The Access Wizard Newsletter
Tips, Tricks, and Traps for Access Users and Developers.

Shortcuts, Part 2:  These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Citius, Altius, Fortius - The Olympic motto meaning Faster, Higher, Stronger.

The 2012 Summer Olympics out of London are now behind us. The Olympic motto encourages athletes to be faster. Although faster is not always better (think the slow food movement), in many cases, faster means more efficient.  When working with databases, faster is always preferred. This month, I’ll remind you of a few more shortcuts; these are some of my favorites.


An Easy Way to Get to Design View:  Control-Enter

When you are in the navigation pane and have found the table, form, report, or query that you're interested in working with, you can always go to the ribbon, click on the create tab and then click on the design button. But there’s a much faster way to get there.
If you like using the keyboard, just hold down the Control key and hit the Enter key. If you prefer the mouse, use your right button and then choose Design.
Note that in order for the Control-Enter shortcut to work, the object must be closed. 

An Easy Way Reach the Property Sheet:  F4

Once you are in design view, you will frequently want to work with the properties of an object, a text box or command button, for example. Again, you could always go up to the ribbon, click on the form design tab, and then click on the property sheet button.
A quicker way, though, is to just hit your F4 key. This will bring up property sheet and you can make changes immediately.
As an alternate to the F4 key you can also double-click on the item to bring you to design view.


Open Up the Zoom Box:  Shift F2

 When you're working in form view, you will frequently have a need to see the contents of a text box that doesn't appear in its entirety. You can always click into the text box and use your up and down arrows to scroll through the available lines. But there is a much easier way: If you hold down the shift key and hit the F2 key, you will find that a zoom box opens up. This will allow you to see the entire contents of the box.
If you design databases for other people, you'll want to make sure that they are aware of this feature as well. If you want to make your forms especially easy for other people to use, you can program a double-click on the text box so that it will open the zoom box for them. The code for this is DoCmd.RunCommand acCmdZoomBox.


Always be on the lookout for opportunities to more toward Citius - speed. By using shortcuts like these, your work with the database will be faster and you will be able to spend more time thinking about how to make your database better, or just engaging in some other activity that gives you bliss.


More Shortcuts

If you liked these shortcuts, see Shortcuts, Part 1, in the May 2005 Access Wizard.
You can also take one of Microsoft Tutorial video course available within Access. Hit the F1 key to bring up help then, do a search on keyboard shortcuts.
If you like videos, you'll find that Access 2010 Keyboard Shortcuts I & II will be a good source for all sorts of ideas to speed you along.

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