Microsoft Access Buttons – Using images

Let’s face it.  Microsoft Access buttons are boring.  As a Microsoft Access programmer, we tend to accept the simple solution and use a wizard to create a button.  If we use an image it is usually just the standard icon from Access.  Here is another technique that can make your Microsoft Access application more attractive.

If you have a button that works just fine, this is a simple solution.  You can add a custom image to a button, but there are size limitations.  You often get the message “Microsoft Access doesn’t support the format of the file …. or file is too large.  Try converting the file to .BMP or .GIF format.”  The solution is easy.  Make the image the same size as the button.  Add the image to the form, and put the button on top of it.  Change the button’s Transparent value to Yes.  Make sure the button is brought to the front (Format, Bring to Front) and you have an attractive button.

If you want to make the clickable area a bit bigger than the image, you can do it by making the button bigger.  This is a help for inaccurate mouse clickers.

You could of course use the “On Click” event for the image to undertake whatever action is required.  On the other hand, many applications already have a button and the visual appearance can be enhanced by adding a few images.  Another reason for Microsoft Access programmers to use a button is that you can use the wizard to create the button.

Below is an example from a new product we are developing for recording meeting agendas, minutes and action items.  This is the switchboard.  We created buttons starting with a background from a Visio shape and fill.  Using Fireworks, we add a layer for each text item.

Technique for using images in Microsoft Access buttons

Transparent Microsoft Access buttons over an image

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