Access Combo Box dropping open to right

SpaceCoastLife used Ask the Experts™
I have an Access 2002 project and I don't know what I did to an existing combo box control, but now every time I drop the list open, it opens to the right -  instead of directly below the control.  It is the weirdest thing.  What setting am I missing??
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Most Valuable Expert 2014
What setting am I missing

This is not something that is controllable by the developer.
The system tosses the dropdown based on what it believes is the best way to display it.
This is based on the size of the window (height and width), the location of the combobox on the form, the number of rows you have chosen to display, and maybe even other factors

You have probably added enough data that now the box cannot display the requested number of rows dropping straight down.  You can try to reduce .ListRows until it can do so again.

For giggles, de-maximimize your window.
Size it somewhat small.
Test your dropdown.
Use the scrollbar to reposition the dropdown in the window.
Test again.
You can watch the list display up, down, left or right of the anchoring combobox depending upon what you do.

I wouldn't fuss over it.
It is system behavior.
Access tries to display the asked-for number of rows in ListRows without need for a scrollbar.
Just go with it.


Excellent!  I was driving myself nuts thinking I 'broke' it.  I ended up lessening the value in List Rows and voila - back to dropping straight down again!  Thanks for your prompt reply.
Most Valuable Expert 2014

No Problem!
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Most Valuable Expert 2012
Top Expert 2014

I'm not sure that's default system behavior - Access will drop the list to the top or bottom, but it should be centered with the textbox portion (or as centered as it can get, based on the ListWidth property).

Look first at the ColumnWidths settings - if you have multiple columns, you should make sure you have a value for each. For example, if I have 3 columns, and I want to hide the first, I'd do this:


That would give me two 1" columns.

Also look at the ListWidth property. If it's set to Auto, try setting it to a value that would display all your columns. In my example above, that would be a setting of 2".

You may also have an issue with your database. Try to Compact/Repair your database.

Also make sure your installation of Windows and Office are fully up to date.
Most Valuable Expert 2014


Throw a combobox on a form with enough rows and data that it takes up more than half the screen height.
Demaximize the window.
Push the left edge of the combox just off the viewable area
Click the dropdown.
Watch the dropdown appear to the right of the combobox, if you've done it just right.

I've got a thirty column 12pt font combo that I can make the list appear left, right, up or down depending on how it is positioned.
The system has a preference for certain.
Down is preferred, up is the next preference, but left and right can happen, too.

Most Valuable Expert 2012
Top Expert 2014

I see what you mean. I created a combo with a 5 - 6 rows, set ColumnCount and ColumnWidths as appropriate, and I couldn't get it to do anything other than appear below or on top of the textbox portion.

If I increased the ListCount to a large number (say 50 or so), then I see what you're describing. The list appeared on the left, next to the combo.

That kinda confirms my point, however - you can modify the behavior if you can modify the attributes of the Combo. If you MUST have xx number of rows, and if that causes the list to appear in undesirable places, then as you said you simply live with it. If you don't need xx number of rows, then reducing that value (and perhaps modifying a few other attributes) would give you a more desirable result (perhaps).

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