Custom Toolbars in Access

[Access form with custom toolbar] Your Access application will look more impressive and be easier for the users if you add some custom toolbars. One way of doing this is to right-click on one of the existing toolbars and select Customize but it's safer to write some Visual Basic code and let the application create the toolbars for you. Access gives you complete control of these custom toolbars. You can create and destroy them and determine whether or not they are visible to a particular user.

This example shows a simple Customer form with its own toolbar. This toolbar has the correct Windows icons and a familiar tooltip and these two recognisable features will give the user confidence in the quality of the database you've developed.

References for a custom toolbar

[Access References dialog] The code that creates this toolbar is in the Load event of the Customer form. Before writing any code you must ensure that you have a reference to the right library. The toolbar and its buttons are instances of a CommandBar and CommandBarButton objects and these are not part of the core of Microsoft Access. You must tell Access where it can find them.

Open a code editing window and select References... from the Tools menu.

The contents of this list will vary with the software already installed on your PC. You need to scroll down to the block of Microsoft software and tick the entry for the Microsoft Office Object Library. This example shows an entry for Access 97 in Office 8.0.

Note that this reference will have to be updated if you try to run this code on a machine running a different version of Microsoft Office. If you copy the database to a machine running Office XP then you will be able to open the database with Access XP but you will get an error message saying that it cannot find the Office 8.0 library. The solution is to open the code window on the new PC, clear the Office 8.0 tickbox and tick the box for the version of Office running on that PC.

The next page shows the VBA code needed to create a custom toolbar.