Making Access 2013 Forms look sleeker

Hey Everyone

Is there any software out there (or vba tricks) that I could install to design better looking Access forms?  The forms I make look ok, but it would be nice to jazz them up to look more modern (I know that is kind of a nebulous concept).

I found Peter's Software but it did not look like his button painter would work with Access 2013.

Are there any style templates in Access 2013 that I may be missing?

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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
2013 uses "themes", which you can use to stylize your forms somewhat. There are a few included with Access, and you can download others to use. To play around with them, open any Form/Report in Design view and click Design - Themes.

There are very few 3rd party controls that work with Access, and most of those don't really do much in the way of modernizing the interface. As I've said many times, if you need a modern interface, using new, modern controls, then don't use Access.
Gustav BrockCIOCommented:
I've tried that. I even created a replacement for the InputBox and MessageBox shared here:

Modern/Metro style message box and input box for Microsoft Access

But it is a major work requiring both skill, time, and enthusiasm. Nothing comes easy.
So my advice is to keep it simple and clean. Luckily, all the 3D stuff is so much yesterday, so you can stick to a flat design which is much easier to handle.

alevin16Author Commented:
Excellent advice again!  Thank you.  By the way Scott, what would you recommend I look into to create forms.  I would love to learn a new piece of software that could allow me to create better looking forms.

THanks again!
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A2013 has button options.Button Options

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Jeffrey CoachmanMIS LiasonCommented:
what would you recommend I look into to create forms.  I would love to learn a new piece of software that could allow me to create better looking forms.

If you are using Access, there is no other "software" you can use to make forms.
As the others have stated, at one point there were utilities and code/control properties to create certain types of "cool" effects.
...but as Gustav stated, ...mos of these are out of style now.
As you know, styles come and go...

So here you will have to clearly define ambiguous terms like: "sleeker", and "better looking",
...perhaps providing a specific graphical example.

What looks sleek or better to one person may look horrible to another person.
(why do you think things like houses and cars have so many options and styles?)

To me a clean interface will always be good looking.
Form follows function.

What looks sleek for an eCommerce site like, ...may not work well for a Parts ordering database.

Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE )Infotrakker SoftwareCommented:
The .NET languages generally give you a much richer environment for these sorts of things, and there are a wealth of 3rd party control suites that can make your application do some pretty amazing things. There is most definitely a learning curve with .NET, and if you're a "drag-n-drop" sort of programmer, with limited VBA and SQL skills, you'll very likely find .NET to be have a very long and very steep learning curve. In my opinion, however, it's worth it if your goal is to take things to the next level in terms of look-and-feel.
alevin16Author Commented:
All excellent comments.  I wish there was a way to choose all as "best" answer because they all had merit.
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