Saturday, October 20, 2012

Programming Tab Controls

MS-Access tab controls offer a method to present multiple groups of similar data, making it easy for user to locate specifics within an intuitive & user-friendly layout - very much like an Excel workbook. The main control is of course called a Tab Control, and the tabs within it are called Pages.

For example, you might have a main form where you select a customer, and then you have a tab control that has pages that display related data for such things as Contacts, Sales, Invoices, Payments, Credit Data and so on. Usually each tab has a subform that contains the data related to the current selection from the main screen.

However, when you access the tab using VBA, there are few variations that are not exactly clear in the online documentation.

For starters, when you place a control on a tab, the Parent is actually the Main Form, not page of the the tab control. So if you have a main form called "main_form", a tab control named "MyTab", and several pages named Page1, Page2, and Page3 - and then - you place a command button Button1 on Page1, the full reference to that control is


...note that the Page number has no effect on that. Therefore, when you have a form with one or more tabs controls, you must be careful to use a unique name for each of the controls, whether on the main form, or on any of the tabs.

If you wish to detect which tab has been clicked, you will use the OnChange event; in this example when you click the first tab Page1 which happens to have a page index of 1, the MyTab value will be 1 -- so to get the name of the page you will need to use

Private Sub MyTab_Change()
With Me
MsgBox .MyTab.Pages(.MyTab).Name
End With
End Sub

to get the name of the page that was clicked.