Types of Forms in Microsoft Access

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Microsoft Access allows users to create forms that perform a variety of operations including adding and changing information that is stored in the Access database. You can create forms to work for your organization's specific needs. Understanding the different kinds of forms in Access will help you to pick the right one for what you want to do.


Kinds of Forms in Access

There are two types of forms in Access. The first kind is a bound form. Bound forms are forms that have data that is connected between the form and your Access database. These are dependent on one another which means when data is changed in the bound form, it is also changed in the database that it is bound to. Unbound forms do not update or change with your database in this way, but they are still useful in other ways.


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Switchboards Form

You can create menus for a database by using a switchboards form. The switchboard form is an unbound form because changing the data in your switchboards form won't have any effect on the same data in your Access database. You can use a switchboards form to easily close or open your Access database. You can also use the form to quickly access data from any other forms you have related to your database.


Dialog Box Form

Dialog box forms can be used in Access to display results for a search that is performed by your end user. It can also be used by the end user to select specific conditions to retrieve data. Like a switchboards form, the dialog box form is unbound because you cannot change data in your Access database when you use a dialog box. Dialog boxes are a great choice when you want to make it easy for your end user to find the data that they need from a database.


Data Entry Form

You can use a form like the data entry form to change the data in an Access database. This bound form enables you to have your end user type in specific information – such as a different name or address – and have it update both the form and the relevant information in the database at the same time. The data entry form is a great choice for allowing your customers to enter their information or change it at a later date.


Record Display Form

A record display form is a bound form that displays data from a spreadsheet depending on the criteria that's specified. For instance, a doctor's office can use a record display form to quickly pull up information from their Access database about a patient based on the name entered and other requested information – such as past medical conditions. You can create record display forms that display multiple records as well. In the case of the doctor's office, they can select to show multiple past medical conditions in a single database pull.