Printing Forms in Microsoft Access

Three Methods for Printing Access Forms

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While Microsoft Access forms are most useful when accessed directly in the database, there may be times when you want to print them, such as when you want details about a single record or you plan to create instructions and include screenshots for entering data into a form. Like most Microsoft products, printing a form is relatively straightforward, but there are three ways to do it in Access depending on what output you want.

Uses for Printed Access Forms

There are a number of reasons why you or your employees may want to print a form from ​Access. If you are setting up instructions for how to fill out a particular form, being able to print it makes it easier to scan a copy or take a screenshot so that the picture is clear and easy to read. If employees go into the field to gather information, providing a hard copy of the form ensures they cover all of the necessary information before they get back into the office. There may be HR instances in which you need to print a copy of a form or a particular field within a form and put it in a file to reference later. 

Whatever you need, there are several ways to print a form after you preview it.

How to Preview a Form

The best way to ensure the output meets your expectations is to take the time to preview the form or record. Regardless of the view, you want or whether you want the whole form or a single record, accessing the preview is the same.

  1. Open the form.
  2. Go to File > Print >  Print Preview.

Access displays the form exactly as it will print to the printer, file or image. Check the bottom of the preview to see if there are multiple pages. This helps you determine if it is the right view.

Printing an Open Form

To print an open form that prints exactly as it appears on-screen, follow these instructions:

  1. Open the form.
  2. Go to File > Print.
  3. Select the printer you want to use or indicate if you want to create a separate file from the form, which is recommended for screenshots for instructions.
  4. Update the printer settings.
  5. Click OK.

Printing a Form From the Database View

To print a form from the database view, follow these instructions:

  1. Click Forms.
  2. Highlight the form you want to print.
  1. Go to File > Print.
  2. Select the printer you want to use or indicate if you want to create a separate file from the form, which is recommended for screenshots for instructions.
  3. Update the printer settings.
  4. Click OK.

Access prints the form based on the view specified by the default printer settings.

How to Print a Single Record or Selected Records

To print a single record or several selected records, follow these instructions:

  1. Open the form with the records you want to print.
  2. Highlight the record or records you want to print.
  3. Go to File > Print > Print Preview and make sure that the records you want to print appear and that they look the way you expect them to. Each record appears as its own form, so you can tell where one record ends and the next begins.
  4. Do one of the following depending on whether the preview is what you expect:
    • If the preview is what you want the output to look like, click on the Print button at the top left and go to the next step.
    • If the preview is not what you want the output to look like, click on the Close Print Preview at the top right and adjust the records to include what you want in the output. Then repeat the preview until you are satisfied.
  5. Select the printer you want to use or indicate that you want to create a separate file from the form, which is recommended for screenshots for instructions.
  6. Update the printer settings.
  7. Click OK.

Creating and Saving Printer Settings

Once you understand how to print a form, you can save the settings that you used so that you don’t have to go through the same actions every time. You can save several different printer settings so that you can print the forms in the way that best fits your needs instead of having to constantly update your saved settings with different printer settings.

When you create a form, you can add a Print button with saved printer settings so that forms and records are printed in the same way every time. Each user can save settings based on each user’s own preferences. You can establish this as part of the instructions for working with a form so that forms are printed the same way consistently, or you can leave it up to each individual user to handle printer settings on their own.