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MS Access Form field directions

Posted on 2014-10-22
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Last Modified: 2014-11-01
I have created a form in Microsoft Access 2013.  I want to make sure the fields are uniform when filled in by different users.  I would like to have directions for each form field - I am envisioning a pop up box with directions for each form field and how it should be filled out.  Can you please help me either create a popup box that appears when I click on a form field, or in the alternative, if you have another way to give users directions about how to fill out the box, I am open to that too.  thanks!
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Question by:Lisa Haba
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Expert Comment

by:Dale Fye (Access MVP)
ID: 40398044
A popup might work, or possibly a messagbox somewhere on the form, or even the tooltip property of the control.

The tooltip property is probably the easiest, but require that the user mouseover the control, and will not popup if you simply tab into or click into a control.

Best method I've found for this type of thing is to create a table (tbl_Control_Tips) and populate that table with fields [FormName], [ControlName], and [Tip].  Then I would create a form based on this table.  Finally, I would create a help button on the form (automatically displaying the help would be annoying for experienced users).  The code behind the help button might look something (untested) like:
Private Sub cmd_Help_Click

    Dim strCriteria as string

    strCriteria = "[FormName] = '" & me.Name & "' AND " _
                & "[ControlName] = '" & screen.previouscontrol.name & "'"
    if DCount("*", "tbl_Control_Tips", strCriteria) > 0 Then

        Docmd.openform "frm_Control_Tips", ,, strCriteria

    End If

End Sub

Open in new window

This would give your users the ability to get the help if they need it, but not annoy them if they don't.  You could also call this from the GotFocus event of each of the controls if you wanted to be annoying.

One more thing, you might want to consider adding a line in tbl_Control_Tips with FormName = 'None' and ControlName = 'None' and Tip of "no help available for this control".  Then, if the Dcount ( ) function above returns 0, you could set the criteria to:

"[FormName] = 'None' AND [ControlName] = 'None'"

and still popup the help box.
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Eirman earned 500 total points
ID: 40398171
You could keep it simple by placing a label beside each field that might need an explanation.
The label could be a simple   ?
Then create a tooltip for each label.
They won't bother experienced users, but are there for those who need them.

Some help with tootip timings etc ....
http://www.msaccesstips.com/2009/02/controltip-text-and-time-delay/
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by:Eirman
ID: 40417448
Thanks
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