Tech Tip: Create a custom Word background fill/Add selected values in Excel/Enter and display Access dates

Learn how to create a custom background fill for an AutoShape, add selected values with the Conditional Sum Wizard, and enter and display dates in a form with a calendar control.

Create a custom background fill for an AutoShape

In addition to using various colors and patterns, you can use graphic images to create a custom fill for an AutoShape object. For example, suppose you've drawn and enlarged an oval AutoShape. You can create a custom background fill from a picture.

Follow these steps:

  1. Select the AutoShape.
  2. Click the drop-down arrow of the Fill Color button on the Drawing toolbar.
  3. Select Fill Effects.
  4. On the Picture tab, click the Select Picture button.
  5. Navigate to the location of your file, double-click the file, and click OK.

Add selected values with the Conditional Sum Wizard

Excel's Conditional Sum Wizard helps you build formulas that add values based on certain criteria.

For example, let's say you have a spreadsheet that lists each invoice number in the InvoiceNo column, the amount of the invoice in the Amount column, the regional office in the Office column, and the due date in the DueDate column. From this data, you want to find the total dollar amount of all invoices from your New Jersey office.

Follow these steps:

  1. Go to Tools | Conditional Sum. (If Conditional Sum isn't an option, go to Tools | Add-Ins, select the Conditional Sum Wizard check box, and click OK.)
  2. Select the spreadsheet, and click Next.
  3. Select Amount from the Column To Sum drop-down list.
  4. Select Office from the Column drop-down list.
  5. Select = from the Is drop-down list.
  6. Select New Jersey from the This Value drop-down list.
  7. Click the Add Condition button, and click Next.
  8. Select Copy The Formula And Conditional Values, and click Next.
  9. Enter a cell where you want to copy the conditional value (New Jersey), and click Next.
  10. Enter a cell where you want to copy the conditional sum value formula, and click Finish.

Excel will display the total amount of the invoices for New Jersey in the cell you specified in Step 10.

Enter and display dates in a form with a calendar control

With Access' ActiveX Calendar control, your users no longer have to type in dates. Instead, they can simply use the calendar to select the correct date.

To add a calendar control to a form, follow these steps:

  1. Open the form in Design View, and click the More Controls button on the Toolbox.
  2. In Access 2002, select Calendar Control 10.0. (In Access 2000, select Calendar Control 9.0.)
  3. Click and drag to draw the calendar on the form.
  4. Select the control, and click the Properties button on the Form Design toolbar.
  5. On the Data tab, select the date field you want to link to the calendar from the Control Source drop-down list.
  6. To make formatting changes, right-click the control, and select Calendar Object | Properties.
  7. Make the appropriate changes in the Calendar Properties dialog box, and click OK.

When you run the form, the calendar display will change to reflect the date in the specified date field for each record. To enter or change a date, scroll to the new month and year, and select the appropriate date.