locked out of being able to edit forms (1 Viewer)

brian1

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SUMMARY - 2 PROBLEMS
1. can't edit main menu form at all - Rt-click does nothing
2. can edit sub menu forms, but no toolbars available, so can only edit existing objects

DETAILS:

I'm trying to edit an existing Access database system for a friend's company. The person who wrote all this is no longer with the company, and no one there knows anything about Access.

I need to make some changes, mainly eliminate bloat by changing the employee database "picture" field from OLE to linked relative pathname and reflect that change on a couple forms. Should be pretty simple, if I could only get to the source code. The main employee mdb goes from 2G to 2M when I drop the OLE "Picture" field and add a PicturePath text field, so I know I'm on the right track there.

I'm new to Access, but I've been in database programming & admin (xBase & Oracle) a long time. The concept of the users and the developer using the same tool to open the same files is quite foreign to me, as is the concept of having forms, reports, queries, macros, VB code, and tables all in the same mdb file. I've been reading a lot to get up to speed to make what should be some simple edits to the system.

The database has been split and there are 3 mdb files on the server and 8 on each local user's PC. The main tables are in the server mdb files. The file format is Access 2003.

The "main starting" mdb is a menu with 6 items on it. Each button calls a submenu, which has sub-submenus & so on. 5 of those main menu buttons each calls one of the other local mdb files, although one of them calls an mdb on the server. No idea why that is.

The main starting menu is totally uneditable. After I double-click on the mdb file and the main menu comes up, I can RT-click on the title bar or anywhere on the form and I get only the standard Windows window size/minimize/close window. There is no Form Design View or Properties to select. There are no visible toolbars, nor any way I can find to bring up any toolbars. The Access window menu items across the top are very limited and of no value to me as a developer.

If I open Access and select several toolbars, then open this starting mdb file, as soon as it opens, it immediately removes all the toolbars and changes the Access menu selections. Obviously, there is some sort of code or macros in the file doing this at file open time. But how can I access this code? As the developer, should I be using some tool other than Access to make these edits? All the books I've read seem to indicate that all developer tools are built into Access.

My "Access 2003 Inside Out" book tells me how to disable Form Design View, but it doesn't say anything about how enable it if someone has previously disabled it. Perhaps that's at least part of what's been done to the main menu.

Also, all the paths to the server are hard-coded into the menus and forms, so I can't bring up any of these local form mdb files unless I have all files on hand and have tricked the app and my PC into thinking it's talking to the company's server.

If I make my way through several menus to the employee summary form (the main one I want to change), I can RT-click on most of these forms & menus and get them into Form Design mode. I can then bring up Properties and the VB editor and change event coding. I was able to get to the SELECT statement for the form and change it to select PicturePath instead of Picture.

However, I have no toolbars, nor any apparent way to bring any up. So, I can change properties of existing objects on the form, but I can't ADD anything, like a couple new buttons I need. There's no SAVE button, but I can save changes by closing the form and saying I want to save changes when it prompts me. Again, the Access window menu items are very limited and must have been customized by the original developer.

Can anyone please point me in the right direction on this?

Many thanks,
brian
 
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