Interactive chart/form filtering code sample

One of the most enjoyable design challenges I have had over the last couple of years was redesigning how users can filter inside Access and Excel. The new filter dropdown menu and context menus were lots of fun to explore different designs and think creatively about how users interact with data. I wanted to make…


Softer datasheet visuals in 3 simple steps

Yesterday I was looking at one of our templates and noticed the grid felt pretty busy. I wanted to come up with a design that softens the harshness of the gridlines yet was very readable. Here is what I ended up with… There are three easy steps to create this view (you can’t do this…


Free 60 day trial download of Office 2007

Here is a link to a free 60 day trial download of Office 2007 programs. As you know, Access is in the professional version. For those of you outside the US, you need to use the following URL’s: Canada: Japan:  UK/Ireland: France: Canada: Germany:


New site on Access ribbons with VBA and XML samples

Access MVPs Gunter Avenius and Peter Doering have setup a site with information on ribbons from Access point of view, with lots of VBA and XML samples. The site is online in English on and German You might also take a look at my blog post a couple weeks ago. (I was surprised more…


Feedback from a customer about Access 2007

Here is some feedback I received yesterday from a customer.  It is nice to see people appreciate the visual improvements.   Overall we are happy with Access 2000 and everything worked (or we had developed workarounds for certain behaviors). However, we looked to Access 2007 for the following features.   Newer look and feel more like…


My favorite software book of the year "Get Real: The smarter, faster, easier way to build a successful web application"

For some time I have been a fan of the work done by 37Signals. They have a great understanding of the value of building simple software that people fiind useful. They recently self published Get Real: The smarter, faster, easier way to build a successful web application. This book is the best book I have…


MSDN article "Transitioning Your Existing Access Applications to Access 2007"

There is a good new article by Jan Fransen and Ken Getz that is designed to be a guide for users to take advantage of new features.  Summary: Learn about some of the new features in Access 2007 and how you can take advantage of them to improve your existing Access applications. Read about some…


Design for filter favorites functionality in forms

Access 2007 introduces a ton of new filtering tools that make it much easier to cut and slice data in different ways. I’m very happy about the new experience and think developers will spend far less time building filtering functionality because of the built in functionality. However, in all releases there are always one or…


MSDN article "Ribbon Extensibility in Access 2007"

A couple of months ago I spent a few days learning how to write XML for ribbons. I got pretty excited about the types of new interfaces that users can create without any code. I think you will find it is easier than you might think. This paper is the end product of a blog post…


MSDN article "Optimizing Microsoft Office Access Applications Linked to SQL Server"

There is a new article by my good friend Andy Baron about improving performance and updatability for Access apps linked to SQL Server. Lots of great information in it. Here is the summary and URL. Summary: One way to create applications that use Microsoft Office Access for creating user interfaces and that use Microsoft SQL…