Publish Microsoft Access check box controls to a Word document
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Publish Access check box controls to a Word document
Access’ native controls are functional without being overwhelming. However, the other Office applications don’t always interpret Access controls properly. For instance, the publishing process loses check box controls and their bound data when publishing an Access report to Word. Fortunately, there are a couple of easy fixes for this limitation: Display the literal values or use Wingdings to display the check box controls in Word.
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Check box controls in Access
By default, Access displays a check box control for a Yes/No field. A simple report, like this one, uses a check box to display the Discontinued values. We based this report on the Products table in the Access sample database, Northwind.
Missing check boxes in Word
Here’s what happens when you publish this report to Word. (To publish a report to Word, use the Office Links button.) The check box control and data completely disappears. To fix the problem, we can either display just the data in the form of Yes and No, On and Off, and True and False or use Wingdings to display the check box graphic.
Choosing the Text Box option
The simplest way to guarantee that Yes/No values make it to Word is to display those values in a text box instead of the field’s default check box. The switch is simple. First, open the table with the Yes/No field in Design view and select the appropriate field row. Then, click the Lookup tab in the Properties panel and choose Text Box from the Display Control field, as shown here. Now, save the table and close it.
Displaying values instead of controls
New reports based on the table will now display values, not check box controls.
Word displaying the Yes/No values
When you publish the modified report, Word displays Yes and No values accordingly.
The Wingdings approach
If you really want the check box controls in your Word document, you can have them. The first step is to replace the report’s check box with a text box, just as you did in the previous technique. It doesn’t matter whether you change the Display Control property at the table level or you replace the existing check box with a text box in the report.
Once you have a text box in the report, you must trick Word into displaying check box controls instead of values by setting the text box control’s Format property as follows:
- If you manually replaced the control, be sure to set the new text box control’s Control Source to the appropriate Yes/No field.
- Set the Font Name property to Wingdings.
- Select the control’s Format property, which will probably display Yes/No.
- The first format component determines how Access displays a false value (0). In the case of a Yes/No field, you want Access to display an empty check box. To enter the appropriate wingding character, hold down the [Alt] key and type 0168 on the numeric keypad — this value represents the empty check box character (for false value).
- Enter a semicolon character (;), which Access requires between formatting components.
- Enter a backslash character, which indicates that the character that follows is a literal character.
- To enter the Wingdings value for a checked check box (representing true values), hold down the [Alt] key and type 0254. As you can see here, you won’t be able to recognize the characters in the Property field.
- Save the report and display in Print View.
Displaying check boxes in Word
When you publish this report, Word has no problem displaying the checked and unchecked check box controls. If the controls are too small, simply adjust the control’s Font Size property in Access. (To learn more about formatting values via a control, search on “control formats” in Help.)