Ms-Access Advanced VBA Programming Techniques, Tips and Tricks.

Wave Shaped Reminder Ticker

We have already seen how to create and install a Reminder Ticker that runs on a straight line on the Main Screen. We could do this with few lines of VBA Code and a Label on the Main Screen. We will try something different this time. This one not runs on a straight line but runs in a Zigzag form. An image of a sample run of this method is given below:

To create this Ticker we need a series of labels arranged in a wave like form and each one of them must be named in such a way that we could address them easily in code. A sample design is given below:

There are about 42 identical Labels to create. Even if we create them once manually, arranging them in this fashion is not an easy task. But we can do it with a small Program. The Program creates a new Form and creates all 42 Labels, name them as lbll to lbl42, changes other Properties as shown above.

  1. Copy the following Code into a Global Module of your Database and save it.
    Public Function ZIGZAG()
    '-----------------------------------------------------------
    'Author  :  a.p.r. pillai
    'Date    :  01/10/2008
    'URL     :  www.msaccesstips.com
    'All Rights Reserved by www.msaccesstips.com
    '-----------------------------------------------------------
    Dim frm As Form, ctrl As Label, t As Long, lngleft As Long
    Dim lngwidth As Long, lngheight As Long, lngtop As Long
    Dim j As Integer, k As Integer, h As Long, G As Long
    
    h = 30: G = 0: t = 0
    lngwidth = 0.1146 * 1440
    lngheight = 0.2083 * 1440
    lngtop = 1 * 1440
    lngleft = 0.16667 * 1440
    Set frm = CreateForm
    For j = 1 To 42
    Set ctrl = CreateControl(frm.Name, acLabel, acDetail, , , lngleft, lngtop, lngwidth, lngheight)
    lngleft = lngleft + lngwidth
    With ctrl
        .Name = "lbl" & j
        .FontName = "Tahoma"
        .FontSize = 8
        .Caption = ""
        .BackStyle = 0
        .ForeColor = 255
     End With
     Next
    G = 0
    For j = 1 To 3
         For k = 1 To 7
            G = G + 1
            Set ctrl = frm.Controls("lbl" & G)
            With ctrl
                .Top = .Top - (h * k)
            End With
            DoEvents
         Next
        t = frm.Controls("lbl" & G).Top
         For k = 1 To 7
             G = G + 1
            Set ctrl = frm.Controls("lbl" & G)
            With ctrl
                .Top = t + (h * 1)
            End With
            t = frm.Controls("lbl" & G).Top
            DoEvents
        Next
    Next
    End Function
    
  2. You can run the above Code directly by placing the cursor in the middle of the Code and pressing F5 Key, or running from a Command Button's On Click Event Procedure or from a Macro.

    Every time when the code is run it will create a new Form with the Labels arranged in a zigzag form. After you create it once, export that Form into your other Projects where you want to install the ZigZag Ticker. Or you may install the code in a Common Library Database and run it after attaching the Library File to your Project.

  3. After creating the Labels, click somewhere outside the Labels and drag over them so that all the Labels are selected without disturbing the arrangement of the labels.
  4. Select Copy from Edit Menu.
  5. Open the Main Switch Board (Control Form) in Design View and Paste them.
  6. When all the labels are still in selected state drag and place the Labels into position where you want the Ticker to appear on the Form.

    We have two more Sub-Routines which are run from the Form_Load() and Form_Timer() Event Procedures. On the Form_Load() Event Procedure we can create a Text Message in a String either with a constant value or with Field Values from a Table/Query that provide useful information to display to the User as a reminder. Refer the earlier example Reminder Ticker Form which uses information from within the Application for Reminder.

    The Form_Timer() Event Procedure will control the Display of Label values shifting one character at a time in succeeding labels giving it a sense of motion.

  7. Copy and the Paste the following Sub-Routines into the Form Module where you have pasted the above labels.
    Option Compare Database
    Option Explicit
    Dim txt As Variant
    
    Private Sub Form_Load()
        txt = Space(42) & UCase("Excellence is not a matter of chance. It is a matter of Change. It is not a thing to be waited for. It is a thing to be achieved.")
        Me.Timerinterval=250
    End Sub
    
  8. See that the Dim txt As Variant is placed in the Global Area of the Module, which is referenced from the Form_Load() and Form_Timer() Event Procedures.
    Private Sub Form_Timer()
    Dim x As String, k As String, j As Integer, ctrl As Control
    
      x = Left(txt, 1)
      txt = Right(txt, Len(txt) - 1)
      txt = txt & x
      k = Left(txt, 42)
    For j = 1 To Len(k)
        Set ctrl = Me.Controls("lbl" & J)
        Ctrl.Caption = Mid(k, j, 1)
    Next
    End Sub 
    
  9. The following lines of code are useful if you plan to disable the ticker when the Main Form is inactive and run it again when the Main Form is active again, so that other processes not interrupted by the Ticker.
Private Sub Form_Deactivate()
   Me.TimerInterval = 0
End Sub

Private Sub Form_Activate()
   Me.TimerInterval = 250
End Sub
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