number of mathematicians walk into a bar. The first mathematician orders
a beer; the second orders half a beer; the third, a quarter of a beer;
the fourth, an eighth of a beer. The bartender says "You're
all idiots," and pours two beers.
This joke is a play on the mathematical concept known as the limit
theorem. The limit theorem describes some event that although continuing
forever, ultimatelyarrives at a known point (or limit). In the case
above, the bartender realizes that an infinite number of mathematicians
would ultimately order a total of two beers.
As a matter of fact, if you want to get a mathematician going, ask
him/her what the value is for 1.99999… where the nines continue forever.
If you give him/her enough time, you will be convinced that the value is
All this leads up to one of those marginal segues into the subject of
this month’s Wizard,
a continuation of Ribbon Commands Unique to You. (Luckily, it doesn’t
the Code Call to the Ribbon
In last month’s Wizard, I showed you
how to create a macro that calls a function that displays a message box.
This was our infrastructure to show you how to add a custom command to
If you recall, the macro we created last month was called My Macro. Our
goal is to have My Macro, which calls our function, show up in the ribbon
so we can click on it. One thing to note before we begin is that, unless
you are building a ribbon from scratch, you can only add custom code to a
customized group within a tab.
So to add this code, we right-click the Ribbon and choose Customize the
Ribbon, which brings up a screen similar to the one below:
To add a macro, take the following steps:
Macros from the “Choose Commands From” drop-down.
“MyMacro” on the left-hand side.
on the “My Custom Tab” that we made in September. (If you need
details on how to create a customized tab, see the September Wizard.
At this point,
if everything is working properly, the “My Macro” will jump to the
right-hand side and be a member of the My Custom Tab group. Note that the
name given by default is My Macro and the icon that has come along for
the ride is the one associated with macros.
We are not stuck
with the words My Macro, nor do we have to live with the icon that Access
provides by default. To change things, click on the rename button at the
bottom of the dialog box. This allows us to both change
then name as it appears in the Ribbon and to give it an
icon. For our purposes, I’ll call it My Independent Study so it is
consistent with the name of the code. Also, I will change the icon so
that it is consistent with our mathematics theme this month and choose
the Pi symbol.
At this point, click okay. You will bounce back to the normal view and
should see that the "My Custom Tab" has a new item called My
Independent Study. When you click it, you will get our “Hello World”
As you can see,
making this type of customization is not as easy as selecting something
that is already predefined for you. There was an extra step of creating a
macro which, in turn, had to call the code.
With this technique, you can make significant changes to the existing
ribbon. Make no mistake – this won’t get you all the way to your own
custom ribbons, because using this technique you are still stuck with
using the default ribbon with its preset tabs and groups. Getting to a
custom or “Bespoke Ribbon” is a much more involved process that we’ll
review in future Wizards.
Trap of the
Changes to the
Ribbon using these techniques are available only in Access 2010 and
above. Unfortunately, to get to things like this in Access 2007, you have
to use the considerably more complicated XML and Code Callback