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Access Cookbook, 2nd Edition by Andy Baron, Paul Litwin, Ken Getz

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Chapter 16. Smart Tags

Have you noticed that in recent versions of Excel some cells have little purple triangles in the lower left corner? When you move the mouse over these cells a symbol appears that you can click to reveal a menu of actions related to the contents of that cell. Similar behavior is available in Word for words with a special purple dotted underline. These special features are smart tags .

Smart tags are a way for applications to provide users with context-sensitive actions related to the data appearing on screen. These actions can be available across multiple applications for the same pieces of data. Smart tags were introduced in Office XP, where you could use them in Word, Excel, and Outlook (with Word as the Outlook email editor or when reading HTML mail). In Office 2003 smart tag capabilities have been extended and now Access developers can also incorporate smart tags into their applications.

If you're already familiar with smart tags from working in Word or Excel, you'll find that the implementation of smart tags in Access is a little different. Unlike the implementation of smart tags found in Word and Excel, Access does not support recognizers. In Word or Excel, special code components called recognizers must be created to distinguish which words provide smart tag actions. Access 2003 allows you to attach smart tags to database fields or form controls. The smart tags appear for any text appearing in datasheet views or forms containing those fields, or in the ...

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