Access 2016: Create a Form

Access 2016 provides many options that make it easy to create forms.

One thing that separates Access (and other desktop database systems) from most client/server database management systems (DBMSs), is the ability to create forms. Most client/server systems require you to use separate tools to build forms. With Access, you can create forms straight from within your database.

In Access 2016, you have the option of creating a blank form from scratch, using the Form Wizard, or having Access automatically create a form from a table or query.

Create a Form from a Table

Let's see how quickly we can get a form up and running. We'll create a form based on the Albums table that we created previously.

This will allow users to enter data into the table via the form.

  1. Screenshot of the Form button highlighted.

    Create the Form

    Select the table in the left menu that you want to use for the form (in our case, the Albums table) and click Form from the Create tab on the Ribbon.

  2. Screenshot of the newly created Form.

    The Form

    Access immediately creates a form based on the selected table.

    The form displays all fields as label/field pairs.

    • The label allows users to see which field is which.
    • The field is presented in an editable form element such as a text box, combo box, etc. The user can then edit the underlying data using the form elements.

    Close the left navigation pane (using the « icon) so that there's more room to display the form.

Form Views

There are three different views for working with forms:

When you first create a form from a table, Access opens it in Layout View. You can customize the form however you like. You can switch between views as often as you like while customizing your form.

Switching views can be done by using the View button on the Ribbon, or the three icons at the bottom right of the Access window.

Here's an explanation of each view.

The Form Tabs

When you edit a form in either Layout View or Design View, three tabs appear on the Ribbon with specific options for editing forms.

Here's an overview of these tabs.

Form Properties

Access provides the Property Sheet for setting properties against a form and its elements. Here's an overview.

Go ahead and change some colors, fonts, etc. Next we will replace the ArtistId field with a combo box containing artists' names.