatting.

Explore all of these options. Go crazy and customize your form to your heart's content. When you're finished, move on to the next step of this lesson.

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Use Your Form

Mike Chapple

You've put a lot of time and energy into making your form match your needs. Now it's time for your reward! Let's explore using your form.

Congratulations on creating your first Microsoft Access form!