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Larry BristerFlag for United States of America

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MS Access 2003 cannot access Subform making me crazy

This makes no sense to me.

I have 5 forms
Top level form
    3 subforms
         1 subform on of the first midlevel subform

The following is the structure with the forms names as seen in the MS Access Forms window


There is a combobox on the top level ClientVisits form.
On the Combobox after update or change event I can access sub routines within all three mid level forms


But for the LIFE of me I cannot access the sub_sub form named:

I can't do it from
Nor can I do it from

Where would be the best place to call the MarketingVisitationClient.Form.routinename and what syntax on the combobox change or update event?
Avatar of mbizup
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Make your function or sub Public, and try calling it like this (from the main form):


Make sure you are using the name of the subform control as seen in your form's deign(which may be different from the name of the subform as seen in the navigation pane)
You can also use the expression builder (From the main form) to actually "Build" the expression that should get you to the control on the 3rd level form.

For example, I built a three level form and this the path to a control on the 3rd level form, ...from the top level form:

Sample attached
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I'm a .Net guys and haven't been in MS Access in a while...rust flakes everywhere.

How do I access the Expression Builder?

I tried using your path above in the VBA to just read a dropped in textbox on my lower form

MsgBox [MarketingVisitationClient].[Form]![MarketingVisitationClientContactsWorklist].[Form]![txtLarry]

I got this error screen.
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Avatar of Jeffrey Coachman
Jeffrey Coachman
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Coming clear now...Looks like something is not installed here.

When I right click and choose build event I have no Expression Builder...I see only Code and Module

User generated image
...Never seen that...?

OK, I don't want to sidetrack the thread too much, ...just try again with the syntax I posted, ...just try to check your spelling carefully (reference the form "Name").

Short of you posting a sample, I am at a loss here.

Please continue on with mbizup to avoid confusion.

  Yeah...I agree. Based on everything I see your example shoud work...hands down.

This isn't super complicated...pretty straight forward. So, I'm going to address your reply, and post a new question for the missing Expression Builder.
>> Please continue on with mbizup to avoid confusion.

Hmm... I'm not really sure what else to contribute here.   All of your feedback seems to be related to Jeff's suggestions.  Did you also see/try mine?
Did a uninstall and install with everything local and that got me the Expression Builder
Where would be the best place to call the MarketingVisitationClient.Form.routinename and what syntax on the combobox change or update event?

Curious what was wrong with my suggestion?  (you didn't respond to my first comment).


Is the syntactically correct way of calling a routine in a sub-sub form -- assuming that your first level subform control is named "ClientVisitContactEvent".
Sorry...I'm buried and should have given you some clarrification on the actual project.

I tried your syntax (and others as well) which is perfectly valid.  SHould reason not to.  Tried for several days and starting to get curious looks from VP.

So I did the reinstall so I could get the Expression Builder.

Once I had THAT...I could see visually...that I STILL could not get to that form for some reason.

TWO levels up I placed VBA code to unload the subform that is the parent of the one I'm trying to get to

Then I reloaded it.
This flushed the data in the bottom form.
I used this VBA
    Me!MarketingVisitationClient.SourceObject = ""
    Me!MarketingVisitationClient.SourceObject = "MarketingVisitationClient"

Open in new window

I then build a user defined table function in SQL Server
On the BOTTOM form I loaded this
Private Sub Form_Load()
    Dim custid As Long
    custid = Me.parent.parent.txtClientID
    Dim visitid As Integer
    visitid = Nz(Me.parent.parent.cmbVisits, 0)
    Dim rcd As ADODB.Recordset
    Set rcd = Conn.Execute("SELECT * FROM dbo.udt_VisitClientContacts('" & custid & "','" & visitid & "') ORDER BY ur,AddRemove DESC, Assignment DESC,[Last Name]")
    Set Me.Form.Recordset = rcd
End Sub

Open in new window

So...when I set the parent.parent combobox..
It unloads the (middle) parent
Which flushes the bottom form
reloads the middle form
On expand of the middle form datasheet
The bottom form looks at the Paren.parent and loads the data

I'm a .Net guy and didn't build this MS Access App...I inherited it.
I tried literally verything I possible could with every syntax imagineable to access that subform.
It just gave me the happy motorist sign and hid out.
What I have now works...stange as it seems.
Thanks for the follow up.

I don't have a copy of Access 2K3 handy, but I seem to recall the expression builder in older versions of Access not going down to the level of detail that it does in A2K7 and 2010.

<< SHould reason not to. >>

Also agree with that...

You were trying to run a function in your sub-sub form, correct?  Or just refer to any control on that subform?

IF you were trying to run a sub or function, potential pitfalls are:


<< Private Sub YourCommandButton_Click() >>

Event procedures in forms are by default "Private".  To use them from other forms, you need to change that to "Public".


Controls on different forms may have the same name, and so will the default names of their Event procedures.  Even though you are using the full path to a sub or function, you may (not sure) need to ensure that the event procedure has a unique name.

All that said... I personally (almost) never use this approach.  If there is a sub or function that I need to use across multiple forms, I generally will place it in a separate public module.  You can pass form and/or control names to public functions as needed.
Thanks...will ask a follow-up new question