When we design a Form we will limit the placement of form controls within the visible area on the screen.  A Form’s dimension is 22 x 22 inches.  So you have plenty of real estate to work with, if you know how to use it.  Placing controls on this big surface is not difficult, but if not in a well organized manner then users may not find it convenient to use it.

Let us make a plan to create a four page layout on a sample Form to try them out.  If the visible area of the form on the screen is approximately ten inches wide then we can define two pages across the screen of about ten inches each.  We can define another two pages, after leaving about 5 inches from the top of the form, below the first two logical pages.  The Form Pages layout diagram is given below for a quick reference of our project.

Form Pages Co-ordinates

There are four logical Page areas planned as shown above.  But, on physical terms there are only two pages, the top first page area with two segments across, first segment starting at co-ordinates at 0,0 (0 inch horizontal starting point at left and 0 inch vertical starting point at top or top left corner).  The second segment of the first page (or second logical page) starts at 10 inch location from left of the form and 0 inch vertical position.

Size of a logical page is about 10 inch wide and 5 inch high. But, we need to specify only the left top corner coordinates, in our Macro we are going to write for transferring control from one page to the other.  The second logical page area (top right) is starting at 10 inch position from left of the form and 0 inch top position vertically (10,0).  The Command Buttons shown at the bottom right corner of the logical pages will run a macro to jump from one page to the other.

The dotted line at the left side at 5 inch position is a page-break control, inserted from the Toolbox, to define the second physical page area. The form area below the page-break control is the second physical page area.  This also divided into two logical pages like we did on the first page.  The first logical page (or the third logical page on the form) of the second physical page starts at 0 inch from left and at 0 inch position on the second page vertically (i.e. 5 inch down from top of the form).  Second logical page on the second physical page (or the fourth logical page on the form) starts at 10 inch position from left of the form and 0 inch position of the second physical page.

Ten inch width and five inch height logical page values are arbitrarily selected, you may change them if you find the pages are overlapping on your screen.  Following the same rules you can define more pages on the form, if you need them.

When we click on the first Command Button the control will jump to the second page at right top corner, the Command Button there will send the control to the left bottom page and pushing the command button there will pass the control to the right bottom corner page.  The right bottom corner command button click will make the top left corner page visible. 

Tip: The macro can be connected to the last Textbox/control’s (on the logical page) Lost_Focus() Event Procedure so that when the user presses the Tab Key the control will jump from one page to the next, without the help of a Command Button click.

Now that we have everything in theory and have our master plan drawn out in a diagram, let us try it out on a form.  We will write the Macros for driving our Command Buttons first.

  1. Select Macro from the Create Menu to open a new Macro in design view.
  2. Click on the Macro Names control to open the Name column of the macro.
  3. Select the first row in Name column and type Page1-1.
  4. Select GotoPage from the drop-down control in the Action column.
  5. Select the Arguments column.
  6. Type 1 in the Page Number Action Arguments property below.
  7. Type 0 in the Right property and 0 in the Down property.
  8. Create the other three lines with the Argument values as shown in the image below:

    Page selecting Macro

  9. Save and close the Macro with the name MacPages.
  10. Open a new Form in Design View.
  11. Display the Property Sheet (F4).
  12. Click on the top left corner of the Form (Access2003) to select the Form’s Property Sheet, or select Form in the Selection Type box (Access2007) of the Property sheet.
  13. Change the Width Property value of the Form to 20 inch.
  14. Click on the Detail Section to display it’s property sheet.
  15. Change the Height Property Value to 10 inch.
  16. Select the Page-break Control from the Toolbox.
  17. Find the 5 inch position from the left side Scale and click near the left border on the Detail Section to place the Page-break control there.
  18. Create a Textbox control, about half an inch down on top left corner of the Form and change the child label Caption value as Page-1.
  19. Create a Command Button below the Textbox and change the following property values as shown below:
    • Caption  :  Go to 2
    • On Click  :  MacPages.Page1-2

      Tip: You may select the Macro Name from the drop-down list to avoid typing mistakes.

  20. Create a second Textbox to the right of the first one, about half an inch to the right of 10 inch scale location on top of the Form, and change the child label Caption to Page-2.
  21. Create a Command Button below the Text and change the following property values as shown below:
    • Caption  :  Go to 3
    • On Click  :  MacPages.Page2-1
  22. Create a Textbox below the Page-break control and change the child label Caption as Page-3.
  23. Create a Command Button below the Textbox and change the following property values as shown below:
    • Caption  :  Go to 4
    • On Click  :  MacPages.Page2-2
  24. Create a Textbox after the 10 inch location to the right and change the child label Caption as Page-4.
  25. Create a Command Button below the Textbox and change the following property values as given below:
    • Caption  :  Go to 1
    • On Click  :  MacPages.Page1-1
  26. Save the Form with a name.
  27. Open the Form in normal view and click on the Command Button to jump to the second page to the right.

    You will find that the form jumps to the second logical page to the right and the Textbox on this page is the active control.

  28. Try clicking on other Command Buttons to transfer control from one page to the next.

In all cases you will find that the textbox on the active logical page is the active control.

Key Words:Command Buttons,Form,Textbox,Page-break