Calendar (the ActiveX Control) is a good piece of object for clicking and inserting a Date into a field instead of typing. There is only one problem, let us say more than one, it occupies lot of space on the form and it comes in the way of designing other elements of the screen as well. If you need to enter date in more than one field, each field requires different Calendar Controls and we may not be able to accommodate all those copies in one place. Finally, a convenient method become totally inconvenient and we may have second thoughts and decide to go by the traditional method: typing everything manually, after all somebody else is going to do that.

We are going to use the Calendar Control and we don’t accept defeats and all those above reasons will not prevent us from using it. The method that we are going to try out here is kind of hard to implement for the first time. But it will be very easy on other Forms in the same Project.

Open your Database with a Form that you have already designed to use or design a new one with at least two date fields on the Form. Let us do the easy part of our project first. Copy and paste the following VB Code into a Global Module and save it:

Option Compare DatabaseOption Explicit
'Global Declarations
Public Const twips As Long = 1440
Dim mm_actctl As Control

Public Function Calendar()
Dim sngStart As Single, CalCtrl As Control
Dim ctl As Control, frm As Form, t_height As Long
Dim m_left As Long, m_top As Long, i As Double
Dim w As Long, h As Long, y As Double
Dim caltop As Long, calheight As Long
Dim secHeight As Long
Dim frmWidth As Long, t_width As Long

On Error GoTo Calendar_Err

Set ctl = Screen.ActiveControl
Set mm_actctl = ctl
Set CalCtrl = Screen.ActiveForm.Controls("Cal1")
Set frm = Screen.ActiveForm

CalCtrl.Width = 0.1458 * twips ' 0.1458"
CalCtrl.Height = 0.1563 * twips ' 0.1563"
m_left = ctl.Left + ctl.Width
m_top = ctl.Top + ctl.Height
caltop = m_top
calheight = ctl.Height + (15 * twips * 0.106) '0.105"

secHeight = frm.Section(acDetail).Height
frmWidth = frm.Width
t_height = caltop + calheight
t_width = m_left + (15 * twips * 0.17) '0.17"

If t_height > secHeight Then
    m_top = secHeight - (calheight + (0.106 * twips))
End If

If t_width > frmWidth Then
   m_left = frmWidth - (15 * twips * 0.17) ' 0.17"
End If

CalCtrl.Left = m_left
CalCtrl.Top = m_top
CalCtrl.Visible = True

sngStart = Timer
i = 0.05: y = i
Do While Timer < (sngStart + 0.75)

If Timer >= sngStart + y Then
    y = y + i
    w = CalCtrl.Width + (0.17 * twips) ' 0.17"
    CalCtrl.Width = w
    h = CalCtrl.Height + (0.106 * twips) ' 0.105"
    CalCtrl.Height = h
    DoEvents
End If
Loop

Calendar_Exit:
Exit Function

Calendar_Err:
MsgBox Err.Description, , "Calendar"
Resume Calendar_Exit
End Function

'Insert Date into the active Field

Public Function Cal1Click()
Dim m_cal As Control, m_ctl As Control

On Error GoTo Cal1Click_Err

Set m_cal = Screen.ActiveForm.Controls("Cal1")
mm_actctl.Value = m_cal.Value
m_cal.Width = 0.1458 * twips ' 0.1458"
m_cal.Height = 0.1563 * twips ' 0.1563"
mm_actctl.SetFocus
DoEvents
m_cal.Visible = False

Cal1Click_Exit:
Exit Function

Cal1Click_Err:
MsgBox Err.Description, , "Cal1Click"
Resume Cal1Click_Exit
End Function

NB: While running this code if you end up with some error, please refer my earlier Post Command Button Animation and link the essential Library Files to your Project as explained there.

  1. Open the Form in Design View.
  2. Select ActiveX Control from Insert Menu.
  3. Scroll through the Displayed List and find Calendar Control as shown in the image below:
    ActiveX Controls List
  4. Select it and click OK. A Calendar Control is inserted into your Form.
  5. Drag it anywhere at a convenient place for the time being. We are going to change its properties. Click on it and display its property sheet and change the following property values as shown below:
  1. Name = Cal1
  2. Visible = False
  3. Special Effect = Raised
  4. Border Color = 0
  5. Back Color = 11139322
  6. Month Length = System (Medium) – Access 2003, e.g.: Jul 2007
  7. Grid Lines Color = 2147483632
  8. Grid Font Color = 10485760
  9. Title Font Color = 10485760
  10. Width = .1458"
  11. Height = .1563"

After changing the width & height properties the Calendar become a small rectangle and you can place it anywhere on the Form at a convenient place.

We need to copy a few more lines of Code in our Form’s Code Module. When the Form is in

Design View Select Code from Toolbar Button above or select Code from View menu and paste the following code into the Form Module:

Private Sub Cal1_Click()
   Cal1Click
End Sub

Private Sub Detail_Click()
   Me.Cal1.Visible = False
End Sub

Private Sub Form_Load()
   Me.Cal1.Value = Date
End Sub

When you click on a Date on the Calendar it calls the Routine Cal1Click() and inserts the clicked date into the Active Field and the Calendar disappears.

You have displayed the Calendar but you don’t want to click on it to insert a date and at this point you want to hide the calendar, then click on an empty area of the detail section of the Form, the Calendar will disappear. This is achieved through the Detail_Click() Routine.

When the Form with the Calendar is open the System Date is set as default value for the Calendar with the Form_Load() Event Procedure. The Calendar will always open up with current date.

If you are new to customizing Menus and Toolbars you may be little confused on the next part of this article. Don’t worry, we are going to familiarize something that is already there for us to use and we must know about it sooner or later, earlier the better.

In short, we are going to create a new toolbar button and attach our program, that we have copied into the Global Module, to it. We will place a copy of the toolbar button in a Shortcut Menu as well, for easy running of the Animated Floating Calendar.

Select the following Menu Option:

  1. View – – > Toolbar – – > Customize. Click New to create a new Toolbar and name it as ToolCal then click OK. A new small empty Toolbar will show up on top.
  2. Select the Commands Tab . Click and drag the New button and place it on the new toolbar.
  3. Right-click on the new toolbar button, point the cursor on the Change Button Image option on the displayed menu to show up several Button Images. Select one of the Images.

    If you prefer to create a button image yourself you can do so by selecting Edit Button Image option from the menu. I have selected the image of a fish, after all it is a Floating Calendar. Right-click the button again to display the menu and type &Calendar; in the Name: &Name; control. We can set the button style to Image only, Text only or Image and Text. Default style, which is already selected is just fine for now.

  4. Now, we must link our Calendar() program to the toolbar button. Right-Click on the toolbar button and select Properties from the displayed Menu. Type =Calendar() (don’t forget the = sign) in the On Action : text control and click Close.

    Our Toolbar Button is ready. We can use this Button to run our Calendar on the Form and we can stop here, if we need to. But we plan to go little further and add a copy of this button in the Form View Control Shortcut Menu so that we can right-click on a Date Field on our target Form and click the button on the Shortcut Menu to display the Calendar. We are trying to make things little easier for the Users. The Calendar is not visible till you click on the button.

  5. Select the Toolbars Tab on the Customize Dialogue Control and put tick mark for Shortcut Menus.

    Before attempting to copy the button let us locate the target spot, where we are going to place our new button. On the Shortcut Menus Options you will find the heading Form, click on it to display a lengthy list of Submenu groups, among them find the one Named ‘Form View Control’ and click on it. A set of Options like Filter by Selection, Cut, Copy, Paste etc. can be seen. This is the default shortcut menu that we see when we right-click on a Text Control in Form View. Look at the image given below:

    The shortcut menus are different when you right-click on an empty area of the Form or on the record selector at the left border etc. So it is important that you make a copy of our new button on this particular Shortcut menu. There are some side effects to this method that we are going to use, like if you click on the new toolbar button when there is a Form open without a Calendar Control on it or the Calendar control’s name is not Cal1 etc., the program will show Error Messages. We will look into those things when we discuss about Custom Menu-bars, Tool-bars, Shortcut Menus and how to use them on Forms etc. under a different topic.

  6. Now, let us get on with our project. Press and hold Ctrl Key with one hand, click on the new toolbar button and keep the mouse button pressed with the other hand to make a copy of the button (if you don’t keep the Ctrl Key pressed the button will be draged out of the Toolbar, rather than making a copy), drag and point on the Form Menu on the Shortcut Menubar to display the Submenu groups and drag towards the Form View Control Sub-Menu and point on it to display the Shortcut Menu options. Drop the button at the left border of the menu at a convenient location where other icons are appearing. Click the Close button to come out of the customization process.

We are ready to try out the Animated Floating Calendar. Open your Form in Form View and right-click on a Date Field. The new button on the Shortcut Menu with the Fish Icon and Calendar Caption should be visible as shown below:

Calendar Tool Button in Shortcut Menu

Click the Calendar Button on the shortcut menu. The Calendar control will slowly unfold with yellow background. It will appear to the right and below the Date Field that you have right-clicked. Not necessary that it should be a Date Field, you can right-click on any field and run the Calendar.

Calendar View Image

If we need to restrict inserting date into date type Fields only from the calendar then we have to validate the control source of the active field from the underlying Query or Table’s Field Type and decide whether to show the calendar or display a warning message and block the Calendar from showing up etc. That kind of refining can be done but it takes lot more code to implement. For the time being we will stick to the simple thing and look into those aspects at a later stage.

Click on a Date on the Calendar to insert that date into the field that you have right-clicked. If you don’t want to insert a date and put away the Calendar instead, as I mentioned above, click on an empty area on the detail section of the Form, the Calendar will disappear.

Normally the Calendar will appear to the right and bottom edge of the control that you have right-clicked. This may change if the Date Field is too close to the bottom or right edge of the Form. Then the Calendar will appear within the Form itself in an appropriate place nearest to the field, to fit its size. This may overlap the field that you have right-clicked. But you can click on the Calendar and insert a date into that field.

NB: The Program may not work correctly if you attempt to use the method on a Sub-form.

Download Demo Database