How resize a form to fit the user's monitor resolution

I have a form that fits on my monitor perfectly.  But on some user's monitors the form is too large and they have to scroll either vertically or horizontally.

Is there a solution to this that will resize the form and it's objects per the user's monitor?

Currently I have the form properties set to:

Auto Center = Yes
Auto Resize = Yes
Fit to Screen = Yes
Border Style = Thin

--Steve
SteveL13Asked:
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Gustav BrockCIOCommented:
The simple method is to maximize it. Won't that be possible?

/gustav
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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
In general you should develop your UI to handle the "lowest common denominator" in regard to screen resolution, and then  maximize the form as gustav suggests. This would fill the screen, as much as possible.

I'm not sure what version of Access you're using, but 2010 introduced the concept of anchoring and such, and you can use those properties to expand the boxes to fit your user's screen.

There are also some 3rd party utilities that some use, like Peter's Software ShrinkStretcher. This is a more "complete" resize control, but of course you have to purchase it and implement it. If your needs are fairly simple - for example, you just want to stretch a textbox to fit a larger screen size - then the built in Anchor property is often sufficient.
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Nick67Commented:
Is there a solution to this that will resize the form and it's objects per the user's monitor?
The short answer is "the gates of hell lie just beyond the attempt to do that"
ShrinkStretcher has been mentioned.

This question comes up a couple times a quarter.
Last time out I asked the Asker to do the back-of-the-envelope calculations between the cost of the development time to get that all perfect, tested and working, versus the cost of tossing the small monitors in the bush and getting larger ones -- which is a boost to productivity across-the-board, too.

Some small monitors got tossed in the bush.
Is there a solution to this that will resize the form and it's objects per the user's monitor?
Yup.  Replace the monitors.  That's the dollars-and-sense solution.

The seventh level of hell involves trying to screw with Option Groups <shudder>

Nick67
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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
But the "buy bigger monitors" is a never-ending cycle, since the next time the developer's monitor is replaced (and the application is not designed to proper UI standards), you'd have to replace the other monitors.

No doubt that bigger monitors are better, but the answer to this question is not an investment in hardware, but rather a rethinking of design strategies and concepts, and an adherence to proper UI conventions.
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Jeffrey CoachmanMIS LiasonCommented:
Agree with all the above experts, so I am not seeking any points here...

In my company we gave up, and slowly standardized the monitor sizes, and resolutions.
This way you avoid the "super user" with the 27 inch monitor developing apps that look good only at 2560 x 1440

Remember, you cannot change the size of the forms/dialog boxes in any other office application, ...and users seem to be fine with all of those screens. (they can adjust there resolution to their liking for all their programs,)
;-)
...because those dialog boxes are designed to fit the most common user resolutions.

The kicker here is that Access lets you design your own forms/dialog boxes, ...therein lies the problem...
;-)

No one here is saying that you should design your apps at 640x480,
But I take my design queues from the widows 7 minimum resolution of 1024x768
I design all my apps (forms) to fit comfortably at that resolution.
I also try to keep my user forms straightforward and simple.

JeffCoachman
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Nick67Commented:
Not disagreeing at all, but
No doubt that bigger monitors are better, but the answer to this question is not an investment in hardware, but rather a rethinking of design strategies and concepts, and an adherence to proper UI conventions.

There is a problem.
Resources will be thrown at it to resolve it.
Sometimes the right answer is hardware, but that option doesn't hit the table, and a face-palm results later.
Sometimes the thought about cost/benefit doesn't make an appearance.  It should.
What's the best use of time and money?

I started out at 1024 x 768.
These days most of the outfit has access to 1680 x 900.
Some have a 720p and an additional 1680 x 900 monitor
(I was pissed to discover that the Dell 15.6" laptops we purchased ran 720p -- who'da thunk that!)
Many have full 1080p.

Some forms get bigger than 720p allows.
I see to it that users that need something bigger have an option to put the app on something bigger.
Some forms get bigger than 1680 x 900, too.
I try to see to it that those users have 1080p.

AND

I design the forms so the more critical functions are up-and-left and less critical are down-and-right.
That way, even if someone with a less-than-ideal resolution has to use a form, the scrolling is minimized.
I try to minimize the variety of resolutions in use to make life simpler.
Mo' options is mo' problems!

But sometimes the answer is to throw some old hardware in the bush!
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Gustav BrockCIOCommented:
Hardware should be recycled my friends.

That said, users hate applications that force full-screen Windows. If they need full-screen during a session, it is one click only to maximize the application window.

So the best advice is: Behave. Leave the control over screen estate to the user.
And you can spend your limited time on other and more important development tasks.

/gustav
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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
You'll never convince me that the best way to handle a situation like this is to tell your client or boss to "buy bigger monitors". If I did that, I would be out of business pretty quick.

I do agree that hardware should keep up with the needs of the company (note I said the company, and not the program). However, unless you've speced out and justified the need for those bigger displays, then under no circumstance should you design a form that will work only on a random, specific resolution, and then tell the client (or your boss) to "buy bigger monitors" when it doesn't fit. What should happen is you determine the minimum size and resolution you'll be dealing with, and design  your UI to that size/resolution.

While I do understand that certain industries need very large displays (and yours may be one of them), in my opinion forcing hardware changes to accommodate a specific program is an indication of a poorly designed UI (with the exception of the aforementioned industries).
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Nick67Commented:
You'll never convince me that the best way to handle a situation like this is to tell your client or boss to "buy bigger monitors".
I'm not trying to convince you.
The ONLY way to handle the situation is to do a ROI on the various options that present themselves.
We can pour development time into dynamically resizing apps
We can develop smartly for the resolutions in play with users, by keeping the most pertinent data and controls to the upper left
resolutionsWe can cut down on the diversity of monitor resolutions in use.
If I failed to look at ALL the possibilities, and recommend the best ROI, somebody'd be mad at ME.

I've spent the last week or so reworking our website to deal with Mobilemaggedon.
What should happen is you determine the minimum size and resolution you'll be dealing with, and design  your UI to that size/resolution.
That was certainly a dominant paradigm in the web world.
Design everything to 960px and center it on the screen.
That's passé, now.
And, if the boss has a 27" monitor and you've designed for 1024 x 768, the apps going to look pretty silly on the machine of the guy who signs the paycheque.

Form follows function.
While I do understand that certain industries need very large displays
The one form that chews the whole 1080p is the invoicing form.
That's certainly not industry specific!

But the decision comes down to what makes sense in the situation.
And sometimes that decision is that some old, small monitors get retired.
It's an option that should be on the table for consideration, if not for adoption.

The question at the end of the day is: how do we make the most users the most productive?
Retiring some folks old monitors so that everyone can get more functionality on their screens can be a very legitimate answer.

Mileage varies by situation (MVBS)

Nick67
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