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For the main menu , I suggest starting with an Access form in Design View that is not connected to a table or query. This menu should open automatically when the database opens, and I suggest setting the startup options to not show the database window.
If you look at the screens being requested, there are generally three categories. The first category is customer information, in which you have the customer contact information, billing information, payment information, and contact history. The second category is company-specific information on services, charges, and expense entry. The expense entry posts to general ledger accounts for expenses, and the customer payments posts to general ledger accounts for income. The third category is for production, including invoices, letters, and income statements.
To divide the main menu into these categories, I suggest using a tab control from the Access control toolbox and having a page for each category. Figure 12-1 shows how this would look. To create the blank form, go to the forms tab in Access, select "Create Form in Design View," and once the form is open, go to View Form Header/Footer to put a header and footer on the form. Click on the tab control on the control toolbox and click and drag the control onto the form. If the control toolbox is not visible, go to View Toolbox to see it.
Depending on the defaults on your computer, you might not see three pages on your tab control. If that is the case, you can add pages by right-clicking on a tab and selecting Insert Page from the menu. If you have too many pages, delete some by right-clicking on a tab and selecting Delete Page from the menu.
Figure 12-1. An example of using a tab control to break up a main menu into functional areas
To update the name on the tab, right-click on the tab and select Properties from the menu. You change the name shown by updating the caption property. If the caption property is blank, it shows the name of the tab. The caption property is on the Format tab and the name property is on the Other tab.
Put a title on the menu by clicking and dragging a label from the toolbox onto the header. You can also use the command button wizard to put a close button on the footer. When you click and drag a command button onto the form, the wizard comes up automatically. For the main menu, I suggest having the close button actually close the application, rather than just the form. For all other forms, I would have the exit button close only the form.
An additional suggestion that I will make is to get rid of the navigation buttons, dividing lines, and record selectors by going to the Properties dialog for the form and selecting No for each property.
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