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Go Back  dBforums > PC based Database Applications > Microsoft Access > What are record selectors for???

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Question What are record selectors for???

Just a question, but I've been wondering this for years. What is the point of the record selector bar on forms? I always turn them off. I can't see a use for them, especially for users.
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I use Record Selectors primarily for subforms. For example, if you had a customer history form that showed the customers orders, you could have information about the customer and then below it a subform listing all of the orders for that customer. The user would click on a record and press the edit button. Without record selectors the user would not know which record had been selected.
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I also nearly always turn them off. The only situation when they are remotely useful is on a list where all visible controls are disabled and the tab stop property is off. You might comment that with this set up the form is pretty useless; well, yes, unless this is a main form for a sub form (or another synchronized form) showing data related to the current record indicated by the record selector.
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Record selectors

I used to use them on continuos forms, until a user managed to highlight several records, delete them and then complained that the databas was deleting the records all by itself!

I then replaced the record selectors with delete, and other buttons.

Moral of the story - never underestimate the end user!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaChow
Just a question, but I've been wondering this for years. What is the point of the record selector bar on forms? I always turn them off. I can't see a use for them, especially for users.
Hi LisaChow,

Just for the purpose of some very basic users, they tend to like them so that they can either Highlight a line as they do in Excel (which so many people tend to use and like), and also makes it easy for some of them to select a record for Deletion (although they shouldn't have that much power..hehe). Always think about those less educated or maybe just not on our level of thinking in database design and usage. But see how easy it is to turn them on and off.

have a nice one,
Bud
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I can see the Excel connection, but I've had some users with very limited computer skills, and all were able to use the subforms just fine without them. Maybe it's because I never gave them a choice. When they are allowed to delete records on a continuous form, I have a "Delete" button that repeats for each record, so they click the Delete button next to the record they want to pitch. Access has a lot of options I've never used, but this one is especially annoying because its default is 'on'.
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Defaults

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Maybe it's because I never gave them a choice
Quite right too. Giving users too much freedom is dangerous and not usually helpful to them. Your delete button solution is one I would wholeheartedly recommend. (It deosn't mean, by the way, that you regard users as idiots.)

And yes Access does seem to have some odd defaults, maybe there is a good reason for them, but I can't think why the record selector is defaulted to on, unless Microsoft realise that no-one would use it if it defaulted to off.

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No, the users aren't idiots, I just like to use what's more intuitive. And I like programming a delete button because I can change the "Are you sure" message to something more specific, such as "Are you sure you want to remove JOHN SMITH from the database?" to get their attention.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaChow
No, the users aren't idiots, I just like to use what's more intuitive. And I like programming a delete button because I can change the "Are you sure" message to something more specific, such as "Are you sure you want to remove JOHN SMITH from the database?" to get their attention.
Sorry to say this Lisa BUT THEY ARE! I use the record selector for 1 purpose: To select the record. I disable Addition and Deletion in my continuous forms (for obvious reasons - least of which is that I use disconnected recordsets and have a FE/BE setup ...) All other selection capability I provide thru comboboxes or listboxes ...
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Users idiots?

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No, the users aren't idiots ...
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Sorry to say this Lisa BUT THEY ARE!
I've had a user who deleted numerous records and told everyone that the database did it all by itself. I wrote a bit of code to trace when records were deleted and by whom. The next time a bunch of records were deleted I was able to show here that she had deleted them, and when.

She then found other ways to enter inaccurate data (surnames and forenames in wrong fields etc.). Eventually we had to stop using the database.

I don't think she was an idiot, just a malicious individual who didn't want to use a database (it threatened her 'indespensible' position). I doubt if anyone can program a database to protect against such a person, but once I accepted that she was malicious I was able to write code to offer some protection (backing up deletions automatically, tracing activity in the database etc).

It's not the genuine users you need to worry about - it's the malicious ones!
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