Author Archives: Mike

Publications

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Smart Access Articles and sample files for the intermediate / advanced user Data Based Advisor The successor to Access / VBA / SQL Advisor – some good articles on Access for sale

Selecting Multiple Fields (All Versions)

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A quick way to place several successive fields on a form or report is to click the first field you want in the field list, scroll down until you see the last field you want, and then hold down the Shift key while you click the last field. This procedure selects all the fields between the first and last fields… Read more »

Sizing a Label (All Versions)

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To quickly adjust the size of a label, select the label, choose the Size command from the Format menu, and then choose To Fit from the submenu. You can also double-click any of the sizing handles to perform a size to fit.

Selecting Controls in a Row (All Versions)

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To select all controls in a vertical area, click the horizontal ruler above the area containing the controls you want to select. Likewise, to select all controls in a horizontal area, click the vertical ruler.

Select All Fields in Query Design (V2 and later)

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An easy way to select all the fields in a table is to double-click the title bar of the field list in the upper part of the Query design window. This highlights all the fields. Then click any of the highlighted fields and drag them as a group to the Field row in the design grid. While you’re dragging, the… Read more »

AND vs. OR (All versions)

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It’s a common mistake to get OR and AND mixed up when typing a compound criteria for a single field. You may think to yourself, “I want all the entertainment groups in the states of Washington and California,” and then type: WA AND CA in the Criteria row for the StateOrProvince field. When you do this, you’re asking Access to… Read more »

Edit From Relationships Window (Access 97 and later)

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You can right-click any table in the Relationships window and then choose Table Design from the shortcut menu to open that table in Design view. You can also choose Print Relationships (Access 2000) from the File menu while viewing the Relationships window to create a report that prints what you have laid out in the window.

Copy Toolbar Menu

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When you copy a built-in menu (either from an available menu bar or from the Built-In Menus category), Access does not make an independent copy of the original. So, if you copy a menu and then change some of its properties (for example, you delete one of the commands from the menu), you’re also affecting the built-in menu. This is… Read more »

Toolbar Context

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If you open one of the built-in toolbars in a context in which the toolbar would not normally be open, the toolbar remains open until you close it. For example, if you open the Customize dialog box while the focus is on the Database window and then open the Form Design toolbar, the toolbar remains open no matter what you… Read more »

Microsoft Office Access 2010 Inside Out

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Microsoft Office Access 2010 Inside Out Jeff Conrad John L. Viescas ISBN 0-7356-2685-5 CD included Microsoft has extended the features introduced in Access 2007 by enhancing the macro facility and giving you the ability to design forms and reports that can be directly ported to a Microsoft SharePoint web server.This comprehensive book, updated thoroughly by my “partner in crime,” Jeff… Read more »

Microsoft Office Access 2007 Inside Out

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Microsoft Office Access 2007 Inside Out John L. ViescasJeff ConradISBN 0-7356-2325-2CD included Microsoft has completely redesigned the user interface for all Microsoft Office products! Even if you’re an expert using Access, you need this book to learn how to work in this new edition of the world’s most popular desktop database. The book is also chock-full of details about the… Read more »

Microsoft Access 2003 Inside Out

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Microsoft Office Access 2003 Inside Out John L. ViescasISBN 0-7356-1513-6CD included. When Microsoft Press says "Inside Out," they mean it! This book covers how to build Desktop (mdb) applications, how to create Project (adp) applications, automating your application with Visual Basic, using Access on the Web, and much more. The CD is chock-full of sample code and includes three fully-functioning… Read more »

Building Microsoft Access Applications

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Building Microsoft Access Applications John L. ViescasISBN 0-7356-2039-3CD included You can find lots of Access books that give you neat tips and tricks to make your applications more robust, but none that give you a complete application with all the features built-in and a thorough guide to how the application works.Building Microsoft Access Applications includes four, count ’em four, complete… Read more »

Tools and Utilities

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FMS, Inc. World-class Access add-ins and utilities MZ Tools Great tools for editing in Visual Studio, Visual Studio, and VBA in Office. Black Moshannon Systems Speed Ferret search-and-replace utility Rick Fisher Consulting Another great Find and Replace utility SnagIt The best screen-capture and editing software.

Locking a Tool (Access 97 and later)

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When you select a tool other than the Select Objects tool, that tool becomes deselected after you use it to place a control on your form. If you plan to create several controls using the same tool—for example, a series of check boxes in an option group—double-click the control button in the toolbox to “lock” it. You can unlock it… Read more »

Updatability (V2 and later)

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The recordset that Microsoft Access creates when you run a query looks and acts pretty much like a real table containing data. In fact, in most cases you can insert rows, delete rows, and update the information in a recordset, and Access will make the necessary changes to the underlying table or tables for you. In some cases, however, Access… Read more »

Nulls and Zero-Length Strings (V2 and later)

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Relational databases support a special value in fields, called a Null, that indicates an unknown value. Nulls have special properties. A Null value cannot be equal to any other value, not even to another Null. This means you cannot join (link) two tables on Null values. Also, the test “A = B,” when A, B, or both A and B… Read more »

Y2K

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Although Access 2000 generally interprets 21st century dates with two-digit years correctly, I strongly recommend that you take advantage of the new Use Four-Digit Year Formatting option in Access to avoid all confusion. When you choose this option, Access displays four-digit years in datasheets, forms, and reports. It also converts whatever you type in an expression (such as Criteria in… Read more »

Microsoft Access Visual Basic Step By Step

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Microsoft Access  Visual Basic Step By Step Evan CallahanISBN No. 1-55615-890-4 If you’ve never programmed before and want to dig into the world of Visual Basic in Access, this is the place to start. Although written in 1996, this book still applies to current versions of Microsoft Access.

Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2005: T-SQL Programming

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Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2005: T-SQL Programming Itzik Ben-gan, Dejan Sarka, and Roger WolterISBN 0735621977 This thorough, hands-on reference for database developers and administrators delivers expert guidance on sophisticated uses of Transact-SQL (T-SQL)—one of the most familiar and powerful programming languages for SQL Server. Written by a T-SQL guru, this guide focuses on language features and how they are interpreted… Read more »

SQL Queries for Mere Mortals, 4th Edition

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SQL Queries for Mere Mortals, 4th Edition John L. ViescasISBN No. 978-0134858333 Anyone who has to use a database system that supports SQL can use this book. As a beginning database user who has just discovered that the data you need is fetched using SQL, this book will teach you all the basics and more. For an expert user who… Read more »

Special Edition Using Access 2002

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Special Edition Using Access 2002 Roger JenningsISBN 0-78972-510-X Sorry, but there is no 2002 edition of Running. I highly recommend Roger’s book as a good foundation for Intermediate users. This is a far better buy than the Microsoft Access 2002 Inside Out book (not written by me).

Access 2002 Developers Handbook Set

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Paul Litwin, Ken Getz, Mike GunderloyISBN 0-7821-4011-4CDs included Just like their previous editions, this is the book to own if you’re serious about developing advanced applications using Microsoft Access. Where else can you buy 30+ years of collective developer experience for under $100?

Access Cookbook

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Access Cookbook Paul Litwin, Ken Getz, Andy BaronISBN 0-5960-0084-7CD included This is a great little (OK, so it’s 720 pages) book that contains “answers” to many common tricky development tasks. The section on how to use the new Printers collection is particularly cool! The book is organized by type of task: queries, forms, reports, code, API calls, etc.

Microsoft Access 2002 Step-by-Step

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Microsoft Access 2002 Step-by-Step Online Training Solutions, Inc.ISBN 0-73561-299-4Disk included If you’re a rank beginner, start with this book. This is the 2002 version of the popular beginner tutorial.

Running Microsoft Access 2000

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Running Microsoft Access 2000 John L. ViescasISBN 1-57231-934-8CD included This edition of the book includes a new chapter on “Publishing Your Data on the Web.” I cover using both FrontPage and the new Data Access Pages facility to create web pages using “live” data from Microsoft Access 2000. You’ll also find a new section on the ground-breaking Client/Server facility as well… Read more »

Database Design for Mere Mortals, Third Edition

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Database Design for Mere Mortals, Third Edition Michael J. Hernandez ISBN No. 978-0321884497 An astonishing fresh approach to the ‘nasty’ task of relational database design. Mike uses a straightforward, no-nonsense technique that doesn’t get bogged down in incomprehensible mathematical rules or scientific jargon. Anyone who has anything to do with creating applications using a database product should buy this book… Read more »

Joe Celko’s SQL for Smarties: Advanced SQL Programming

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Joe Celko’s SQL for Smarties: Advanced SQL Programming Joe Celko ISBN No. 1-558-60576-2 After you have moved beyond SQL for Mere Mortals, Joe Celko is the unquestioned expert to go to for advanced techniques. Be forewarned that the problems he presents are brain-twisters, and the solutions might not work in all “relational” database systems. Like Mere Mortals, all the solutions… Read more »

Joe Celko’s SQL Puzzles and Answers

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Joe Celko’s SQL Puzzles and Answers Joe CelkoISBN No. 1-558-60453-7 Similar to SQL for Smarties, this book presents even more complex problems, a problem-solving approach, and the final solution. More of a “cookbook” and less of a “tutorial” than Smarties.

Joe Celko’s Trees and Hierarchies in SQL for Smarties

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Joe Celko’s Trees and Hierarchies in SQL for Smarties Joe CelkoISBN No. 1558609202 The next step beyond SQL for Smarties Joe Celko’s Trees and Hierarchies in SQL is an intermediate to advanced-level practitioners guide to mastering the two most challenging aspects of developing database applications in SQL. In this book, Celko illustrates several major approaches to representing trees and hierarchies… Read more »

Relational Database Design Clearly Explained

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Relational Database Design Clearly Explained Jan L. HarringtonISBN No. 0-12326-425-1 Another relatively simple and readable approach to database design. It’s a bit more academic than Mike’s book.

Handbook of Relational Database Design

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Handbook of Relational Database Design Candace C. Fleming, Barbara VonhalleISBN No. 0-2011-1434-8 This is an old classic published in 1989. It’s not for the novice reader.

Programming Microsoft SQL Server 2005

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Programming Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Andrew Brust and Stephen ForteISBN 0735619239 This book covers the basics of developing customized database applications with Microsoft SQL Server 2005, and it includes code samples and real-world, expert insight.

Forums & Newsgroups

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Support Groups on Yahoo: MS Access Professionals Access Dev MS Access   Microsoft Newsgroups Check out the Access and SQL Server newsgroups organized by topics. Answers by MVP designates (including me!) and other experts. Find Access under Desktop Applications and SQL Server under Servers. Utter Access forum Microsoft® Access, Excel, Word, Outlook®, Visual Basic®, SQL Server®, Office online help discussion… Read more »

Microsoft Access Developer’s Guide to SQL Server

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Microsoft Access Developer’s Guide to SQL Server Mary Chipman and Andy BaronISBN No. 0-67231-944-6 This is THE book to have if you’re developing applications using Microsoft Access 2000 linked to a Microsoft SQL Server database.

White Papers & KB Articles

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http://www.fmsinc.com/tpapers/math/index.html Math calculation – a detailed white paper on math calculation problems in Access. http://support.microsoft.com?kbid=279334 Is your database hopelessly corrupted? Get help here (Access 97 version with links to 2000 and XP). http://support.microsoft.com?kbid=194374 Common functions not working (Format, Date, etc)? Get help here. http://support.microsoft.com?kbid=174217 DLLs not registering during a Runtime install? Get help here. http://support.microsoft.com?kbid=254372 Confused about Access Security? Get… Read more »

Hitchhiker’s Guide to Visual Basic and SQL Server

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Hitchhiker’s Guide to Visual Basic and SQL Server William R. VaughnISBN No. 1-57231-848-1CD included Lots of good info in an easy-to-read style. Some folks have found its tone not serious enough. Just skip the bad Hitchhiker jokes.

Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2000

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Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Kalen DelaneyISBN 0-73560-998-5 A thorough review of how to work with SQL Server 2000, including tuning and management tips.

Other Resources

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Access Team Blog All the latest news from the Microsoft Office Access development team. The Access Junkie Great tips from Jeff Conrad – the “Access Junkie.” FMS Home Page Lots of other goodies besides the white papers and utilities listed here in the links section. For Mere Mortals Check out other books in the Mere Mortals series here. MCW Technologies… Read more »

Downloads

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FixBroken.zip Code to “fix” a 2007 .accdb file that has been opened with 2010 or 2013 and one or more forms or reports edited. Editing a form or report in 2010 or 2013 potentially adds new controls that are not supported in 2007. Import the enclosed form into a backup of your “broken” database and follow the instructions to first… Read more »

Microsoft Access 2000 Visual Basic for Applications Fundamentals

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Microsoft Access 2000 Visual Basic for Applications Fundamentals Evan CallahanISBN No. 0-73560-592-0 Hit a brick wall writing macros? This book may be just the ticket to get you into using Visual Basic in Access with little pain. This book is excellent for rank beginners. If you’ve already had some programming experience, choose one of the more advanced Access or Visual Basic books I’ve… Read more »

Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Step-By-Step

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Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Step-By-Step Michael HalvorsonISBN No. 1-57231-809-0 Arguably the best book on Visual Basic for a rank beginner.  If you’re already familiar with programming, the simple exercises will most probably bore you.

VBA Developers Handbook

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VBA Developers Handbook Ken Getz, Michael GilbertISBN 0-7821-1951-4CD included This is the companion book to Access 97 Developers Handbook (Litwin, Getz, Gilbert). It’s an advanced book chock-full of good ideas and examples. You can also get both books as a set: Access 97 Developers Set, ISBN 0-7821-2207-8.

Dan Appleman’s Developing COM/ ActiveX Components with Visual Basic 6

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Dan Appleman’s Developing COM/ ActiveX Components with Visual Basic 6 Dan ApplemanISBN 1-56276-576-0CD included If you want to do really advanced tasks with Visual Basic 6, this is a good place to look. This book is for very advanced developers and is not for the faint-of-heart. Dan is one of the highly-recognized experts in interfacing Visual Basic and the Windows API.