Access Forms: Always Ready for a New Record

A question arose in a recent Access Forms workshop about a form that was being designed to capture information supplied by library patrons. To that point in the workshop, we had created several forms; but in each case when the form was opened we saw record 1 of the data set. We saw that we could use the New Record icon to set the form fields to blank when we wanted to enter new data. But in this case, the database owner wanted the form to open so that what the user sees immediately is a form with blank fields ready for a new record to be entered. The solution simply involves setting properties of the form as follows:

  1. With the Form in Design view or Layout view, open the Property Sheet and be sure you are looking at the properties of the Form
  2. To most easily find the properties you need, choose the Data tab at the top of the Property Sheet
  3. Find the Data Entry property and set it to Yes
  4. Also be sure the Allow Additions property is set to Yes

To further simplify patron access to the form, the library could also designate this form as the database object users see upon opening the database. This choice can be made in the Access Options window as follows:

  1. On the ribbon, click the File tab.
  2. In the File menu, click Options. You will see the Options window. Note that initially it is set to show general options for the installation of Access on that machine.
  3. To see the options available for the open database, in the list at the left side of the window, click Current Database.
  4. In the Current Database options, use the drop-down arrow to change the Display Form setting to the form users will need:
Current Database options
Displaying options for the current database









Within the Current Database options window are other choices, such as hiding the Navigation Pane and default menus, so that the user is less likely to accidentally interact with the application in an unexpected way. The goal would be to make the interaction as simple and straightforward as possible for the user.

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