Windows XP Theming

Finally, Access applications will look more like the rest of Office applications. However, in Access 2003, most forms controls can inherit the Windows theme. So, buttons, options groups and the like will suddenly have the softer features that have become familiar to users. Again there are caveats, such as the operating system must be set up to use theming and the desktop cannot currently be set to use Windows XP with Windows Classic theme selected. Controls that do not inherit the Windows theme are labels, images, object frames, subforms, lines, and rectangles. And, of course, customized controls will retain their custom settings.

Form View

Figure 3-17

Form View

Figure 3-17

It takes only four mouse clicks to specify whether or not Access should adopt the Windows theme. On the Tools menu, click Options. In the Options window, open the Forms/Reports tab, and then select or clear the Use Windows Themed Controls on Forms check box.

To change the Windows theme, open the Display window in Control Panel. On the Themes tab, select a theme other than Windows Classic in the Themes list box.

Forms, dialogs boxes, and wizards will all inherit the current Windows theme. And, Data Pages will also display the Windows theme when viewed in Access as well as when viewed with Internet Explorer. Regretfully, the theme required for this book's screen shots does not allow the Window's theme to influence Access. But, this is certainly a feature worth experimenting with.

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