Microsoft Access - Draw Attention To Data With Conditional Formatting (Access 2002)


Sometimes you deal with so much data, it's easy for important information to get buried among everything in a form or report. You can highlight data that users should pay attention to using conditional formatting. For example, if you want to draw attention to inventory records containing a quantity greater than 1000 units, you can shade the control bound to the quantity field with a bright yellow background. In older versions of Access, you were forced to crate custom solutions to apply such formatting, but it's easy to do in Access 2002. In fact, if you've ever used the Excels comparable feature, you'll find the process is virtually the same.


To apply conditional formatting, open your report or form in design view. Then, select the appropriate control and choose Format | Conditional Formatting from the menu bar. You're prompted to define the first condition, which can be based upon the field value or a custom expression. In the Condition1 panel, use the formatting controls to define the format that should be applied when the criteria expression evaluates to a True result. When the expression evaluates to a False result, the formatting shown in the Default Formatting panel is applied.


For example, to apply special formatting when the field value is greater than 1000, select Field Value is from the first dropdown list, Greater Than from the second dropdown list, and enter 1000 in the associated text box. Then, select a shade of yellow from the Fill/back Color palette. Finally, click OK. When you view the form or report, the control displaying the relevant data appears yellow when the displayed value is greater than 1000.


Note that you can require that up to three conditions be met before the conditional formatting is applied. Just click the Add button in the Conditional Formatting dialog box to set another condition. Keep in mind that when you specify multiple conditions, all of them must evaluate to True for access to apply the desired formatting.

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