Grouping controls in Access 2007

[Form Wizard creates a control group] The new Layout view in Access 2007 allows us to alter the design of a form whilst being able to see the contents of the fields. It's very useful because it means we can see just how much room the user is going to have available when they're working with real data. One of the real annoyances though is the way that the Form Wizard interacts with Layout View and forces controls into groups. When you try to adjust the size of position of one control you suddenly find that you're altering the entire group. When the Form Wizard added the controls to the group it quietly formed them into a group.

It's obvious that the group exists because the controls are outlined in orange and the mouse icon changes to a four-way arrow to show that all the controls are going to be moved. It's still an annoyance though. I quite often start my form designs with the Wizard because it's a quick and easy way to get the fields that you want onto the form in a nice neat layout.

Removing a control group

[Break up an Access 2007 control group] Breaking up the group is easy once you've found the button. Select the Arrange tab in the Layout View then click the Remove button in the Control Layout section. This will remove all the selected controls from the group. The screen shot above showed that all the controls were selected so all will be removed from the group and all will be able to be positioned and sized independently.

The other two buttons in the Control Layout section allow you to create groups. The Stacked button will arrange the controls as a column of text boxes, each with a label (as in the first screenshot). The Tabular button will create a table with a textbox in the form's detail section and a matching caption in the form's header.

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