The Mechanics of the Relationship Window

A few techniques and tools are worth mentioning when using the Relationships window. I'll get to those in a moment. But let me first emphasize that this window can generate what could be the most misinterpreted message in Access.

When you close the Relationships window after making changes, Access asks if you want to save them (see Figure 4.13). This question applies only to the layout changes you've madethe field lists you have added, deleted, or moved around. It has no effect whatsoever on the relationships you created and the edits you made on them. These were saved as you opened and used the various dialog boxes.

Figure 4.13. This message applies only to the layout of the Relationships window, not to any of the relationships or relationship options you have set.

Now let's move on and discuss various features of the Relationships window that might prove useful.

Show Buttons

The Relationships window has three important Show buttons:

  • Show Table You can use this button to add field lists to the Relationships window. The Show Table dialog box will appear, from which you can select field lists to add them to the window.

  • Show Direct Relationships Let's say you add a single table to the window. If you click this button, all the tables that have relationships with it are added to the window and displayed. If there are other tables in the window and you want to show the direct relationships for only one, select it and then click the button (see Figure 4.14). If you're already showing all relationships, clicking the button has no effect.

    Figure 4.14. Beginning with the layout shown in Figure 4.8, the Orders field list was added by selecting Order Details and clicking the Show Direct Relationships button.

    Note that choosing this option does not hide any field lists already added to the window. It reveals hidden field lists that are related, but tables that are already visible stay visible.

  • Show All Relationships This button means what it says: It shows all the relationships in the database.

Print the Relationships Window

In early versions of Access, users struggled to print the Relationships window. This shortcoming has now been rectified. In the Relationships window, choose File-Print Relationships. Access creates a report that displays the Relationships window, which you can print and save like any other report. The report is not updated, however, for any changes you make in the Relationships windows afterward; you must create another report.


If you have more than a few field lists, you'll want a landscape orientation. In Print Preview, click Setup on the toolbar, click the Page tab, and choose Landscape Orientation.

Hands-On Microsoft Access(c) A Practical Guide to Improving Your Access Skills
Hands-On Microsoft Access: A Practical Guide to Improving Your Access Skills
ISBN: 0321245458
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 169
Authors: Bob Schneider © 2008-2017.
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