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MS Access 2007: How to customize color and style of buttons on a form?



Dear experts:

Hi!

I would like to learn how to customize buttons on a form:

1.  When the background color of a button is set at transparent, still a dotted border of the button is displayed. How to remove the dotted line?

2. How to customize the background color of a button on a from?  By-default color is ugly gray.


3.  When the image button is clicked, nothing happens.  When image tab is clicked,  you should be prompted for the directory of an image which will be inserted


Thanks!
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duta
Asked:
duta
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3 Solutions
 
Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
You cannot do this with standard Access buttons. There is at least one third party utility that can do this (www.fmsinc.com, Total Access Components), but you'd be wise to try the demo before you actually purchase, since IMO the button component isn't the best out there.

As to "image" button, I'm not sure what you mean. You can use the standard FileOpen dialog to allow the customer to locate a file (http://www.mvps.org/access/api/api0001.htm or http://support.microsoft.com/kb/888695). I'm not sure what you mean by "image which will be inserted".
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DatabaseMX (Joe Anderson - Microsoft MVP, Access and Data Platform)Commented:
There is one you can do that will make the buttons come alive - a new (cosmetic) feature added to A2003 ... and in A2003 you set the property like so:

Tools>>Options>>Forms/Reports ...
Lower left of this dialog ... check 'Use Windows Themed Controls on Forms'

This will give all buttons the halo effect .. and when you hover over a button, the halo color changes.  Very cool.  I'm sure this option is available in A2007 also.

I recently discovered that ... in (Windows) Display Properties>>Appearance ... that the Windows and Buttons drop down needs to be set to 'Windows XP Style' in order for this to work.  And that alone in Windows makes for a much better looking display overall.

mx
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dutaAuthor Commented:
Genius, thank you so much for your kind tips.

By the way, you said:
Tools>>Options>>Forms/Reports ...
Lower left of this dialog ... check 'Use Windows Themed Controls on Forms'

MY QUESTION:  In 2007 Access, I could not locate it.  Can you kindly help me to find it in Access 2007?



YOU ALSO SAID: I recently discovered that ... in (Windows) Display Properties>>Appearance

MY QUESTION:  Where in Windows may I locate "Display Properties"?


Thanks!
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dutaAuthor Commented:
I located   Display Properties>>Appearance
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DatabaseMX (Joe Anderson - Microsoft MVP, Access and Data Platform)Commented:
"Can you kindly help me to find it in Access 2007?"
Sorry, I do not have A2007 loaded.  However, I'm sure it must be on the Options menu somewhere.  Someone in another Q did mention this a while back.

"Where in Windows may I locate "Display Properties"?"

XP: You can Right Click over a blank area of the Desktop and then select Properties which will bring up Display Properties ...

OR

Control Panel >> Display will bring this up.

mx
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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
Yes, using Themed Controls does look better, IMO, but you still can't change backcolors and such ...
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Jeffrey CoachmanCommented:
duta,

1. Buttons are buttons,.
You click them and they do something.
I really never saw a need to change the color.
I have never seen a "Colored" button in any professionaly designed application.

2. AFAIK, Office 2007 will only run on Windows XP, so the "Rounded" corner buttons (xp style) should be the default.

3. <When the image button is clicked, nothing happens. >
Well, you do not click the "image", you click the "button".
Are you saying that the button has the "clicked" (depressed) look, yet the code does not run?

4. <When image tab is clicked,  you should be prompted for the directory of an image which will be inserted>
I can't see how this is relevent, it seems to be a totally seperate issue.
The main thrust of you question is button appearance.

JeffCoachman
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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
<I have never seen a "Colored" button in any professionaly designed application>

Definitely not in a data-centric app. I've seen them in graphics apps and such.

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Jeffrey CoachmanCommented:
LOL

Point well taken.

I mostly use MS Office.

;-)
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DatabaseMX (Joe Anderson - Microsoft MVP, Access and Data Platform)Commented:
"1. Buttons are buttons,."
And cosmetics are cosmetics.

"I have never seen a "Colored" button in any professionaly designed application."
That's because no way (other than themed controls) has been provided to do it.

mx
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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
<That's because no way (other than themed controls) has been provided to do it>

VB and the .NET languages have a LOT of options in this area, and you still just don't see it very often. Not that there's anything wrong with it, of course, but often people go off the deep end in regards to this sort of thing, adding "floating" buttons, and ones appear when you hover over a particular section ...
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DatabaseMX (Joe Anderson - Microsoft MVP, Access and Data Platform)Commented:
"and you still just don't see it very often. '

Which is because in general, software developers have no feel for graphic arts or cosmetics.  And I should clarify that I am only referring to 'nicely done' cosmetics, not some gaudy 'off the deep end' wild ass colors - just because you can.  Yes, fortunately, .NET and web in general has way more flexibility in this area.

The themed controls starting in A2003 were a major boost.

mx
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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
Yes, unless you work for a big company with a graphics department, the average VB developer just can't really cut it in terms of cosmetics. As I said, I have no real problem with it, and I do like the themed controls and think they add a nice touch of professionalism and modernism to the apps. But again, those were developed by MS, who has a graphics budget larger than most countrys GDP.
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DatabaseMX (Joe Anderson - Microsoft MVP, Access and Data Platform)Commented:
"the average VB developer just can't really cut it in terms of cosmetics"

Fortunately, I can :-)
Not to mention that one of my boys is a high end graphic artist !

mx
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Jeffrey CoachmanCommented:
I'll clarify my position.
<I have never seen a "Colored" button in any professionaly designed application.>

I try to take my design cues from looking at the Microsoft Apps themselves.
When I open up dialog boxes in these apps (ex.: MS Office)I never see any colored buttons.
Hence I avoid doing this in my apps.

For example, this Photoshop (the most popular Graphics program) most dialog box does not contain any colored buttons.

That being said, I am sure we can all agree that the definition of a "Button" has been eveloving ever since the web came into prominence.
(For example the "Office Button")

So I guess I should have stated; the basic Rectangular "buttons".
:-)

My goal is always to make my "Applications" indistiguishable from the actual program that created them.
I do this as an attempt to maks you apps look "professional".
:-S

(IMHO, Colored buttons are a tip-off of a "Home grown" app.)

Besides, the last time I tried one of thses colored buttons, you had to have two images.
One for normal look and one for the "depressed" look.

And after clicking this button too fast, the images got "Confused" and/or Locked up.

In other words, it was just not worth the trouble.
Utimately, I could not see any real reason why a button need to be "Colorful".

(Of course, these same arguments could be made for colored checkboxes)
;-)

Jeff
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DatabaseMX (Joe Anderson - Microsoft MVP, Access and Data Platform)Commented:
As far as buttons go, I would only be using the themed controls which have the halo effect.  If gradients were available, I would consider that.  Other than that, I wouldn't be coloring buttons per se.

mx
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Jeffrey CoachmanCommented:
Me to..
Most of my time is spent in the design phase.
(usually no time left for making it "purdy")

I'm still trying to figure out the principals of Normalizationistics.
... or whatever you guys call it.

LOL

;-)

Jeff
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Jeffrey CoachmanCommented:
duta,

See here:
http://www.peterssoftware.com/bp.htm
http://www.databasedev.co.uk/command_button.html

I think I have some more links/samples at home.

I'll check tonight.

Jeff
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DatabaseMX (Joe Anderson - Microsoft MVP, Access and Data Platform)Commented:
I can vouch for anything from PetersSoftware ... cool stuff.

mx
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