Learn Microsoft Access Advanced Programming Techniques, Tips and Tricks.

Setting Focus on a field inside a Sub-Form

Introduction.

The Main Form (frm_Students) have two Sub-Forms (frm_Sessions and frm_Payment).  A sample image of such a Form is given below:


Sub-Form Container and Sub-Form.

Each Sub-Form on the main form is placed within a Sub-Form Container on the main form.  The Sub-Form have other controls (like Textboxes) within it and we cannot set focus directly on any of these controls, from outside the sub-form container.  That doesn’t mean that we cannot address the controls directly to retrieve or set value into that control through vba.


The Difference between Setting Focus and Retrieving Values

Setting focus on Amount field of frm_Payments directly, when frm_Payments doesn't have focus on through vba is not possible.

Example:

'this statement will not work when frm_Payments doesn't have focus
Forms![frm_Students]![frm_Payments].Form.Amount.SetFocus

The above statement may highlight the Amount field, but the focus will not change to that field.

But, we can retrieve the value directly from the Amount field of frm_Payments, even when the focus is not ON on that form, with the following statement.

Example-2:

'this statement retrieves the Amount field value directly.
m_Amt = Forms![frm_Students]![frm_Payments].Form!Amount

When the frm_Payments sub-form have the focus ON you can address a control (say the Amount field) within that form to set the real focus on it.

It simply means that it takes two steps action to address a control within a sub-form to set focus on:

  1. Set focus on the sub-form container first.  By setting Tab Index Value of the frm_Payment to 0 also works.
  2. Set focus on any control within the frm_Payments sub-form.

So, it is a two step process and the following two VBA statements does the job:

Me.Payments.form.SetFocus
Me.Payments.form.Amount.SetFocus

The following version of the above statements are also valid:

Forms![frm_Students]![frm_Payments].SetFocus
Forms![frm_Students]![frm_Payments].Form.Amount.SetFocus

What Next...

Next we will see how to jump from last field of one sub-form record to it's corresponding record field on the second sub-form directly.  If you think it is so easy after learning the above two lines, then think twice.

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