Friday, 4 January 2019

Changing "Entry Key Behaviour" to Allow New Lines within a Textbox

In my previous blog post, I wrote about Adding Rich Text Formatting to MS Access Data.  However, there was one related topic which I didn't cover - ie how to change the entry key behaviour to allow new lines within a text box.  This is done by changing the ENTRY KEY BEHAVIOR property of the text box in question.

The ENTRY KEY BEHAVIOR property set to 
NEW LINE IN FIELD for the txtDescription text box.
Let's imagine we have a text box on a form in which we are going enter a large amount of text data separated by paragraphs. We have set the field in the underlying table to accept LONG TEXT data, and perhaps also enabled rich text formatting.  The first thing we do is resize the text box in FORM DESIGN view by selecting the text box and dragging the lower right corner so it is large enough to display a good area of text without having to constantly scroll down.

If we left the ENTRY KEY BEHAVIOR property at its default setting, it would not be possible for a user to create a new paragraph within the text box whenever they hit the ENTER key.  What we need to do, therefore, is change the property value from DEFAULT to NEW LINE IN FIELD. This is how:

  1. Open the form in DESIGN VIEW.
  2. Select the text box control to be modified by clicking it.
  3. Open the PROPERTY SHEET by clicking the icon in the TOOLS group of the DESIGN ribbon (if it's not already open).
  4. Click the OTHER tab on the property sheet.
  5. Locate the ENTRY KEY BEHAVIOR property and change the value to NEW LINE IN FIELD.
Once the property has been changed, the user can enter text in the text box and use the ENTER key to create a new paragraph without the focus shifting to the next control in the tab order.

Above: Example of a text box with the ENTRY KEY BEHAVIOR property modified to