combobox color?

Would anyone have a good reason why when I work through a form entering data some of my comboboxes back colors turn grey? I tried to stop this by resetting them all to a creme color, but they still just change. when i look at the design form, the creme color is still set. Magic?
Brant KerseyAsked:
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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
The "grey" color generally means the combo is disabled in some manner. If you're not toggling the Enabled property (or modifying the Backcolor directly) then the backcolor should stay the same.

If you're NOT doing either of those, then you may have an issue with your database and may need to perform maintenance. First make a backup, then do this:

1. Compact the database
2. Compile the code - from the VBA Editor click Debug - Compile. Continue doing this until the Compile menu item is disabled.
3. Compact again.

You may also need to Decompile your code. You can do this in various ways, one of which is to create a typical Windows Shortcut with the Target like this:

"full path to msaccess.exe" "full path to your db" /decompile

Run that shortcut, then do the 3 steps again.

You may also need to create a new, blank database and import everything into that new db.

Finally, be sure your Office and Windows installations are fully up to date.
Brant KerseyAuthor Commented:
wow, never considered this...been using the db for many years without doing any maintenance on it. one question: I have access 2007 so I cant find the old trusty compact and repair from the older versions. I have visual studio 2008 and also sql server management studio. How do I go about compacting and repairing?
Dale FyeOwner, Developing Solutions LLCCommented:
The other thing to check would be to make sure that those controls that are being greyed out don't have some conditional formatting configured.
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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
To get to C&R in 2007 click the Office button, then click Manage. Be sure to backup your database first.

See this MSFT article for more info:

You may also want to consider an update to Office 2010/2013. 2007 was the first version of Microsoft's move into the .accdb format, and as we all know, Microsoft first versions can sometimes be sketchy. Lots of little ills were fixed in 2010. 2013 was more cosmetic than anything else, but it's not a bad move if you can't find 2010.

Just remember that if you're rolling this out to others, you need to be sure you're working with a version that is compliant with their environments. There have been lots of posts about databases compiled in 2013/2010 that won't work correctly in 2007.
Brant KerseyAuthor Commented:
i use MODI to control all my patients reports and documents. if I upgrade to 2010 dont I loose that support? If I can reference MODI dll and automation in 2010 I will upgrade. do you know off the top of your head?
btw, im not sure what the other person meant by conditional formatting...these weird combobox color changes are happening at random times and across all forms....
This is a bug, as I recall In Access 2007.  Check the 'Alternate Background' Property for the detail section of your form.  Set it to something (anything) other than the default, which if I remember right is blank, and see if that helps.

Also try setting the display theme to Windows Classic through Control Panel.

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Hi mbizup,

I can confirm for sure that this bug also exists in A2010...:-)
Took me a while to find out that AlternativeColor was the reason... I needed to set that to #FFFFFF (White) where the background color was another one.
As I do not have A2013 I cannot say if it is still there.


Hi Christian,

Thanks for confirming that.  I *thought* it was also a problem in 2010, but didn't have a computer to verify.

With our databases color scheme, the combo box backgrounds would turn black rather than grey when we upgraded to 2007... So it looked like all the text had been covered with black permanent marker.  The users were not happy.
Hi mbizup,

that's also another strange bug in Access if you use multiple monitors or a remote desktop connection: By random some rows in the combobox list are completely black or do not exist (empty row), if you scroll down it's always the same screen position. Happens only on all monitors but the main monitor. That's also the case with SQL Server Management Studio sometimes. I think, MS programmers all only have one monitor at work, so they unfortunately couldn't test that...;-)


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