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Tab Control: Different Colors In Different Windows OS - Same Settings

Posted on 2013-02-01
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Last Modified: 2013-02-01
I am using Access 2010.  Our old/current operating system is Windows XP.  We are moving to Windows 7.  My current project is to test our Access 2010 applications under Windows 7 to see if there are any problems.

One problem concerns tab controls on forms.  Note these conditions:
The "Use Theme" property is set to "no".
The "Back Style" property is set to "Normal"
The problem is with the color of the bottom/"window" part of the control - not the tab area.

Details: In Windows XP, these tab controls properly display a gray background for the window area.  Sadly, in Windows 7, at least one of the forms/tabs acts as if the "Back Style" is set to "Transparent" when it definitely is not.  It's a problem for the window area to use the background color of the Detail section.  It makes the form unreadable.  This is the biggest problem/question.  

To help understand the scope of the issue, read on:  MS Access incorrectly showing the background color of the Detail section is not a problem with all of the tab controls I am testing in Windows 7.  I have another form with a tab control which behaves slightly better in Windows 7.  For that tab control/form, the window area background color is white.  (Not ideal at all.  But at least the form is readable.)  The question is: Why would one control bleed the Detail section's background color through as if the Back Style setting were set to transparent, but another tab on another form does not do this?

I have tried to make sure that the property settings for each of these example tab controls are the same.  Maybe I missed something?  Is there a particular setting you think I should double-check?

Also note: one tab control (the better behaving one) was added back when we were using Office 2003 (the good ol days).  The super-poorly behaving tab control was added to the application after we "upgraded" to Office 2010.  I don't have enough sample data to say that I have a pattern or not, but I just thought it worth mentioning?  Is Access calling them both 'tabs', but they are in truth different controls?  Just a wild thought.

I've tried playing around with Windows 7 colors without much enlightenment.  Plus, I can't dictate to my users on what Windows 7 theme to use.  But note that I was able to get both tab controls to properly display the gray background if I picked a Windows 7 theme of "Windows Classic".

Have you experienced this problem?  Found a solution?  Have ideas?

Thanks!
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Question by:SDS_Dev
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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE ) earned 2000 total points
ID: 38845632
Are you referring to the native Access tab control, or are you using an ActiveX control?

Make sure that Office and Windows are fully up to date. Also, make sure that your video card drivers are updated.

Also, make sure to perform maintenance on the database - do a Compact/Repair. Might also be a good idea to build a new, blank database and import everything from the old db to the new one.

Does this occur on ALL Win7 machines?
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by:SDS_Dev
ID: 38845737
LSMConsulting:  Thanks for your quick response!

Is it a native Access tab control?  I think so.  It is definitely not a 3rd party tab control.  And the tabs which are misbehaving the most are the ones that I added in Access 2010 to a form in a  .accdb file, from the "controls" drop down on the ribbon.  I'm pretty sure that's the native one?

I will double-check with my Help Desk staff to make sure Office and Windows are fully up to date.  And to check on the video card drivers.

I already do the repair/compact multiple times per day/work period on my apps.  I tried it again and did not get a change/fix.  

Note in terms of trying to fix corruption:  I have also recently (last week) exported all forms to text files and then re-loaded the forms from the text files.  That usually takes care of the worst of corruption in a form, but it did not help this problem.  

However, it has probably been several months since I imported the objects into a blank database, so I gave that a try just now.  Interestingly enough, that fixed the problem in the one problem screen/tab that I am aware of.  Hopefully that same solution will work if I find it again.

Yeah you!  Thanks for the idea.  I did not think this was a corruption problem.

FYI: Good question about "does it happen on all Windows 7 machines?"  I only have one to play with personally, but if something like this happens again, I will ask my Help Desk to test it on one (or hopefully more) of their Win 7 PCs before I post a question here.

One final note: There is still the problem of the lower part of the tab control's background being white.  But I think that really is a Windows 7 issue that is not fixable.  And at least the screen will be readable.

Thanks again.
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