You can use your favorite social network to register or link an existing account:
Or use your email address to register without a social network:
Sign in with these social networks:
Or enter your username and password
Forgot your password?
Yes, please link my existing account with for quick, secure access.
No, I would like to create a new account with my profile information.
Today’s guest writers are Steve Greenberg and Viki Selca. The PMs that have lead the effort to make it easier to create great looking apps.
People say “Don’t judge a book by its cover” but everyone who develops software knows that applications are judged by their look and feel every day, and for good reason. It’s critical to keep the user interface clean so that end users of the application can get their work done without fuss. If you depend on Access as a key part of your business, the difference between a good-looking and poor-looking application can be significant for your reputation and for your bottom line. At the end of the day, as hard as you work to perfect the schema of your application, it’s your forms and reports that leave indelible impressions on your users.
This blog posts kicks off a series about the key improvements to forms and reports that you’ll see in Access 2010. Our overall goal is to make it easier to make modern-looking applications that are visually-appealing, consistent and intuitive.
Our first stop is themes.
There are three primary challenges to creating a great looking app. First, picking a good groups of colors is a real challenge even for designers. Second, is picking the right set of fonts. Third, is updating all forms/reports and new objects with these choices. Access 2010 themes make this easy.
In earlier versions of Access, you might decide in advance which colors and fonts you want to use. However, this kind of upfront planning leaves you with little ability to change your mind. Next thing you know you’re leaving a stakeholder review trying to figure out how to batch convert all your light blues to shades of green. We’ve all been there.
Access 2010 integrates with Office Document Themes. To explain themes, it’s helpful to start with a quick peak at the 2010 color-picker:
If you choose from the Theme Colors section, you’ll notice that the color’s value in the property sheet is not an RGB value. Instead, it will look something like “Accent 4”. This is a token that’s filled in by the theme. The complete list of colors is:
Background 1, Background 2, Text 1, Text 2, Accent 1 through Accent 6, Hyperlink, Followed Hyperlink
You may also notice that the color is followed by a Lighter or Darker modifier, represented as a percent. As you might expect, these allow you to lighten or darken the core theme color. In the Themes section of the color picker, each column contains a set of five variations on the theme color.
Use theme colors and rest assured that you’ll have colors that complement each other nicely. Moreover, it’s simple to experiment with other colors in the future. Just open a form or report in design view, go to the Design ribbon and drop down the Theme picker.
Here are some examples of the same form shown with different themes.
As you can see it’s easy to change the whole look of the application with one click. Access 2010 ships with 40 themes. These themes are used in every Office application, so your Access databases can easily match your Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations and Word documents.
Is there a way to make a Runtime Access application use a different theme than the one currently selected for Office? My point is that while Access itself is part of Office, a particular application developed in Access can't be considered part of the Office suite any more, especially if it's packaged and sold as something unrelated, say a stock management system. I've had users ask me why they couldn't set the theme of their application without changing the whole Office 2007 theme as well. The underlying development may have been done in Access, but users don't realise that they are running the Runtime: the application is sold to them as something completely unrelated to Office.
Reaud. . . That will be a great feature, even more that we can deploy with our apps a way that the users can change the theme (AT RUNTIME). Maybe call the theming api . Edwin
Good feature request Renaud--I can see for a class of applications it would be useful. I'm not aware of a way to do it with Access 2010. I will put it on our future suggestions list.
Isn't this theming independent of Office? We had themes in Access 2007 and changing the Office color was independent of the Access forms. Office 2007 only has three color schemes; Blue, Black and Silver.
Hi Renaud, Jack is correct. The theming this blog post talks about is independent of Office theming. I got a bit more information from Alex, the area tester. He provided this helpful response: "At present, themes cannot be changed programmatically at runtime. Regarding Renaud’s comment, I think there is some misunderstanding regarding the Access UI color scheme vs. the Access database theme. The color scheme applied to the Access UI (Ribbon, etc.), which can be set through Access Options, has no impact on the theme applied to the database itself. Likewise, themes applied to other Office documents (Excel workbooks or PowerPoint presentations, for example) have no impact on Access databases. With themes, the user has complete control over the appearance of their database."