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MS Access

Posted Jan 16, 2004

Navigate Access Forms with Faux Hyperlinks - Page 2

By Danny Lesandrini

When to use this solution

Well, that is how you do it, but you may still be wondering where to use it.  Below are a couple of screen shots of applications I have created recently where we implemented this idea.  The first implementation was intended to simplify a very complex form.  The Project Info form already has too many subforms on too many tabs.  (Please excuse me for this  egregious violation of good UI design.)  The hyperlinks in the lower right side of the Project Investigators tab replaced a subform with its own nested subform to the Site Notes table. 

The real estate allotted for the hyperlinks allows for a dozen Site Note links and a thirteenth link that opens All Site Notes for this project.  Users like this method, because they can more quickly see the history of their notes, even without opening up the notes form.  If, however, they want to see the detail, edit the note or add a new one, they can do so with a single click.  This was the most widely accepted new UI feature ever deployed for this application.  The users love it.

The next implementation has not yet been rolled out to users because of the record count limitation.  This order entry system can, and does on occasion, have hundreds of order detail items for each order, which tends to make this subform grow uncontrollably.  In addition, users are accustomed to deleting line items from this subform, so I had to add an array of buttons, which virtually doubles the processing for each new order record loaded. 

Nevertheless, again, you can see the advantage of this method.  Where there are around 20 detail items (which is the most common situation) the interface allows the users to quickly see the entire list at a glance.  As a subform of datasheet records, much more screen real estate is required and scrolling was required left and right as well, adding an addition scrollbar.  The code for this solution is not included in the download, but it can be easily inferred from what is there.

What's The Verdict?

I have to admit that this article is totally selfish for me. I really got a kick out of this idea and just wanted to share it with someone.  The few clients who are using the idea all seem to like it, and with things going toward the Internet more and more these days, people are not only comfortable with UI features like hyperlinks, they practically demand them.

As usual, my email is published above.  Drop me a line to let me know what you think, and educate me if you think I missed something with regard to a simpler implementation.  I am also curious to know if you think it is something you would ever put in a form of yours and how you think your clients would react to faux hyperlinks in an Access form.

» See All Articles by Columnist Danny J. Lesandrini

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