When you enter data on a form, press Tab to move from control to control in the order they're shown in the form. The progression from control to control on the form is the tab order. When you first create a form, the tab order runs from top to bottom.
When you move and rearrange controls, the tab order doesn't change automatically. For example, suppose you had 10 controls arranged in a column and you rearranged them so that the tenth one was at the beginning. It would still require 10 presses of the Tab key to move the insertion point to that control, even though it's now at the top of the form. This makes it more difficult to fill in the form, so you'll want to adjust the tab order to reflect the new structure of the form.
Tab Order Improvements To make data entry easier, you might want to change the tab order to be different from the obvious top-to-bottom structure. For example, if 90% of the records you enter skip several controls, you might want to put those controls last in the tab order so that you can skip over them easily.
Follow these steps to adjust the tab order:
Choose View, Tab Order . The Tab Order dialog box appears (see Figure 13.6).
Figure 13.6. Use the Tab Order dialog box to decide what tab order to use on your form.
Choose the section for which you want to set tab order. The default is Detail.
The controls appear in their tab order. To change the order, click a control and then drag it up or down in the list.
To quickly set the tab order based on the controls'current positions in the form (top to bottom), click the Auto Order button.
Click OK .
When you have finished making different enhancements to your form, you must save the changes. Click the Save button on the Form Design toolbar.
In this lesson, you learned how to improve a form by moving controls, adding text labels, adding formatting, and adjusting the tab order. In the next lesson, you learn about special controls that you can add to a form.