Form design

SG1_Guy
04-09-2003, 06:07 PM
Going nuts designing forms.

VBA in Access (2000) has some really good form design abilities, but so far I haven't found a way to make the overall package "look" good... You know? You get the whole Access platform in the way, forms smaller than a screenful still fill-out the screen with junk, etc. So, even if I get the Developer's Kit so I can make free-standing code, I have doubts about final appearance...

Visual Basic (5.x) has gawd-awful form handling and design (I still can't figure out how to disable Snap-To-Grid!) But at least it generates a compiled, free-standing program...

Have they improved the VB form design in version 6 (or above) ???
Is there something less expensive than the $400-500 for the Office (Access/VBA) developer's tools to make compiled free-standing Access apps?

Any ideas gladly accepted...

Thanx

dexmix
04-09-2003, 08:44 PM
Going nuts designing forms.

VBA in Access (2000) has some really good form design abilities, but so far I haven't found a way to make the overall package "look" good... You know? You get the whole Access platform in the way, forms smaller than a screenful still fill-out the screen with junk, etc. So, even if I get the Developer's Kit so I can make free-standing code, I have doubts about final appearance...

Visual Basic (5.x) has gawd-awful form handling and design (I still can't figure out how to disable Snap-To-Grid!) But at least it generates a compiled, free-standing program...

Have they improved the VB form design in version 6 (or above) ???
Is there something less expensive than the $400-500 for the Office (Access/VBA) developer's tools to make compiled free-standing Access apps?

Any ideas gladly accepted...

Thanx
as far as i know vb5 is just about the same as VB6. Access, still has a better better form designer. .NET however seems right on par with Access, from my use anyway. I dont know what you mean by not being able to have Access look good. I've never had a problem with makeing access "look" good. Maybe if you point out specifics i can help you out.

SG1_Guy
04-09-2003, 09:00 PM
OK this might be harder to describe than it would be to demonstrate...

But, if you had a form that totally doesn't need to fill a screen, a name and address box, for example, I can't seem to get it to just be a small window on screen. It takes an entire screen with a lot of empty space.

With the last application I worked on, I didn't have the luxury of time to play with settings, like maybe the modal, border, popup, etc... So, I am ready to hear that the right combination of these will do the trick.

I really need to end-up with a free-standing application, which leaned me towards straight Visual Basic, using an Access database/table for data storage. But I like the design capabilities of VBA in Access much better. If I can get my hands on the Developer tools for Office (Access) 2000, and that lets me make an EXE file, and I can get around this screen design thing, I'll be Golden.

I am amazed that the design tools in VB are so awful!

John

dexmix
04-09-2003, 09:18 PM
Theres ways to hide the entire Access Window and using form properties, you can make the windows look like any other normal window.
You can totally replace the Menu, and Toolbars with your own menus and toolbars, if you really wanted.
-the popup property makes the window float over the entire app, sort of like a toolwindow.
-When you use DoCmd to open a form, you can tell it to open the form as a dialog, which automatically sets the properties you need for a dialog.
-if you don't want it to take up the entire screen Just set the borderstyle to Thin or Fixed Dialog.

As for Office Developer, I didnt know it could make EXE's on its own. I always thought it just used Access Runtime version to run your compiled MDEs. (actually im almost positive about this.)

SG1_Guy
04-09-2003, 11:02 PM
As for Office Developer, I didnt know it could make EXE's on its own. I always thought it just used Access Runtime version to run your compiled MDEs. (actually im almost positive about this.)

You are probably right. But the major point would be that the user won't need the entire Access system. Just the runtime. I suppose even that makes VB a slightly better choice. But there's that dreadful interface again...

With all of the general standardization in MS apps, you would think that they would have improved it by now... The available properties on objects and controls are just so superior in Access...

I would get VB6 if I was reasonably sure the interface was at least a Little better... But the upgrade is a major expense for a Maybe...

Thanx for the info...

Machaira
04-10-2003, 06:00 AM
It doesn't get much better for interface design than VB6, except .NET. :) That's VB strongest point. There's almost nothing you can't do with it.

dexmix
04-10-2003, 06:26 AM
It doesn't get much better for interface design than VB6, except .NET. :) That's VB strongest point. There's almost nothing you can't do with it.

I love and prefer VB6, its just that Access has a ton of features, all ready build in to the forms and controls, that dont carry over to VB6. Its true that VB6 is great for design, but to do the same things in VB6 thats already built into access, requires way too much effort for some people, especially casual programmers. Also on the IDE, and forms designer, one thing cant stand about VB6 is that you have to move every control individually! ...this kills me, but at least they got it right in .NET.

SG1_Guy
04-10-2003, 08:06 AM
[QUOTEPOST='dexmix'Also on the IDE, and forms designer, one thing cant stand about VB6 is that you have to move every control individually! ...this kills me, but at least they got it right in .NET.[/QUOTEPOST]

I have this image of .NET being primarily for Web development. Does it equally support Non-Net (local machine) development ? Like, can you develop a great Shopping List program, and give copies to your friends and family as an .EXE, for a lame example... ?

Thinker
04-10-2003, 08:10 AM
You don't have to move every control individually in the VB6 IDE. You
just select a group of them and move them.

.NET isn't primarily for web development. The only problem you would
have distributing programs written with it is making sure the target PCs
support and have the .net runtime installed.

dexmix
04-10-2003, 09:26 AM
You don't have to move every control individually in the VB6 IDE. You
just select a group of them and move them.

oops, i meant resize them, which isnt really a big deal.

Thinker
04-10-2003, 09:52 AM
I can resize multiple controls at the same time too. Once again, I select
them all, then hold down on the shift key and press the arrows. Left is
narrower, right is wider, up is shorter, down is taller.

dexmix
04-10-2003, 10:11 AM
I can resize multiple controls at the same time too. Once again, I select
them all, then hold down on the shift key and press the arrows. Left is
narrower, right is wider, up is shorter, down is taller.
i had no idea. thanks.

Machaira
04-10-2003, 10:38 AM
I love and prefer VB6, its just that Access has a ton of features, all ready build in to the forms and controls, that dont carry over to VB6. Its true that VB6 is great for design, but to do the same things in VB6 thats already built into access, requires way too much effort for some people, especially casual programmers.
Using the Data control, you can produce a form almost as easily and quickly in VB as in Access. You sacrifice flexibility however.

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