How to Create Forms in Microsoft Access 2007

Use Access forms to create a user-friendly experience

What to Know

  • Open a database and select a table for your form. Then choose Create > Create Form.
  • Use Layout View and the Format tab to customize your form. You can find layout options on the Arrange tab.
  • Switch to Form View to use your new form. Use the Record icons to navigate.

Although Access provides a convenient spreadsheet-style datasheet view for entering data, it isn't always an appropriate tool for every data entry situation. If you work with users you don't want to expose to the inner workings of Access, use Access forms to create a user-friendly experience. These instructions apply to Access 2007. For the latest version, see our tutorial on Access 2013.

Open Your Access Database

Microsoft Access 2007 open file screenshot

First, you'll need to start Microsoft Access and open the database that will house your new form.

In this example, we'll use a simple database we've developed to track running activity. It contains two tables: one that keeps track of the routes a person normally runs and another that tracks each run. We'll create a new form that allows the entry of new runs and modification of existing runs.

Select the Table for Your Form

Microsoft Access 2007 tables screenshot

Before you begin the form creation process, it's easiest if you pre-select the table that you'd like to base your form upon. Using the All Tables pane on the left side of the screen, locate the appropriate table and double-click on it. In our example, we'll build a form based upon the Runs table, so we select it, as shown in the figure above.

Select Create Form From the Access Ribbon

Microsoft Access 2007 Create ribbon screenshot

Next, select the Create tab on the menu ribbon and choose the Create Form button, as shown in the image above.

View the Basic Form

Microsoft Access 2007 Runs screenshot

Access will now present you with a basic form based upon the table you selected. If you're looking for a quick and dirty form, this may be good enough for you. If that's the case, go ahead and skip to the last step of this tutorial on Using Your Form. Otherwise, read on as we explore changing the form layout and formatting.

Arrange Your Form Layout

Microsoft Access 2007 Arrange tools screenshot

After your form is created, you'll be placed immediately into Layout View, where you can change the arrangement of your form. If, for some reason, you're not in Layout View, choose it from the drop-down box underneath the Office button. From this view, you'll have access to the Form Layout Tools section of the ribbon. Choose the Format tab and you'll see the icons shown in the image above.

While in Layout View, you can rearrange fields on your form by dragging and dropping them to their desired location. If you want to completely remove a field, right-click on it and choose the Delete menu item.

Explore the icons on the Arrange tab and experiment with the various layout options. When you're done, move on to the next step.

Format Your Form

Microsoft Access 2007 Format tools screenshot

Now that you've arranged the field placement on your Microsoft Access form, it's time to spice things up a bit by applying customized formatting.

You should still be in Layout View at this point in the process. Go ahead and click the Format tab on the ribbon and you'll see the icons shown in the image above. You can use these icons to change the color and font of the text, the style of gridlines around your fields, include a logo and many other formatting tasks.

Explore all of these options. Go crazy and customize your form to your heart's content. When you're finished, move on to the next step of this lesson.

Use Your Form

Microsoft Access 2007 Form View screenshot

You've put a lot of time and energy into making your form match your needs. Now it's time for your reward! Let's explore using your form.

To use your form, you first need to switch to Form View. Click the drop-down arrow on the Views section of the ribbon, as shown in the figure above. Select Form View and you'll be ready to use your form!

Once you're in Form View, you can navigate through the records in your table by using the Record arrow icons at the bottom of the screen or entering a number into the 1 of x textbox. You can edit data as you view it if you like. You can also create a new record by either clicking the icon at the bottom of the screen with a triangle and star or simply using the next record icon to navigate past the last record in the table.

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