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The Music Database

Forms with Sub-forms


One way to display information form a number of related tables is to define a sub-form within a containing (or parent) form. By linking the two forms, only related rows are displayed.

Firstly, create a new form based on the ALBUMS table similar to that displayed.

Form based on albums table

Notice that the form has a HEADER and a FOOTER created from the FORMAT menu off the TOP MENU. Notice that the labels for all fields have been deleted except for AlbName and Artist which have been modified. Leave space at the bottom of the form detail for the embedded (child) form. Save this form as Album Details into your database container.

  • Create a NEW FORM, nominate the table TRACKS as the basis of the form, then choose the FORM WIZARD.
Form based on Tracks
  • Select a Tabular Form then Ok. From the list of available fields for the form, add [>] SONG then Next.
  • Select the Standard style of form then Finish and you get a FORM VIEW similar to that pictured.

Form wizards assume you want a standard format, and add detail that might be needed or might not - typically you will need to customise automatically generated forms and this is the case here.

Go into DESIGN VIEW and edit the form by removing the header and footer (you want this form to be a component of another form, not an apparently independent data display area), shrink the total form to be the width of 1 field, centre the text (press the centre alignment button on the button bar) so it resembles that pictured right. SAVE this form as Track Listing

customised tracks form

Re-open the DESIGN VIEW of the Album Details form. Select the SUBFORM/SUBREPORT button on the TOOLS menu. Click and drag an area in the blank space on your form to create an UNBOUND SUBFORM (this means it does not yet relate to any existing database object). Open up the PROPERTIES sheet for the unbound subform area. Select the SOURCE OBJECT to be the TRACKLISTING form. To join the subform to the parent form, indicate Link Child Fields: SerNum and Link Master Fields : SerNum (this is the join condition)

embedding the subform

Try your composite form out by switching to FORM VIEW.

As can be seen, the controls on the subform could be confusing. By altering the properties of the subform (TRACKLISTING), it is possible to control the appearance of the subform: Vertical Only scroll bars, no record selectors, no navigation buttons, no control box, no max or min button; results in the finished form pictured below.

tidied up form with subform


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