February 20, 2008

Get quick help with your Access forms with ToolTips

Date: February 19th, 2008

Author: Mary Ann Richardson

When designing an Access application, don’t neglect to plan for the ToolTips! ToolTips let you provide context-sensitive help wherever and whenever needed. To access your ToolTip help, simply move your mouse pointer over a control on the form and the Tooltip will appear with help on that control. Not only can ToolTips cut down on training time, they can also reduce the number of calls to the help desk. To add a ToolTip to a form control, follow these steps:

  1. Open the form in design view.
  2. Right-click the control and then select Properties.
  3. On the control’s property sheet, click the Other tab.
  4. Click in the ControlTip Text box.
  5. Enter the appropriate help text for the control.

For longer help text entries, you can wrap the text by pressing [Ctrl][Enter] wherever you want a line break to appear.

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February 20, 2008

al said:

Word can’t keep it’s hands off anyway…
One of the first changes I make to Word when I install it is to turn off the option to automatically define styles as you type and yet I keep finding that my Normal template styles keep getting redefined to match whatever template I use the most. For example, since I most often am typing manuscripts at home, I find that the Normal style in normal.dot has been redefined as double-spaced. When I create a “blank document” that’s what I get.

At first I thought it was my fault, that I had changed the styles before saving the template (thereby saving the style changes to Normal) but when I got my latest computer I deliberately created a template, saved it, and then made changes to the template. The styles in Normal were still changed.

Do you know of any way to avoid that problem?
Posted: 02/12/2008 @ 11:56 AM (PST)
Good question
I’ve done this by backing up, then altering the Normal template. Another way is to change which template is the default. Either way, I’ve never found a quick way to choose when starting a doc. Then again, I don’t use Word a whole lot. Back when I was writing help files, I aggressively customized the entire app, but I wasn’t using it for much else, so it didn’t matter.

I wouldn’t mind some pointers in this area myself.
Posted: 02/12/2008 @ 08:25 PM (PST)
Create a “base” style in your template(s).
I can’t take credit for this tip, it actually comes from reading my “(2003) Word Bible” (from QUE Publishing) … create a new base style, to replace Normal, in any customized template. Build all your customized styles on that base, which is slick, ‘cuz you can change the base (font, pt, etc.) and all the styles connected to the base change too! Another QUE tip, don’t alter the Normal.dot … create customized .dots (nothing’s worse that corrupting the MS-issued “default” template.)
Posted: 02/13/2008 @ 08:42 AM (PST)
Normal.dot update – tuurn it off
Don’t forget to turn off the option to automatically save changes to normal.dot when you save your document. That will also cause an unexpected change to the MS default, many times for the worse.
Posted: 02/18/2008 @ 06:26 AM (PST)
Random styles
I can NEVER get Word to retain my default font. I don’t like to use Times New Roman, I prefer Arial. No matter where I set that font as the default, when I open a new document, there’s that doggone Times New Roman again!

And what’s worse, if I DO set a font on the first paragraph of my document, I expect that font to remain in effect until I change it again but NOOOOOOOOO, I have to either re-set the font after I hit for the next paragraph, or I have to use to keep the formatting.

I really hate the, “There, there, dear, you couldn’t possibly know what’s best for your document as well as we do, so just let us do it and don’t worry your pretty little head over it.”

And don’t EVEN get me started on automatic hyperlinks!!!!
Posted: 02/18/2008 @ 09:03 AM (PST)
changing font in the entire document
If you press Ctrl+A before selecting Arial the change will apply to every part of the document, including the next paragraph that doesn’t exist yet.
Posted: 02/18/2008 @ 09:17 PM (PST)
Actually, I’ve tried that…
Sometimes it works, but just as often when I hit it goes back to Times New Roman. I know where/how to set the default font for all docs, just sometimes Word ignores the setting.

Besides, I don’t ALWAYS want everything to be Arial – sometimes I like my heading text, or list text, or some other text I want to bring attention to, to be a different font.

Sadly, there isn’t usually a one-size-fits all solution.
Posted: 02/19/2008 @ 08:41 AM (PST)
Easy Way To Fix That!
Write protect normal.dot so Word cannot make these changes. If you want to make changes, unwrite protect just for your changes. This is the way we stopped macro viruses before the advent of anti-virus software back in the stone ages.

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