Mainform + Subforms designed for efficiency and flexibility

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Experience Level: Beginner
crystal (strive4peace) - Microsoft MVP, Access
Love empowering people by teaching and helping them develop applications.
This lesson discusses how to use a Mainform + Subforms in Microsoft Access to find and enter data for payments on orders. The sample data comes from a custom shop that builds and sells movable storage structures that are delivered to your property. When a sale is made, it may be paid outright, carried in-house, or purchased by a finance company.

Using a mainform with subforms allows data entry into multiple tables with referential integrity. There are also calculations, and ways to find and filter information; Synchronizing subforms so they update with the record changes using LinkMasterFields and LinkChildFields; Calculating sum and total number of orders and payments, and the balance due; Displaying the company logo; and more.

Learn how to undo creating a new record, use shortcuts and quick ways to enter data, and about setting the Enter key behavior in the Access Options so pressing Enter goes down one row, just like in Excel. See how easy it can be to disburse all the is remaining on an allocated amount left to a single order.

See how Anchoring subforms and controls enables them to stretch and shrink as the display area changes.

Future lessons will go into the nuts and bolts of how this form works, address issues, fix problems (there are some), and enhance capabilities.


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Video Steps

1. Download sample database

   ACCDB Mainform-Subforms_Payment.zip
   This is the data entry form: image showing Mainform and Subforms for payment information

2. Use a form as a mainform to display and edit data in a main table.

3. Use subforms to display and edit data in related tables.

 - Use LinkMasterFields and LinkChildFields to synchronize bound subforms.

4. Use unbound combo boxes and list boxes to find and filter records, and bound controls to pick values while showing data from related tables

5. Include a button to show ALL records to undo filters.

6. Allocate checks and charges over open orders.

7. Update calculations when the information affecting them is changed.

8. Press Shift-F2 for the Zoom box.

9. Press ESCape to undo a change to a control, and ESCape, again if necessary, to undo a record.

10. Anchor subforms and controls so they stretch and shrink as a window is made bigger and smaller, or a form resized.

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