accessing subform elements

Posted on 2002-03-14
Last Modified: 2011-09-20
I have a form and a subform within it. I have several controls in the subform. When i try to access the values of the subform from an event triggered by a control in the subform, i get the error message that the form is not present. for example, what should i do for doin the following stuff. I have a button in the subform and on clicking the button, i want to msgbox the current chosen value from a combo box in the subform.
what should the code be and how do i refer to the combo box in the subform? should i refer it based on the mainform?
Question by:Sankar030999
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Expert Comment

ID: 6865990
the correct syntax is generally


have you tried that syntax?

LVL 54

Expert Comment

ID: 6866001
In a subform you just refer to "me.".
Just make sure your code really is "behind" the subform.
In access 97 you need to double-click the subform to get it's code, in access 2000 you also need to click twice, once to select the subform on the mainform, the second time to "open" the subform's controls.

For the message this should suffide:
msgbox "Combo value: " & me.combo1


Expert Comment

ID: 6866015
it also depends on where your button is... if your button is on your main form, you need to refer to the subform first. borrowing from nico's abbreviated syntax, that'd be

me!SubFormName!ControlName (same as using Forms!FormName!SubFormName!ControlName)

if the button is on the subform, you can indeed simply use the Me reference... the difference is that access "knows" that by Me you are referring to the form in question...

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Expert Comment

ID: 6866016
btw. based on your question, i'd say that nico has the correct answer... i'm just adding info. ;)


Expert Comment

ID: 6866018
Subforms are actually a two-level hierarchy - they are a control that contains a form.  So, in dot notation:


would return the value in ComboBoxName inside the SubFormControlName subform.  I've used this to do hierarchal locking based on user-ID (with the Enabled, Locked, and UpdatesAllowed properties) from VBA code running under the context of the main form.

Peter Kolbus

Accepted Solution

ornicar earned 100 total points
ID: 6866311
Do like me: Be lazy. This Forms!..blah syntax can be painfull in some cases, but fortunately, there
is the expression builder.

- open your page or form
- create a new macro
- Type SetValue for the instruction in this macro
- at the bottom of the screen, for the first property of this SetValue instruction, click on the button
with 3 points (...) You have the expression builder opened.
- Use to browse through opened forms or pages, until you find your control in one of the windows. Click
- Select and copy/paste the expression generated
- et voilà
LVL 54

Expert Comment

ID: 6883955
I rest "me." case for the form independent coding....
You'll run into this pittfall sooner or later :-)))


Author Comment

ID: 6884727
nico, u r rite. but using expression builder was really easy. i didnt use the macro/set value stuff. just wanted to know the expression for accessing the subform and parent form elements from within the subform. the expression builder gave me the correct expr for this.

Thanks for all your inputs.


Expert Comment

ID: 8042645
Hey everyone,
Good stuff but how would you call the click event of a button on a subform from the main form???


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