Data Management

Use WingDings to display special check box controls in an Access report

Access offers only one check box control; WingDings offers several. Don't limit yourself!

The following Access report shows the default display for a Yes/No field. In this case, an unchecked box means the product is still available; a checked box means the product has been discontinued. Most of the time, the default is adequate and you won't want to change it. Occasionally, you'll want a bit more flexibility.

The easiest way to display a check box other than the default is to use the WingDings font, which offers the following check box controls:

To create one of these check boxes, hold down the [Alt] key and press the appropriate numbers on the numeric keypad. Don't use the numbers along the top of your keypad; you must use the numeric keypad for this technique to work. Then, apply the WingDings font to the resulting character.

When applying the WingDings fault to an Access report (2003, 2007, and 2010), choose two of the above characters: one to represent Yes (True) values and one to represent No (False) values. Now, let's apply all that to an Access report:

  1. Use any Access report you like, as long as it displays a Yes/No field. The example report is based on the Products table in Northwind, the sample database that comes with Access. This table contains a Yes/No field named Discontinued.
  2. With the report in Design view, delete the Discontinued bound control. Just select the check box and press the Delete key.
  3. Replace the default check box control with a label less text box.
  4. Set the following controls for the new text box:

    Control Source = Discontinued (or the name of your Yes/No field).

    Font Name = WingDings

    Width = .25 (You might want to reset this later, but this is a good place to start.)
  5. Select the Format property field and enter the appropriate characters to display your Yes and No check boxes using the form false;\true. For this example, hold down [Alt] and press 0253 on the numeric keypad. Then, enter a semicolon (;) and a backslash (\). Next, hold down the [Alt] key again and press 0254 on the numeric keypad.
  6. Change the Font Size to 12
  7. View the report in Print Preview.

As you can see, the No (or false) values now display an X instead of being empty. The Yes (true) check boxes still display checks, but the style is different. If you want to display just checks for Yes values and nothing for No values, leave the first Format component blank (step 5). In addition, experiment with other format attributes such as color.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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