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The Music Database

Forms and Graphics


It is possible to include graphic files produced by another package into both FORM and REPORT database objects via OLE (Object Linking and Embedding). Such graphics remain linked to their native application (be it Paintbrush or CorelDraw), and so linked can be edited there. If a graphic is EMBEDDED, a copy of the file is stored in the .MDB file of your database - this can signifigantly increase the storage requirements of your system. If, on the otherhand you choose to LINK, the location of the file is noted in your database file, the actual graphic is stored in its original file. OLE Graphics provide you with the facility to draw customised backgrounds, button faces and 'menus' on top of which you place Access controls.

To embed a paintbrush .BMP file as the background for a new form, open a New Blank Form, then select the UNBOUND OLE OBJECT button from the TOOLS menu, and then click-drag a rectangle on the blank form.

Nominate Create from File, then in the filename window, type the graphic file name, including full path (for example, C:\WINDOWS\LEAVES.BMP), alternatively BROWSE, and track down the file from directory lists presented.

Inserting a graphic

After a short (or long depending on your machine) delay, you will be returned to your form, with the graphic placed inside the frame created earlier.

By default, Access places the graphic full size (pixel-wise) into your frame

clip mode

- this is often unsatisfactory as the image is either too small or too large. In the image right, the embedded bitmap is much smaller than the frame - scaling the frame larger does not effect the size of the enclosed image. Scaling the image involves editing the properties of the embedded image.

There are 3 types of image 'fitting' offered by Access, each of which are specified by entering a Size Mode in the Unbound OLE Frame Properties sheet. CLIP is basically 'as it comes in' - ie full size, no scaling which is the default size mode. Additionally, in Access 97, picture TILING is possible.

STRETCH means that Access will distort the image horizantally and vertically by whatever factor is necessary to fill the frame with the image. When you re-size the frame, the image re-scales to fit the new shape. Be warned, however, that the re-scaling can cause the image to distort quite markedly, and break up in quality.

a Stretched Image

ZOOM instructs Access to enlarge/diminish the image proportionally both horizantally and vertically so as to maintain the original proportions of the embedded image. If the image does not match the frame, there will be 'dead space' inside the frame which may or may not present formatting problems.

a zoomed image

Image TILING is useful for placing background images/textures on your forn

a zoomed image

Once you have the image the way you want it you can place it to the back and place other form controls on the top of the graphic - these multi-layer compositions can appear very sophisticated.

a multi-layer form


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