Jan's Working with Databases:

Selecting an Invisible Control

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Icon: TroubleProblem: A control exists that you cannot see and you want to format, move, resize, or delete it.

How it happens:

Solution 1: Dragging

Drag across the area where you think the control is. Handles should appear. This works best when Access is set to allow partially enclosed objects to be selected.

Hold the SHIFT key down and click on any controls that got selected at the same time to deselect them. You can now format, resize, move, or delete your control.

Solution 2: TAB

Press the TAB key to move from control to control. The Tab Order in Design View is always the order in which the controls were created so the selection may jump around your workspace a lot.

Watch the Property Sheet to see what control is currently selected. Once you get to the control that you want, you can change its properties, including formatting, moving, resizing, or deleting it.

Solution 3: Property Sheet

In the Property Sheet, open the drop list of objects, which are in alphabetical order. Scroll to find the control you want and select it. The Property Sheet changes to show the properties for that object and it is selected in the Design View. (For lines and rectangles and unbound labels, you may have to try each one in turn.)

If you still cannot see the control, you can change its properties to make it visible. For example, you can move the control by changing the Left and Top properties. You can change the font or background color to allow text to show.

To delete a control that you cannot see, you must leave the Property Sheet while keeping that control selected. Use the key combo SHIFT + F7. Press the Delete key to remove the offending control from your layout. This is particularly helpful for lines that are on top of other lines or are at the edge of a section.

Home > Jan's CompLit 101 > Working with Databases > Appendix

Last updated: September 17, 2012