Microsoft has utterly failed with Access 2007


V

vba-dev

Access Team,

I've been developing professional Access applications since the day Access
was released, so I state this opinion having many years of experience to draw
upon.

I've taken a look at Access 2007, and I have some questions.

Question #1: Did you folks at Microsoft gather a bunch of morons into a room
and tell them to create an "application" for you?

Question #2: Did you instead find every available H1-B visa worker from
Hyderabad possible, and tell them to make an "American" application?

Question #3: Or, did you find a bunch of college student web "developers",
who all hate Microsoft anyway, and tell them to come up with a "phat", "kewl
tewl" for "making databases dude"?

In my not so humble opinion, this abomination is a complete piece of crap.
How dare you fools completely change the interface after nearly 20 years? I'd
like to know which idiot is responsible for gutting the thing. By making this
stupid looking (and acting) interface, you've assured the world that there
will be far less Access development. Sales, primarily the lack thereof, will
be reflected with this decision.

It is obvious the Access team was either forced into making this ridiculous
interface, or is now peopled with total morons, with a gun in each hand,
aimed squarely at their collective foot.

Whoever on your team thought it was a good idea to make this childish
"ribbon" AND dispense with the familiar menus AND make everything
"clear-type" AND disable plain text fonts AND put a tabbed form in the center
of the thing with no way to size anything AND NOT give us some decent
right-click context on the Database "Window" -er, "Pane" (yet another idiotic
decision) needs to be fired immediately.

This is what "diverthity" gives you, folks. It poisons your minds. I suggest
that the Access/Office teams reassess the direction they're going, and get
back to basics. Get rid of employees who can't speak the language (Watched a
webcast, lately? Did you understand the H1-B presenter? I thought not.). If a
guy (or gal) can't speak the language and is from a third world culture, do
you really expect them to be able to produce interfaces which citizens of
developed nations will find comfortable? Of course not.

"Access Vista" is a complete failure. Drop it like a sack of crap on fire,
folks. Begin development on the *real* thing and send this steaming pile of
manure the way of Vista.

Those are my honest, "measured" opinions on this matter. Take my advice or
realize that your competitors will definitely fill the void. Google, anyone?

To give some perspective here - I passionately love Access and VBA. I love
developing Access applications. I remember the moment I received the Office
Developer's Kit 1.0 - I was enthralled. I read the Visual Basic books from
cover to cover. I have stayed with Visual Basic all these years and promoted
it. Now I feel as though Microsoft has thrown we developers under the bus.

Give us real Access, please. Get rid of the goofy looking interface and the
"phat" fonts. Get rid of those stupid orange focus rectangles. Put the MENUS
back, in a REAL text font! Get the damned SKINS out of my IDE! What is this,
WinAmp, for crying out loud?

This is juvenile! Give us a serious development platform, or we're going to
drop it.

Signed,
One Pissed Off Veteran
 
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G

Gigamite

vba-dev said:
Access Team,

I've been developing professional Access applications since the day Access
was released, so I state this opinion having many years of experience to
draw
upon.

I've taken a look at Access 2007, and I have some questions.

Question #1: Did you folks at Microsoft gather a bunch of morons into a
room
and tell them to create an "application" for you?

Question #2: Did you instead find every available H1-B visa worker from
Hyderabad possible, and tell them to make an "American" application?

Question #3: Or, did you find a bunch of college student web "developers",
who all hate Microsoft anyway, and tell them to come up with a "phat",
"kewl
tewl" for "making databases dude"?

In my not so humble opinion, this abomination is a complete piece of crap.
How dare you fools completely change the interface after nearly 20 years?
I'd
like to know which idiot is responsible for gutting the thing. By making
this
stupid looking (and acting) interface, you've assured the world that there
will be far less Access development. Sales, primarily the lack thereof,
will
be reflected with this decision.

It is obvious the Access team was either forced into making this
ridiculous
interface, or is now peopled with total morons, with a gun in each hand,
aimed squarely at their collective foot.

Whoever on your team thought it was a good idea to make this childish
"ribbon" AND dispense with the familiar menus AND make everything
"clear-type" AND disable plain text fonts AND put a tabbed form in the
center
of the thing with no way to size anything AND NOT give us some decent
right-click context on the Database "Window" -er, "Pane" (yet another
idiotic
decision) needs to be fired immediately.

I find it hard to believe you call yourself a developer with many years of
experience, yet in the three years since Microsoft revealed Office 2007 to
the public, you haven't figured out how to:

1. Minimize the ribbon.
2. Remove the ribbon and replace it with the classic menus.
3. Change the clear type setting to use normal fonts.
4. Change the SDI to the MDI setting to show multiple objects in the IDE at
the same time at any size you wish.
5. Replace the navigation pane with a better (custom) database window.

Good developers find solutions to problems. Bad developers find someone to
blame for the problems.
 
V

vba-dev

And I find it hard to believe you haven't figured out how not to quote an
entire page-length post when replying to it.

In response to your bleating, I'll say this. I have been busy developing
applications for good clients with Access 2003 since the time 2007 was
released.

I saw the "Kindergarten" button on the upper left and ignored the thing, for
the time being. I could tell it was idiotic at first glance. And, it is.

Moreover, in the 3 days since I downloaded the 60 day trial, I HAVE figured
out how to minimize the mickey mouse ribbon, replace the classic menus,
change the clear type settings, switch to the MDI setting, and read how to
replace the navigation pane.

All these things I figured out in a few hours. Guess what?

I SHOULDN'T HAVE TO.

Even with these modifications, the thing still looks and feels like crap. If
it looks and feels like crap, it's crap.

You've got it nearly correct. Good developers find solutions to problems -
with great tools. Access 2007 does not qualify.

You can roll over and pretend you "like" it, but you know it is only
pretense. You can belittle a seasoned pro who understands that it is garbage,
also. It doesn't bother me in the least, because you also know that I'm
right. It's garbage.

Not admitting it says something about your worth as a developer.

Now, go press your Kindergarten button. It's almost nappy time.
 
S

Sylvain Lafontaine

Feel better now that you have posted this rant full of racism? I agree with
you that the latest Access interface is probably not the best thing in the
world and that many people working at Microsoft don't have english as their
maternal language. However, these two facts are probably totally unrelated
and drawing any conclusion on them has probably no relation with reality.
In fact, I would think that many people responsible for this new interface
are probably 100% american and that a lot of people who has reserve about it
where not.

But when you're a racist, you're a racist. It looks pretty easy to put the
responsability of something that you think is bad on people that you think
are bad simply because they are not of the same race as you or don't have
the same maternal language as you.

Racists are like politicians: they never tell the truth.

--
Sylvain Lafontaine, ing.
MVP - Windows Live Platform
Email: sylvain2009 sylvainlafontaine com (fill the blanks, no spam please)
Independent consultant and remote programming for Access and SQL-Server
(French)
 
V

vba-dev

It's a language and culture issue with me, not one of race. Hell, I don't
even know what race those people are. I really don't care. You've missed the
point. That means you're part of the problem.
 
S

Sylvain Lafontaine

Bof, if you try to make any difference between racism and strong xenophobia,
good for you but in my books, they are no difference between them. And for
the fact that you think that I'm part of the problem, your problem to be
more exact, I'll take that as a compliment.

--
Sylvain Lafontaine, ing.
MVP - Windows Live Platform
Email: sylvain2009 sylvainlafontaine com (fill the blanks, no spam please)
Independent consultant and remote programming for Access and SQL-Server
(French)
 
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N

Noëlla Gabriël

Hi there,

I've been developing with Access (first as stand-alone and later in
combination with SQl-server and Oracle) since version 2.0, and I've been
working with Access 2007 since more then a year now.
The only version that ever troubled me was Access 95, but then no one was
ever happy with that version.
I must admit it was a new experience when I first used it, but it kind of
grew on me, and most important: my users like the new interface. Let's face
it: that's the most important issue.
After all, as a developer you decide over the look and feel of your
application and with a little XML you can change the ribbon in whatever you
like.
I think it's important that the look and feel of my apps resemble the look
and feel of the other programs my users are accustomed to. And most of them
work and like working with Office 2007nowadays.
 
A

Albert D. Kallal

You failed to mention what you find better in a2007.

The fact that you LEFT OUT the many improvements for developers tells me you
not making a serious effort here.



I am in the process of writing an article on my experience with 2007. The
article is un-compile..but, I post the raw text here for you:


<warming - this article is not edited and is a rough draft)


Gears of Access
by Albert D. Kallal
April xx, 2009

My thoughts on access 2007 form a developers point of view.

I have written a lot of code in my days. Virtually most my coding career has
been spent writing business applications for clients. I been lucky enough to
have written more then one payroll system from scratch. One of those payroll
systems was written in Pascal where I even wrote my own data base engine.

So, what does a long time user think of access 2007 compared to previous
versions? I used ms-access in a serious way for more then 10 years. That
is a long time for a single product. In fact I can only think of a few other
development languages which I used for more then 10 years.

So after putting access 2007 through its paces, what did I find out?

I avoided writing this article until now because I really wanted to put 2007
though its paces. I always been disappointed when some says they are giving
access 2007 a test run and turn around and run it through it paces with 5
forms! Are they kidding me, that is not a test drive that is not going to
stress out the user interface one bit. With only 5 forms to work on in your
application then we likely not going to find any shortcomings in the user
interface from a developer's point of view.

So, when I give you my comments, they are the result of working on some
applications which had over 250 forms and in excess of 100,000 lines of vba
code.

Before I point out some significant changes in the user interface, I want to
point out that there is a really different look and feel to the new access
2007. So, let's deal with that issue.

There's been a lot of new features added in access, in fact it's been a long
time since a release is added so many extra features for users and
developers alike.


-- Fancy stripes does not make the go car faster, but it can make you feel
better! --

When I was growing up some of the really cool cars had an extra stripe down
the side or on the hood. Of course as one gets older and more sensible,
painting a stripe on a car does not make it go any faster or perform better.
However if you look a successful products in the marketplace, they tend to
perform well, and they also looked really good. I don't think the iPod would
sell well if they looked ugly, but performed well. The same goes for BMW
cars. They have to look good AND perform well. The moral the story here that
it is significantly important for your products that they look really nice.

In fact, when it comes to software it's important to note that making things
look better is a really great idea because the mechanics underneath of your
product are not going to be seen by your users. Suffice to say that I
consider making things look better an really important aspect of the whole
software industry.


Joel on Software has a great article here on how important is to make your
software look good in and how it helps your user base:
The Iceberg Secret, Revealed

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000356.html

( When you have some time reading above article, it's not too long and it's
well worth reading).

Here is a simple screen shot of a table in a2003 and that of 2007.


Simply put, the 2007 screen shot has less clutter, looks cleaner, and in
fact just all around looks more pleasing to the eye. I usually have the
ribbon minimize when working with queries or viewing table data. You note
how we actually see more rows of data then in a2003.

Remember I like the fact that it looks better. In 2007 we see no toolbars
and the overall view is less cluttered than its predecessor. Furthermore, I
kind of think that the application on the left side looks about ten to
fifteen
years old, and if both of us are tying to sell an application, most people
are
going to pick the right side.

Note that there is also tabs. If I open more then one table, then I can flip
between tables with a SINGLE mouse click. I can't do that in previous
versions if the tables are maximized. And, usability studies show that tabs
are one of the MOST recognized user interface options in how they work and
what they will do.

While I like visual changes in access 2007 for users, at the end of the day
I really care about is my development process. In other words just like
painting that stripe on the car, I want more than just making things look
pretty, I want things to be cleaner, less cluttered and easier on the eyes.

However as a developer, at the end of the day all the above means absolutely
nothing if it doesn't help me to do my job better.

So, does 2007 allow me to do things in superior fashion and manner compared
to previous versions of access? Do the changes in the UI enable me to do
things that were either difficult or took a lot of work as compared to
previous versions?

The only real true criteria here from a developer point of view is does this
new user interface make me more productive?

Well the first thing to point out like anything else, if you been using one
application of hasn't changed for more than ten years, it could take a
little bit of a mindset change to figure out how to achieve certain tasks.


Lets take a look at a few things:

From a design point of view there is quite a few additions for developers.
One real pet peeve of mine was adding buttons with text to a form. Now,
buttons allow graphics + text on them. I think we been asking for this
feature for about 10 years and finally the folks in Redmond put this feature
in for us. These graphics + text buttons not only allow one to put text
inside of the button but also frees up valuable screen real estate.

I'm hard pressed to think of any of my forms that don't tend to run out of
valuable screen real estate, and moving text inside of the buttons is a
great way to increase this screen real estate. And if you don't need the
extra space then you can choose to simply *increase* the size of the buttons
that would have taken up the "old" way of text + buttons. Increasing the
size
of your buttons increases the usability of the application because you've
increased
the size of the mouse target that the user will be shooting at with the
mouse when
selecting an button. Less effort and less motor skills to use your
application is a
real winner.


Screen shot:
2003 2007



Another commonly requested feature is transparent buttons. This allows you
to put a color scheme behind the form, and have the buttons take on that
particular color scheme.

Another trick these transparent buttons allows is to create a form which
appears to have a menu bar on it. Here is a screen shot:


2003





2007



Ask yourself which of the above looks a lot more professional? We are
talking about the same form in both cases. All the .net developers and most
uses of other tools have been allowed to have transparency on their buttons,
and finally now access developers have this feature. It simply another great
feature. Transparency by itself is not a big deal, but as you can see when
you place buttons as beside each other as above, it allows you to build some
nice user interface that typically is seen in modern applications. It means
you get a menu bar that stays inside of the form....nice!!

Anchoring of controls: re-size when form is re-sized). I'm going
to post a video for this one because it such a slick feature.


Re-sizing and anchoring of controls that grow to display more information is
a very difficult developer task. With such a wide range of screen
resolutions, and users having a larger and wider monitors it's really a must
have feature for some of your modern software. Notice I said "some" of your
software. Not all the time do you want this resizing to occur, but the fact
that we have this as part of our development bag of tricks is a really
significant feature and welcome for us developers. Once again as a
developer I would expect my development tools to allow who controls to
resize on a screen. Fire up outlook and resize the contacts form in outlook
to see how the controls grow and shrink, this is exactly how to access works
now also.



Date Picker now built in:

This is one of those frequently asked questions in the newsgroups as to how
can one add a date picker to their application. This feature is now built
into access and we developers don't have to resort to ActiveX controls or
writing a whole bunch of extra code. I will admit that experienced developer
can write his own code to do this task, but once again we should never had
to do this in the first place, and once again this is a feature for
developers.



Design templates

Now this is a big one for developers!

This means you can use Forms + reports + tables as default templates!

What this means is that you could design a form and say use all the settings
on that form as your default for any additional form that you create. Even
more cool is this feature also works for your tables. So, in most of my
applications I hate the fact that text fields default to allow zero length
strings, and I don't use those at all. I always set text fields "allow zero
length" = false.

All you have to do now is designed one table with all of particular field
types to use, save it, and say this is going to be my default table
template. For each new application you build you simply copy this table
along, and you'll never be messing with hundreds of little settings that
drive me bonkers each time you create new fields in your database. Simply
put, this is a spectacular feature that has a lot more uses than likely even
the folks in Redmond figured out.

The same goes with the default fonts and layouts of any text boxes. When you
forms have the layout fonts and colors and even position of labels in
relationship to text boxes EXACTLY the way you want, then use that as a
default for your application. I think this is reason enough alone to switch
to 2007 as a developer.


In fact, this template "default" feature is such a big improvement in
productivity that know of some fellow developers that use 2007 to create
their tables, and THEN export them back to their previous version of access!

Staked controls.

This is my favorite new feature I 2007. The resulting improvement in
developer that the productivity absolute stunning. In fact I would go so far
as to say that this is the first real big a true changed in how we designed
forms and reports in access in its 17 year history.

If you're a longtime user of access, you'll have to spend a little bit of
time learning how to use the stacked (grouped controls), but once you learn
it, you'll never go back to the old way. It's interesting to as I can
remember looking at the forms designer and the report designer in access.
For probably ten plus years or more access the report designer set the
standard in the whole computer industry as one of the BEST report writer on
the planet. However times change and other report writers in the industry
were
becoming rather nice.

It was time for a change in the access report later to improve how things
are done.

Video:

Access 2003 report example, add a simple control



Access 2007 report example, add a simple control.

In the above you see that a2007 makes this whole process absolutely
effortless. If you have to spend a whole day of modifying or adding or
resizing controls and to report, you'll see that access 2007 a big winner
for developers.

Keep in mind that this grouping of controls also works very well for forms
indeed, here's another video comparing the same process of adding a button
to a form:

(above - stacked contorl allows one to make a menu bar INSDIE of a form
by simply using drag + drop - in 2003 this takes forever, and without
transpart buttions...it don't look right at all).

Notice how I point out again in the above videos that even the property
sheet now defaults to the side of the screen is OUT OF MY way. I can't
tell you how much I disliked access 2000-2003 with the property sheet
opening
in the way all the time. The defaulting of the property sheet to the side
of the screen is an ideal choice and one that shows they were thinking about
developers when they made these choices.

The new nav pane:

Now this is a really big change, and this one has been a source of somewhat
differing of opinions as to how this helps developers. Like any developer,
when something's changed, you often have to change how you approach a
development process, if you try to do things the way you did before, you're
going be sorely disappointed. The navigation pane is a perfect example of
this change. Just about every skill and everything you've learned from
previous versions of a access will apply to the new 2007 version. The nav
pane is ONE example where you have to go through bit of a paradigm change.
If you don't make a slight change in how you develop and find forms and
objects in your application, then you're not going to like this change in
access all.

In fact for about the first day of using access, I found this one quite
difficult to use and was a bit of a pane (pain). However now having spent
some time in serious applications with many forms and objects, I've learned
how to use the navigation pain to my advantage, and I now find it works
well, and in fact many cases even better than the old way. I was at a client
the other day, and I knew there was a form called "main" something for the
startup. I had to plow (read) through 100's of forms until I could find the
right now. In 2007 I would have hit ctrl-f and type in main..and it would be
been right in front of my face.


The following is a video of some typical tasks that a developer would make
in an application. You can see that the whole process of finding forms and
objects in 2007 is rather nice if you take the time to search for things. In
other words, the process now spawn back to little bit like it was the old
days when I actually used a command prompt.



Example 2003 video





Example 2007 video



The ribbon:
Again for some people this is been quite a controversial issue, but for the
most part I actually liked the way the ribbon works, it encourages muscle
memory and motor skills that are quite a bit easier to use than that of
cascading type menus. Furthermore the development of menus is actually a
very easy process now, and take a look at the following video in which I
actually add a new button to an existing ribbon, you can see it's quite
easy:

Keyboard shortcuts:
Oh boy..is a2007 nice. I can be typing in values in the forms property
sheet, close the sheet, close the form , save the form and NOT have to touch
the mouse. In 2003 this was a royal pain because EVEN if you use the
keyboard shortcut to close the property sheet, your focus is now set to the
form we have in design mode. In 2007, I typically go all day now:

alt-Enter - close the property sheet
ctrl-w - CLOSE + save the form
y - answer yes to the save form

So, after making a change in the property sheet, I can then close the
property sheet, save the form, and now my focus is back to the nave pane in
which I can use the arrow keys to select another form, or go ctrl-f to
"search" for another form. And, the nave pane allows me to OPEN ADDITIONAL
forms WITHOUT having to minimize the current form and THEN start selecting a
form from the form's tab in a2003. In access 2003 I have to flip between the
mouse and keyboard...in 2007 I do not.

Even better is that I can open a form + report + query..and NOT have to flip
between the forms/report/tab and minimize the windows EACH TIME like I do in
access 2003. And, if you have type of naming convention then for an invoice
part of your huge application, you just go ctrl-f and type in invoice.

You see the 3 queries, 4 reports, and 2 forms ALL AT THE SAME TIME in the
nav pane and they naturally belong together. Again, in previous versions you
have to CONSTANTLY flip between the query/report/forms system..and WORSE you
see all of the possible 100's of objects in each tab. A VERY difficult way
to work when you have lots of forms.

<- more keyboard shortcut examples -->

The whole reason I wrote this article was I want to point out that there are
some things and features in 2007 that are very
relevant to you as a hardcore developer that used to access for years and
years. Another really great gift horse in access 2007 is that the developer
tools extensions are now a free download. This means you can get the access
runtime and packaging wizard tools for free, and that used to really be
quite a bit a chunk of change.

At the end of the day the list of features that have only been scratched
upon in this article, and the list of features in general in almost every
case are a real boon to us developers.

I am sold on this new version...and on top that ...it looks just great...
 
D

David W. Fenton

Question #2: Did you instead find every available H1-B visa worker
from Hyderabad possible, and tell them to make an "American"
application?

This is a highly offensive way to pose this question. It makes it
sound like you just don't like brown people. If that's not true,
then you should think more carefully about the terminology you use.

[]
How dare you fools completely change the interface after nearly 20
years?

Eh? The UI has changed many times since the first version of Access.

And the new interface is not just an Access innovation -- it's an
across the board attempt by Microsoft to make all their Office
applications and their OS more discoverable. We can argue over
whether or not they succeeded at that, but the fact that it's a
change is not a valid criticism at all. If you want to offer
examples of how it fails to accomplish what it was designed to do,
or failing that, dispute whether the aims of the redesign were valid
or not, then you'd be offering something constructive.

But just complaining that it's changed is not helpful.

And, BTW, you can run MDBs without the ribbon and you pretty much
get the same UI as in A2003 (with relatively minor cosmetic
differences). Perhaps you're not competent enough to have discovered
this.

[]
Whoever on your team thought it was a good idea to make this
childish "ribbon"

Uh, Microsoft was making an attempt to introduce a major UI
innovation, one that their testing (rightly or wrongly) showed was
easier for novices to understand. You might want to read up on the
Microsoft Access team's blog about what they were trying to do with
the ribbon in Access specifically. If you go here:

http://blogs.msdn.com/access/search.aspx

....you might find it helpful to browse through the archives from the
beginning of that blog and seek out articles related to UI issues.
Perhaps you'd have a better understanding of what they were aiming
at, which would then allow you to critique the results instead of
just calling names.

AND dispense with the familiar menus

Hmm. If you use MDB format and turn off the ribbon, you get standard
toolbars and menus.
AND make everything
"clear-type"

ClearType is really only useful on LCDs and is quite good, in fact.
Dunno why you'd complain about such a helpful feature.
AND disable plain text fonts

This is not a meaningful criticism -- I don't even know what you
mean. Bit-mapped screen fonts? In practice, Access has deprecated
those since at least A2000, where MS Sans Serif was no longer the
default font for controls and datasheets. Maybe you didn't notice.

[rest of complaints deleted]
This is what "diverthity" gives you, folks.

I don't know what you intend with that, but I assume you're either
channelling Elmer Fudd, or using a lisp to ridicule. If it's the
latter, that's pretty problematic, as the only reason an assumed
lisp is ever used in that way is if you're trying to insinuate that
someone is gay. Since there's nothing wrong with either lisping or
being gay, the way you're using the lisp here makes you look pretty
bad.
It poisons your minds. I suggest
that the Access/Office teams reassess the direction they're going,
and get back to basics. Get rid of employees who can't speak the
language

I don't know what basis you use for suggesting this, but the
xenophobia implied therein reflects very, very poorly on you.
(Watched a
webcast, lately? Did you understand the H1-B presenter? I thought
not.). If a guy (or gal) can't speak the language and is from a
third world culture, do you really expect them to be able to
produce interfaces which citizens of developed nations will find
comfortable? Of course not.

Exactly what aspects of A2007 lead you to believe that any of the
programmers do not speak English well?
"Access Vista" is a complete failure.

"Access Vista" does not exist. Access 2007 exists, and it was part
of Office 2007was released with Office 2007 including the new ribbon
interface in order to be consistent with the new UI in Vista, but it
is not part of Vista, and "Vista" is not and has never been part of
the product name, either for Office itself or for any of the
individual Office applications.

[]
Those are my honest, "measured" opinions on this matter.

There is nothing measured or considered about any of the opinions
you offer. Indeed, there is no actual comment -- just a series of
complaints, many of which are xenophobic or homophobic.

[]
This is juvenile!

The only thing that I see that is juvenile is your post.

[]
Signed,
One Pissed Off Veteran

And you don't even have the courage to post your real name.
 
D

David W. Fenton

The same goes with the default fonts and layouts of any text
boxes. When you forms have the layout fonts and colors and even
position of labels in relationship to text boxes EXACTLY the way
you want, then use that as a default for your application. I
think this is reason enough alone to switch to 2007 as a
developer.

Access has had the ability to create forms and reports with your
defaults since at least Access 2. I don't remember how you do it,
exactly, but I do know the capability has existed for a long time.
Perhaps it's been extended in A2007, but it was something you could
already have been taking advantage of for well over a decade.
If you're a longtime user of access, you'll have to spend a little
bit of time learning how to use the stacked (grouped controls),

Access 2003 already included grouped controls. You can't do much
with them other than move them together, resize them together,
change common properties in a single property sheet, but all of
those were things you could do before grouped controls simply by
selecting them all with drag or with SHIFT-CLICK. Yes, of course,
it's easier, and you can also edit an individual control's
properties even when it is in a group, but it's not that big a deal.

Now, if you could position the group as a whole in code, that would
be useful. For instance, Tony Toews had a recent article on his blog
about relocating a block of controls and he settled on a tab control
as a container. If control groups allowed programmatic manipulation
of the appearance, location and sizing of the group, then that would
be a really powerful feature. Is this perhaps what's new in 2007 to
cause you to rave about it?
the property
sheet now defaults to the side of the screen is OUT OF MY way. I
can't tell you how much I disliked access 2000-2003 with the
property sheet opening
in the way all the time. The defaulting of the property sheet to
the side of the screen is an ideal choice and one that shows they
were thinking about developers when they made these choices.

I think that this was only possible once screens became large enough
to allocate that space permanently. The task pane was first
introduced in the other Office apps in Office XP (I never used A2002
enough to notice if it had the task pane), and I recall clients who
adopted Office XP early were always closing the task pane because it
took up too much of their screen real estate.

The task pane in the context of Excel or Word was not really
necessary. Indeed, I find it annoying still, in that a lot of things
that should be dialog boxes show up in the task pane without being
modal (e.g., see the Word 2003 merge wizard -- it is now virtually
useless).

But you're right that now that we have large enough screens, docking
the properties sheet is quite helpful. But I really don't think that
was a valid UI choice in Access until the last 2 or 3 years
(particularly with more and more widescreen monitors, which previous
to that were almost nonexistent on Windows PCs).
I can be typing in values in the forms property
sheet, close the sheet, close the form , save the form and NOT
have to touch the mouse. In 2003 this was a royal pain because
EVEN if you use the keyboard shortcut to close the property sheet,
your focus is now set to the form we have in design mode. In 2007,
I typically go all day now:

alt-Enter - close the property sheet
ctrl-w - CLOSE + save the form
y - answer yes to the save form

In previous versions of Access (I've in A2003 and A97; too lazy to
fire up the old desktop with Access 2), there were keyboard
shortcuts for all of these, but they were kind of odd:

close the property sheet - Alt-F4
CLOSE the form - Ctrl-F4 or Ctrl-W
answer yes to the save form - Y

Ctrl-F4 has been the standard "close the current window" command
since Windows was first introduced. The Alt-F4 for closing the
property sheet is an odd one, as Alt-F4 has always been defined as
"close the current application."

So, I'm not sure why you see this as such a big deal. Perhaps it's
because the shortcuts were more discoverable that you found them?
That alone would be an improvement, as discoverability is an great
help when learning to use a new application.
So, after making a change in the property sheet, I can then close
the property sheet, save the form, and now my focus is back to the
nave pane in which I can use the arrow keys to select another
form, or go ctrl-f to "search" for another form. And, the nave
pane allows me to OPEN ADDITIONAL forms WITHOUT having to minimize
the current form and THEN start selecting a form from the form's
tab in a2003. In access 2003 I have to flip between the mouse and
keyboard...in 2007 I do not.

Perhaps it's not as simple, but you could always navigate among open
windows with F6 (forward through the open windows) and Ctrl-F6
(backward). In A2003 and A97, I frequently use F6/Ctrl-F6 to cycle
my way back to the database window and Ctrl-Tab and Shift-Ctrl-Tab
to navigate through the tabs in the database window, and then
letters to navigate through the list. If you type "s" in your forms
window, you'll be at the first subform. Type "s" again, and you're
at the second one. This can make it pretty fast. Then to open it in
design mode, Alt-D.

F6/Ctrl-F6 are both standard Windows commands for navigating through
open MDI windows and were part of the original MDI implementation
going back at least to Windows 3.0 (which is the first version of
Windows I used).
Even better is that I can open a form + report + query..and NOT
have to flip between the forms/report/tab and minimize the windows
EACH TIME like I do in access 2003.

I just described methods to do exactly the same thing without any
need to touch the mouse or minimize any of your open objects.

I agree that the FIND function for locating objects is very useful,
but I think the fact that you didn't know the Windows standard
keyboard shortcuts for navigating around MDI windows makes you
overrate the innovation of the keyboard shortcuts in A2007.
The whole reason I wrote this article was I want to point out that
there are some things and features in 2007 that are very
relevant to you as a hardcore developer that used to access for
years and years.

I learned quite a few things. I did find it odd you didn't say more
about the interactivity of the report writer. Are there problems
with that that make it less inviting than it sounds?
 
T

Tony Toews [MVP]

vba-dev said:
I've taken a look at Access 2007, and I have some questions.

Some of your comments are offensive.
How dare you fools completely change the interface after nearly 20 years?

I quite like the interface in Word and Excel. Not quite so sure about
Access though.

Tony
--
Tony Toews, Microsoft Access MVP
Please respond only in the newsgroups so that others can
read the entire thread of messages.
Microsoft Access Links, Hints, Tips & Accounting Systems at
http://www.granite.ab.ca/accsmstr.htm
Tony's Microsoft Access Blog - http://msmvps.com/blogs/access/
 
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A

Albert D. Kallal

David W. Fenton said:
Access has had the ability to create forms and reports with your
defaults since at least Access 2. I don't remember how you do it,
exactly

correct. Access has this feature in 2000-2003..perhaps even before.

go:

Go tools->forms/reports You can set the reports and forms template.

As I said, the article is not complete yet and is a rough draft. There are
improvements and you can now export a xml file that will give you a "list"
of default fields (in which things like zero length settings are saved....).
We don't have the ability to set defaults for tables in previous versions.

In 2007 it is different process in which you have to export xml (and it not
really a template..but it does "add" to the list of default fields you can
drag into a table when designing in datasheet view.

I don't have the link handy right now..but this is very useful feature. As
mentioned I know some developers create their tables in 2007 even when it
interned for previous versions.

And, also we now have the ability to save an existing database as a template
(you need the developer Extensions installed for this to work). This means
your database will appear in the startup as a emppty database (very much
like a
word template). So, between the above additional options..it simply better
and we have more choices then before in this regards.
Access 2003 already included grouped controls.

Stacked controls are VERY much different. The "correct" term is "control
layouts" Again I have to decide what terminology am gonna use there, I
likely need a few corrections in this regards.

AS I said this is likely the most significant change in ms-access's
history.

With stacked controls, if I have a typical report with a line of details
boxes (and in the reports heading I have a bunch of labels for the column
headings). If I want to remove a column (a text box in the detail section).
Then I now have to remove the label in the heading section. I THEN have to
move all the text labels over. And then move all the text boxes over
(you can select both of the above row of labels + text boxes with the mouse
and that's what I usually do). Regardless, removing that one simple column
in the report is still quite a bit of work to move everything over to fill
in the "hole" left. And it takes quite of bit of motor skills to move
everything over "just the right" amount so that the text boxes are just
barely touching each other.

The new control layouts also works when you re-size a text box in the middle
of the details sections. All controls (and labels in the heading ) will move
over for you. This again is such a huge improvement over previous versions.

So, simply resizing of text boxes...everything
moves automatic in 2007. So, in a2007 if I delete, or resize, or INSERT a
new
text box (column( into that report....everything moves for me automatic .
So,
resizing a few controls in an 2007 report is 1/10th the work it is in 2003.

This is a HUGE HUGE HUGE time saver.

Here is a demo video that shows this feature in action:

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/access/HA102374121033.aspx

Keep in mind, that demo does NOT cover all of the options you have for
grouping or controls.

Also keep in mind we can layout the form in view mode..and not have to flip
100's of times between design and preview mode. Again combine this with the
stacked controls ...you have a winner....

Again for making buttons as a menu bar across the top of your form,
then again stacked controls is just the cats meow. Again this is REALLY
nice.

Do watch the above video. You really like it....
You can't do much
with them other than move them together, resize them together,
change common properties in a single property sheet, but all of
those were things you could do before grouped controls simply by
selecting them all with drag or with SHIFT-CLICK.

Complete different issue. As I said, this rough draft does not have the
pictures + video..
Stacked controls removes such an increased amount of workload in reports
and forms that it is not even funny. As I said, it is BIG change here...
I think that this was only possible once screens became large enough
to allocate that space permanently.

You can un-hook (un-dock) the property sheet if you want in 2007 to have
it work like the old way.

However,
I am pointing out several things that are better:

1) The stupid default of showing the property sheet in form view mode is
gone. (this is good!)

2) The default when opening the property sheet is anchored on the right
side of the screen. This is a good intelligent location for it and I like
the
choices the access team made in this regards

3) I now use the keyboard to make changes in the property sheet, close the
property sheet and then save the form all by using the keyboard. I could do
this in 2003, but the keystrokes were harder and my real point here is that
the property sheet opens up out of the way. and, atl-enter + ctrl-w is a
FAR
easier set of keystrokes here. I find that I get more into a "Zen" of
coding in 2007, much like I did in the old FoxPro days. It really encourages
a
smooth operation of the software.

Another great feature is creating default forms in access
2007. (you see this occur in that video). You simply highlight the table,
then click on the form or report designer Group and you've got yourself a
default form to work with.

You don't have to answer a bunch of questions to the wizard. (their is the
auto form an auto report in previous versions, but there are still
additional clicks. The reason why this feature works so good in 2007 is
because you can select a table, and then click on the create form from the
ribbon. In 2003, you can use insert->report..but it does NOT respect or know
about the table you just Highlighted before you clicked on the create form
or report.

This again is just more slick..and less time consuming ..and you deal with
less program prompts when building a report or form. ...nice!!

In other words again the keyboard choices and general design of access 2007
is really nice in this regards. It is a IMPROVEMENT over previous versions.
close the property sheet - Alt-F4
CLOSE the form - Ctrl-F4 or Ctrl-W
answer yes to the save form - Y

Ctrl-F4 has been the standard "close the current window" command
since Windows was first introduced. The Alt-F4 for closing the
property sheet is an odd one, as Alt-F4 has always been defined as
"close the current application."

So, I'm not sure why you see this as such a big deal. Perhaps it's
because the shortcuts were more discoverable that you found them?

It is that the keyboard shortcuts are now better. If you Google this
newsgroup you see that I have many times over the years mentioned
ctrl-f4..and I used that keystroke since windows 3.1.

So, no it more that the property sheet is docked , and the keystrokes are
easier .

There is several other keyboard shortcuts that have been improved in 2007.

So, it more of a preference here. I also like that alt-enter (which I used
in 2003 for years) displays the property sheet..but hitting alt-enter should
hide it again (that how it works in 2007). So, once again, I just impressed
at the general "choices" the designers of access made here for 2007...
That alone would be an improvement, as discoverability is an great
help when learning to use a new application.

Good point if one never used m-access, and hit alt-enter...and hit it
again..then
sure, I think above is a great point (I might use that idea in the article).
It was not quite the point I going to make but it is a good point
(as mentioned, that is VERY rough draft).
I just described methods to do exactly the same thing without any
need to touch the mouse or minimize any of your open objects.

How can you open a report in design mode when you are designing a form that
is maximized? You can't even see the list of forms underneath. (what I
do is go alt-window and slect the number that represents the database
window in access 2003).

In 2007 I don't have to flip between the tabs to chooses forms. In fact what
this means is that I don't even have to select the database window, and then
select formsm reports, macros etc. to work on a particlar object.

I suppose you could probably keyboard this in 2003, but you can't
even see the list of forms when you working on a form in design mode (and
that form is typically maximized for me when doing design work on that
form).

If want at that point to open a report in design mode, I have to flip to the
database window, and THEN flip to the reports area. And, even when I working
on a form, I have to minimize the current form to see the list of forms
underneath. I don't have to do this flipping or changing in access 2007
buecase when a form is maximized in design mode you can still see the nav
pane (you can minimize and hide the nav pane if you wish but I like the fact
that it displays the forms/reports/quiey and they not hidden by the maxed
form I am working on).

So, again I suppose one may be able to do the above using the keyboard..but
in 2003 I
can't even see the list of forms I want to work on when the current form I
working on is maxed already...I have to flip to the database window,
(or min the current form) and then possible switch to the reports tab in
2003
to modify that report.

So, I don't have to flip between the forms/reports/query/model sections in
2007 nor do I have to minimize the current object (a form/report/query) to
see/view my list of objects that I want to work on because I picking them
from the nav pane which is always visible.

When you get the hang of this...you find it really nice. When I go back to
previous versions of access....I instantly realize how silly it is that I
must minimize the current object to see the list of forms that I might next
want to open in design mode.

There is some trade offs in the process. (such as that you have to get used
to
using the ctrl-f in the nave pane when before we used arrow keys to select
somting from the forms to edit. This keyboarding brings me back to the older
days of coding and works well after a few days of using access
(the first few days one may not like this process, it is a question of a
mind and habit change that takes some time).

I did find it odd you didn't say more
about the interactivity of the report writer. Are there problems
with that make it less inviting than it sounds?

That is another great feature...one that you can see in action in the above
video....

Not having to flip 100's of times between preview and design view is REALLY
nice. Throw in the stacked controls...and it is even more of a joy to work
with....
 
D

David W. Fenton

How can you open a report in design mode when you are designing a
form that is maximized?

Two ways to get to the database window:

1. Ctrl-F6 to cycle through the open MDI windows.

2. Alt-W, N, where N is the number of one of the open windows listed
on the Window menu.

Once there, Ctrl-Tab to get to the appropriate object type, and then
type a letter to get to the form (assuming you know the name of it
-- I agree that the FIND function there is quite a big improvement),
then onces it's highlighted, Alt-D to open it in design view.

I do this ALL THE TIME, and have been doing so since at least Access
97.

Let me emphasize that the FIND function is obviously a huge win in
terms of usability, particularly for large apps with lots and lots
of objects (many of which will have similar names). I'm just saying
that it's certainly been possible to navigate without the mouse for
a very long time (I don't remember if all that worked in Access 2 --
I'd have to fire up the desktop PC to check it and just don't feel
it's important enough to check!), and I've worked that way forever.

All that said, I generally navigate through the object lists with
the mouse, using it to change the sort order (name, date), and to
scroll. That's exactly where the FIND function would allow me to get
away from using the mouse, and that's why I agree it's a really
great new feature.
 
D

David W. Fenton

[me:]
Good point if one never used m-access, and hit alt-enter...and hit
it again..then
sure, I think above is a great point (I might use that idea in the
article). It was not quite the point I going to make but it is a
good point (as mentioned, that is VERY rough draft).

Alt-Enter is the keyboard shortcut equivalent of the right click,
i.e., it brings up the properties of the selected object. This has
been standard since the introduction of the Win95 UI. So, that's
perfectly logical. But the toggle aspect of it is completely
different from the way it's implemented everywhere else in Windows,
and is not at all obvious to me as a method for closing the
properties sheet.

I hope you don't take my comments as criticism at all. I found your
article very interesting and useful. I think that it would be good
if in your final version when lauding the new features you make sure
you account for the old ways of doing things -- otherwise, people
will react the same way I did with "Yes, but you could do that
already by doing this..." The point is that you feel the new
features are better than the old implementations, many of which
accomplished *part* of the same thing, but A2007 adds more
functionality in each of these areas.
 
A

Albert D. Kallal

David W. Fenton said:
Two ways to get to the database window:

1. Ctrl-F6 to cycle through the open MDI windows.

2. Alt-W, N, where N is the number of one of the open windows listed
on the Window menu.

I'm quite sure due to usability for visually impaired people and people who
can't use a mouse I suspect that all versions of access since the early days
have keystroke ability to accomplish most tasks.

The point isn't that there wasn't the keystrokes available in a previous
version, the point is that there is LESS steps now.

In 2007 I don't have to flip or hit keys to see the list of reports because
they are ALREADY in full view in the nave pane. In previous versions you
have to either:

a) minimize the current report

or

b) go alt-w and then hit "1" to display the database window. I use alt-w +
1, but the "common" key for years here was/is f11. I just find f11 a little
hard to hit on the keyboard, especially since the fkeys are often quite
small
on notebooks. Again, no one "right" way here.

Ok, now that we can "see" the database window, need to change from reports
to forms view.

--> I use ctrl-tab. In fact, in this case since we are on reports, and I
want to move up, so I hit ctrl-shift-tab

I THEN hit the 1st letter of the object...and THEN use the arrow keys...

With the nave pane, I see my list of reports + forms + queries on the left
side WHILE I AM WORKING on the report in FULL screen view. I can use the
mouse and with one shoot of a right click I have that form opened in design
view and in full screen. That's one heck of a lot less fooling around to get
to that one object.

So, it is NOT ONLY the find option here. If we had a find/filter option in
previous versions, we would STILL have to flip between the object groups.

So, there two issues here.

I do not have to minimize the current form (or report) OR
even change the display to the database window. The nave pane saves me this
flipping process. And, more important I don't have to "change" the database
window from reports view to forms view if I need to now work on a form.
Once there, Ctrl-Tab to get to the appropriate object type, and then
type a letter to get to the form (assuming you know the name of it
-- I agree that the FIND function there is quite a big improvement),
then onces it's highlighted, Alt-D to open it in design view.

I do this ALL THE TIME, and have been doing so since at least Access
97.

Sure, I do realize that, but it is more work.

So, typical steps are:

alt-w (or f11) - that is operation to select the databae window

ctrl-shift-tab - change from reports area to forms area

Then hit 1st letter of object

Then use arrow keys to scroll thought your 100's of reports.

And, often there is likely was something in our report (such as a query or
even some related report) that is needed to work on. I also find that I can
look at the name of query in some form object listbox list box, and I don't
have
to "remember" what it was I looking at during that process since the form
is still in full view.

So, it more of a issue of not only can we use find + keyboard, but it
much the issue that there is less flipping now.

There is some tradeoffs in the above process. For example, if you have a
small application with only 8 forms 8 reports, and 8 queries....you viewing
24 objects in that nav pane. That will cause you to scroll more unless you
learn the nav pane ctrl-f. You have to use more keyboard skills to filter
or you wind up scrolling more through that list of 24 objects. However,
the nav pane does allow one to collapse (or expand) the nodes of each object
type exactly like a treeview. And, the "same" keys that work in a treeview
also
work in the nav pane. So, right arrow opens a group, and left arrow closes
that
group.

So, this takes a bit of a mindset change since many have worked with access
for MANY years. If people are too fixed in their ways and can't modify the
way
they do things, then we see a reaction like the person that started this
thread.

However, it just like when older FoxPro people come here and wonder why
ms-access has not record numbers. Some people can't cross the bridge and
make a
mindset change. I guess I can.

For example here's a screen shot of using access 2007 in one of my old
applications where I have 160 forms. while as all kinds of parts of the
system like reservations, customer relations management, I also have a very
complex and well defined invoicing system. so I want to work on the
invoicing
system for this application.

ctrl-f invo

The resulting display is the following:

http://www.kallal.ca/test/accessv1.html
(above is a temp junk web screen.....).

It is kind of neat that I get all my related objects that 9 out of 10 times
I need to work on. So it's not only that we have a searching ability,
it's also that the list of "all types" objects is displayed in
that list "at once" for me.

I find 2007 wins hands down when doing is common in typical process that we
do all day long such as the above screen shot shows.

Again...ones mileage is going vary. I can tell you that
for the first few hours...I had same VERY high frustration levels similar
to the original poster.
Let me emphasize that the FIND function is obviously a huge win in
terms of usability, particularly for large apps with lots and lots
of objects (many of which will have similar names). I'm just saying
that it's certainly been possible to navigate without the mouse for
a very long time

I been full keyboarding in access for a VERY long time. In fact, I been
using laptops since about 1991 when not on a desktop. I have a hard
time remember how many laptops I owned. Today on a desktop it very much
a given that any developer will have dual monitors (pretty much
mandatory). I find when using dual monitors and debugging, I actually
wind up running 2 or even 3 copies of ms-access on the same application
However I STILL spend a good deal of time doing access development on
a laptop especially when I am working at a client's site(s). So I've been
a very long time keyboard dude for most of my access career.

I likely use a mouse LESS then most people. I do find the ribbon does
support motor memory and the targets on the ribbon are LARGER then
previous versions of ms-access. This makes hitting the targer easier. And,
trying to navagate cascading menus in older access is quite hard. it like
going down a mouse maze and and one little slip up or twitch of the mouse
and you "fall out" of the cascade menu. You THEN have to start OVER on that
cascade menu. With a ribbon..you if miss you shot, you just click again to
shoot at the option. So, the clicks are easier and again more delightful...
All that said, I generally navigate through the object lists with
the mouse

Interesting... I usually/often hit the first letter and then
use the arrow keys.

At the end of the day not everyone is going to like a2007 like I do. And
some people like tea more then coffee. I really can't change what some
people like. I mean, golly if we have to stand here and preach that some
software, or even one's personal life style choices must apply the same way
to everyone, boy..have we ever made these newsgroups a ugly place to visit.

I just thought a good idea to respond to the poster to "counter" the idea
that no one likes 2007. Furthermore, I did have a rough draft of my
article...so, I just posted it.

I also wanted to point out that some VERY experienced developer "type"
people like me like a2007. In fact, I like the version a lot. Perhaps I
am just more flexible and more eager to learn and try new things, be it
trying new types of tea in place of coffee, or whatever...

Simply put I like 2007 and this poster does not. I can't change that
opinion anymore then I can change his choice of tea over coffee or
whatever personal choices that OP makes in his life....
 
A

Albert D. Kallal

David W. Fenton said:
I hope you don't take my comments as criticism at all.

Not even the slightest bit. In fact, I really enjoyed this
conversation. I been a long time in these newsgroups, and I
much enjoy anyone who can given such intelligent and constructive comments
such as yours...

So, not the slightest bit of worry here...in fact I tip my hat right back at
you...thanks...
 
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S

Sky

I find the Access 2007 keystrokes quite tedious, even after I get used to
them.

For example, when I hit Alt-Enter to view properties, the focus is not moved
to the property sheet. The properties sheet opens, but the focus stays on
the form or report instead. You must then hit F6 to move to the property
sheet in order to look through the properties. That certainly differs from
all other Windows applications and prior versions of Office. And then, if
you use ctrl-G to move to your VBA code, the properties window again loses
the focus when you go back! Why? You end up press F6 over and over. Very
annoying.

When you open a form in design view, how to you get to a particular control?
The tab key moves to the detail section, but then you cannot tab or ctrl-tab
to a particular control. The only keyboard way I've found to move to a
particular control, starting from the Navigation Pane, is: Ctrl-Enter to
open design view, Alt-Enter to open the properties window (which does not
get the focus automatically), F6 to move to the properties window (don't
look at your VBA code or you must press F6 again!), shift-tab, then shift
tab again to move to the selection combo box, Alt-DownArrow to open the
combo box, then scroll down to get to the desired control. That is
rediculous, unless I am missing something.

The keystrokes for the ribbon are really arcane, some requiring multiple
keys for a single item, and they always require you to hit the top-level tab
keystroke again even after that tab was already selected previously. For
example, to export something to another Access database, I click Alt, X1
(note the double keypress with widely separated keys on the two left
fingers), G, A. Then to export something else, I must again hit Alt, X1 even
though the External tab is already selected on the ribbon, and then G, A
again. Access 2003 keystrokes are often shorter and use more natural
mnemonic keys. Access 2007 keystrokes look almost random, and they use
two-key shortcuts to resolve conflicts instead of simply picking better
single keystrokes.

Another example, when designing a form, to size some controls to the widest
I press Alt, L, SW (note the double keypress for a single button on the
ribbon). Then to size to tallest, I must again hit Alt, L (why?) before I
hit ST (again, a double keystroke).

The ribbon keystrokes are inconsistent; I don't think they even tried. If I
want to get to the Design tab while on a form, I press Alt-g. But if I am on
a report, the Design tab is Alt-m. If I'm on a query, the Design tab is
Alt-r. If I'm on a table, the Design tab is Alt-d. Not a single one matches!

The Find tool on the Navigation Pane is nice, but even that involves
unnecessary keystrokes. If I have a few windows open, I would like to use
F11 to get directly to the Navigation Pane, but F11 toggles it closed first,
so then I must press F11 again (I now use AutoKeys to change this behavior).
Or, I can press F6 multiple times to get to the Navigation Pane, carefully
tracking which object gets the focus so I can see when to stop; and with the
new color scheme, sometimes it's hard to see where the focus is, especially
when it moves to the status bar on the lower right; and if I move too
quickly past the Navigation Pane, I must keep pressing all over (I'm
thinking about my software, I don't want to watch carefully just to see
where I am). Oh, and by the way, do not switch over to look at code, because
the focus will again move away from the Navigation Pane all by itself! Why
do they automatically move the focus when you are not looking? Then I press
Ctrl-F in the Pane to find something, press Escape to remove the partial
string of the prior find, type in my search string such as Acc (for
Account), Press tab or down-arrow, which does NOT move down but instead
moves right to a tiny button that can clear the search string (why would I
want to do that just after a find? and Esc is easier anyway?), then
down-arrow again, to move to the table group, then page-down or down-arrow
to the proper object. That is simply too many keystokes! It's designed for a
mouse clicker, not a keyboard user!

They could have done much better on keystrokes. In the end, it gets so bad
that I start using the mouse.

- Steve
 
D

David W. Fenton

I'm quite sure due to usability for visually impaired people and
people who can't use a mouse I suspect that all versions of access
since the early days have keystroke ability to accomplish most
tasks.

The point isn't that there wasn't the keystrokes available in a
previous version, the point is that there is LESS steps now.

I'm not disputing you, Albert. I'm just pointing out that your
claims are over-broad, in that you said you had to minimize in
previous versions. You don't at all, and I work that way all the
time.
In 2007 I don't have to flip or hit keys to see the list of
reports because they are ALREADY in full view in the nave pane.

Yes, I recognize that, and that it's an improvement. I'm only
pointing out that whatever it is that you end up writing about this
correctly represent exactly what the innovation is, rather than
misstating the capabilities of the earlier versions (as you did with
your claim that you had to minimize).
In previous versions you
have to either:

a) minimize the current report

or

b) go alt-w and then hit "1" to display the database window. I use
alt-w + 1, but the "common" key for years here was/is f11. I just
find f11 a little hard to hit on the keyboard, especially since
the fkeys are often quite small
on notebooks. Again, no one "right" way here.

You left out Ctrl-F6 to cycle through the open windoes.
Ok, now that we can "see" the database window, need to change from
reports to forms view.

--> I use ctrl-tab. In fact, in this case since we are on reports,
and I want to move up, so I hit ctrl-shift-tab

I THEN hit the 1st letter of the object...and THEN use the arrow
keys...

Or hit the first letter repeatedly.
With the nave pane, I see my list of reports + forms + queries on
the left side WHILE I AM WORKING on the report in FULL screen
view. I can use the mouse and with one shoot of a right click I
have that form opened in design view and in full screen. That's
one heck of a lot less fooling around to get to that one object.

Yes, I UNDERSTAND. My point is not to say that the new features are
not valuable. I only want to make sure you do not oversell it by not
accounting for how this was doable in previous versions.
So, it is NOT ONLY the find option here. If we had a find/filter
option in previous versions, we would STILL have to flip between
the object groups.

So, there two issues here.

I do not have to minimize the current form (or report)

You never did -- and that's the whole point of my comments.
OR
even change the display to the database window. The nave pane
saves me this flipping process. And, more important I don't have
to "change" the database window from reports view to forms view if
I need to now work on a form.

Yes, Albert, I understand all of this. I just want your article to
be accurate in what it's claiming for A2007.
Sure, I do realize that, but it is more work.


So, typical steps are:

alt-w (or f11) - that is operation to select the databae
window

If I'm going to the database window, sure. But I might be flipping
between open objects as well, in which case I'd likely use Ctrl-F6.
ctrl-shift-tab - change from reports area to forms area

Then hit 1st letter of object

Then use arrow keys to scroll thought your 100's of reports.

Why are you repeating yourself? You already wrote all of this above.
And, often there is likely was something in our report (such as a
query or even some related report) that is needed to work on. I
also find that I can look at the name of query in some form object
listbox list box, and I don't have
to "remember" what it was I looking at during that process since
the form is still in full view.

So, it more of a issue of not only can we use find + keyboard, but
it much the issue that there is less flipping now.

I am not disagreeing.

[]
So, this takes a bit of a mindset change since many have worked
with access for MANY years. If people are too fixed in their ways
and can't modify the way
they do things, then we see a reaction like the person that
started this thread.

I suspect that person was a troll and not serious at all. There
wasn't a single substantive criticism in the whole post.

[]
I find 2007 wins hands down when doing is common in typical
process that we do all day long such as the above screen shot
shows.

I think this is a strong point for your article, and you can make it
forcefully by simply lifting what you wrote above for your article.

[]
Interesting... I usually/often hit the first letter and then
use the arrow keys.

Were you unaware that you don't need to use the arrow keys, i.e.,
that you just hit the first letter repeatedly?

[]
I just thought a good idea to respond to the poster to "counter"
the idea that no one likes 2007. Furthermore, I did have a rough
draft of my article...so, I just posted it.

I think your article is already very good. I responded because I
wanted to help you make it better.
 
A

Albert D. Kallal

Sky said:
I find the Access 2007 keystrokes quite tedious, even after I get used to
them.

For example, when I hit Alt-Enter to view properties, the focus is not
moved to the property sheet.

Interesting....I often want to open the properties but not necessary to
modify them. I often open the sheet...look, and then close.

And, since there so many options in the sheet, that one case where I always
gone to the mouse to "select" the property...and then from that point on, I
keyboard to change the property, close the sheet, and ctrl-w to close the
form + y to save.

So, navigation in the property sheet is tedious at best. And, as mentioned,
I don't necessary want the focus to change to the sheet anyway. I don't find
this worse...in fact I find it better now.

And, the once extra f6 key gets you there anyway....
And then, if you use ctrl-G to move to your VBA code, the properties
window again loses the focus when you go back! Why? You end up press F6
over and over. Very annoying.

Well, yes, but "normally" right after you just modified code, when you flip
back to the form (alt-tab) you want to save the form. And, you can now do
this with one keystroke ctrl-w. I would take this set of keys over that of
having the focus return back to the prop sheet when you come back from form
code 9 out of 10 times. We have to use the 90/10 rule here. I mean 99% of
the time RIGHT AFTER you just modified some code, and then return to the
form, is not the NEXT thing you going to 9 OUT of 10 times is save the form?
I can now hit ctrl-w when I get back. I find it rather quite rare that I
after come back from modifying code for a form that the next bus stop is the
properties sheet? 07 is a new product..you might have change this process a
bit to really enjoy the benefits of this change..
When you open a form in design view, how to you get to a particular
control? The tab key moves to the detail section, but then you cannot tab
or ctrl-tab to a particular control.

I wonder if something is different for you?

I simply use tab to jump to each section, and when you get to that
section...just hit ctrl-tab....and you are now inside that section. Then use
tab....

This worked the same way in 2003, or 2007. Was there ever any other way to
do this? I not using tabbed forms here...perhaps that what is different
for me here..

The above works the same and just fine for me in both 03/07

To get to the "click" event, you tab to the button on text box, and then
hold down alt--and then whack g + v
The only keyboard way I've found to move to a particular control, starting
from the Navigation Pane, is: Ctrl-Enter to open design view

yes...ok, you then start hitting tab to jump from heading to detail to
footer...and then ctrl-tab to select (jump into) the the contorl section
in in question. And then tab (as I mentioned, this is same for me in 03
and 07....somthing is differnt here).
Alt-Enter to open the properties window

I would not open the prop sheet as of yet...or simply leave it open at all
times then. I not sure where we going here....
F6 to move to the properties window (don't look at your VBA code or you
must press F6 again!)

Well, you can hit ctrl-g to jump to code module regardless of the focus. I
not aware you can actually "jump" to the given event code for a given
properity in the event tab on the properity sheet? If So, then this is new
to me. I must be missing somthing here???
For example, to export something to another Access database, I click Alt,
X1

Sure, but it far more common to "import" that is easy:

alt+x+a

Again this is the 90/10 rule. We far more often import data to go and grab
some code/table/form etc from an existing application "while" we are
working on a new application (that will benefit from the older application
stuff). We don't go and open those 10 other applications, open them, and
"then" export the parts we need. We stay in the current database and import
those things we need. So, again, perhaps moving towards more importing
from something as opposed exporting "to" something would help here.

And, again, I agree some keystrokes might be worse. however, they not been
the very common ones (at least not for me).
Another example, when designing a form, to size some controls to the
widest I press Alt, L, SW (note the double keypress for a single button on
the ribbon). Then to size to tallest, I must again hit Alt, L (why?)
before I hit ST (again, a double keystroke).

I will be the first to admit that I always used the mouse for this. If you
using the mouse, then you don't deal with cascading menus like you do in
2003 to format->align-> size to fit. In 2007 you have a nice large ribbon
with LARGER targets on it and FURTHERMORE you "usually" don't have to run
thought a series cascade menus to get to the size to fit option(s) like one
did in 2003. So, I think the improvement here is quite large and is FAR
better over 2003 mouse wise.

Keep in mind with control groups all those options for size, top, width etc.
are often NOT needed anymore. Control layouts really gets around the width,
top size issues for us and simply saves a lot of time.
The ribbon keystrokes are inconsistent; I don't think they even tried. If
I want to get to the Design tab while on a form, I press Alt-g. But if I
am on a report, the Design tab is Alt-m. If I'm on a query, the Design tab
is Alt-r. If I'm on a table, the Design tab is Alt-d. Not a single one
matches!

I agree with the above. The design tab should be consistent, and it is
not.....
The Find tool on the Navigation Pane is nice, but even that involves
unnecessary keystrokes. If I have a few windows open, I would like to use
F11 to get directly to the Navigation Pane
but F11 toggles it closed first, so then I must press F11 again (I now
use AutoKeys to change this behavior). Or, I can press F6 multiple times
to get to the Navigation Pane

Hum, I don't use tabbed forms, so two f6 f6 (two quick rat tat tat) gets me
back....
 
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D

David W. Fenton

We have to use the 90/10 rule here. I mean 99% of
the time RIGHT AFTER you just modified some code, and then return
to the form, is not the NEXT thing you going to 9 OUT of 10 times
is save the form?

Uh, why wait until you've left the code window to save the form? I
always hit Ctrl-S in the code window (after compiling) and this
saves all open unsaved objects, including the form the module
belongs to. Why do you need to leave the code window to do that?

For that matter, why do you have to close the form to force the "Do
you want to save..." dialog? Why not just SAVE IT?
 

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