About themes

A theme is a set of unified design elements and color schemes for bullets, fonts, horizontal lines, background images, and other elements of a database object. Themes help you easily create professional and well-designed Microsoft Access applications.

Microsoft Office Access 2003 supports theming in two ways.

ShowInherits the theme from the operating system

If the operating system is Microsoft Windows XP SP 1 or later, and you have chosen a theme other than Windows Classic, Access will inherit the theme from the operating system. Most of the views, controls (control: A graphical user interface object, such as a text box, check box, scroll bar, or command button, that lets users control the program. You use controls to display data or choices, perform an action, or make the user interface easier to read.), and dialog boxes will be customized to match the Windows theme. Exceptions are reports (report: An Access database object that you can print, which contains information that is formatted and organized according to your specifications. Examples of reports are sales summaries, phone lists, and mailing labels.), diagrams, SQL view of a query (query: A question about the data stored in your tables, or a request to perform an action on the data. A query can bring together data from multiple tables to serve as the source of data for a form or report.), and modules (module: A collection of declarations, statements, and procedures stored together as one named unit. There are two types of modules: standard modules and class modules.).

A control on a form (form: An Access database object on which you place controls for taking actions or for entering, displaying, and editing data in fields.) will not inherit the Windows theme, if its property settings are different from what is listed below.

Property Setting
Special Effect

Sunken, Flat, or Etched.

 Note   If the value is set to Flat, the Border Style property must not be set to Transparent in order to inherit the theme.

Border Style

Solid or Transparent.

 Note   If the value is set to Transparent, the Special Effect property must not be set to Flat in order to inherit the theme.

Border Color 0, -2147483640 (system color that corresponds to the default font color for dialogs)
Border Width

Hairline, 1, or 2

 Note   The Border Width is ignored for check boxes and option buttons.

You can prevent form controls from inheriting the Windows theme by clearing the Use Windows Themed Controls on Forms check box on the Forms/Reports tab in the Options dialog box.

 Note   This setting applies only to the current database or project.

The check box is selected by default in databases created using Office Access 2003.

ShowProvides special themes for data access pages

For data access pages, you can choose from a list of themes that are installed with Access when a page is opened in Design view (Design view: A view that shows the design of these database objects: tables, queries, forms, reports, and macros. In Design view, you can create new database objects and modify the design of existing objects.).

When you apply a theme to a data access page (data access page: A Web page, published from Access, that has a connection to a database. In a data access page, you can view, add to, edit, and manipulate the data stored in the database. A page can also include data from other sources, such as Excel.), the following elements are customized: body and heading styles, background color or graphic, table border color, horizontal lines, bullets, hyperlink colors, and controls. You can also select options to apply brighter colors to text and graphics, animate certain theme graphics, and apply a background to your data access page.

You can apply a theme to a page that does not have a theme, change the current theme, or remove a theme. Before applying a theme, you can preview a sample page that uses the theme.

Theme graphics are animated only when you view the data access page in a Web browser, not while you view the data access page in Microsoft Access.

A variety of themes are available on your hard drive when you install Access. If you have Microsoft FrontPage 4.0 or later installed, you can use the FrontPage themes as well. Additional themes are available from the World Wide Web. To download these themes, click Microsoft Office Online on the Help menu.

Applies to:
Access 2003