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Access 2010: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald

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Fine-Tuning Reports with Properties

As you’ve already learned, you can most easily tweak your report’s controls with the ribbon buttons. However, even though the ribbon is packed full of useful features, it doesn’t have everything. Behind the scenes, each control has a host of low-level settings, known as properties. Many of these settings are obscure, and people rarely use them. Some are known only to a small number of antisocial Access junkies. But a few are genuinely useful, because they provide features that you can’t reach anywhere else in Access. To hunt down and change these settings, you need the Property Sheet.

Note

The Properties window is occasionally useful for report writing, but it becomes much more important when you tackle forms in Part Four and add code in Part Five.

To show the Property Sheet in Design view, choose Report Design Tools | Design→Tools→Property Sheet. The Property Sheet appears at the window’s right side (Figure 11-16).

The Property Sheet lets you fine-tune a single report item at a time. You choose the item by selecting it on the design surface or by choosing it from the drop-down list at the top of the Property Sheet. If you want to tweak a specific control, it’s usually easier to click to select it on the design surface. The drop-down list is sorted alphabetically by name, and Access doesn’t always use the most intuitive names. Sometimes the names match the underlying field (like ProductCategoryID), and sometimes they don’t (like Text3).

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