Registrations are now open. Join us today!
There is still a lot of work to do on the wiki yet! More information about editing can be found here.
Already have an account?

Microsoft KB Archive/170838

From BetaArchive Wiki
Knowledge Base

How to create a line that can shrink and grow in a report

Article ID: 170838

Article Last Modified on 1/20/2007


  • Microsoft Access 2.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Access 95 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Access 97 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q170838

Advanced: Requires expert coding, interoperability, and multiuser skills.


The detail section of a report can grow and shrink vertically if you set its CanGrow and CanShrink properties to Yes. However, line controls do not have these properties and cannot grow or shrink as the detail section does. This article demonstrates how to use the Line method to draw a line that can grow and shrink as the detail section does.

This article assumes that you are familiar with Visual Basic for Applications and with creating Microsoft Access applications using the programming tools provided with Microsoft Access. For more information about Visual Basic for Applications, please refer to your version of the "Building Applications with Microsoft Access" manual.

NOTE: Visual Basic for Applications is called Access Basic in Microsoft Access version 2.0. For more information about Access Basic, please refer to the "Building Applications" manual.


The Line method accepts two sets of coordinates. The first set (X1,Y1) determines the top left position, which is the starting point of the line. The second set (X2,Y2) determines the bottom right position, which is the end point of the line. The X1 and X2 arguments for a vertical line always have the same value, because these arguments specify how far from the left margin the line is printed. However, the values of the Y1 and Y2 arguments of a vertical line differ, and that difference specifies the height of the line.

Because a report's detail section can grow or shrink to varying sizes, you can set the Y2 argument to a value that is greater than the expected maximum height of the detail section. Thus, the line is never shorter than the height of the detail section.

NOTE: Microsoft Access has a limitation of 22 inches for the height of a control or section. You will receive an overflow error if you try to set the Y2 argument to a value greater than 22 inches. If your detail section grows in excess of 22 inches, Microsoft Access will not be able to draw the line for the remainder of the section.

The following steps demonstrate how to use the Line method to programmatically draw a line in a report's detail section and make it the same height as the section.

  1. Open the sample database Northwind.mdb (or NWIND.MDB in version 2.0) and create a blank new report based on the Employees table.
  2. Set the report's Width property to 5 in.
  3. On the View menu, click Sorting And Grouping. Enter the following in the Sorting And Grouping window, and then close it:

          Field/Expression: EmployeeID (Or Employee ID in Microsoft Access 2.0)
          Sort Order: Ascending
          Group Header: Yes
  4. If the field list is not displayed, click the Field List on the View menu to display it, and then drag the Notes field from the field list to the report's detail section.
  5. Delete the label of the Notes text box by selecting the label, and then pressing the DELETE key.
  6. Set the properties of Notes text box as follows:

          Name: Notes
          ControlSource: Notes
          CanGrow: Yes
          CanShrink: Yes
          Left: 0.2 in
          Top: 0.166
          Width: 4.6042 in
          Height: 0.166 in
  7. Select the horizontal Detail bar to select the detail section of the report. Set the following properties for the detail section:

          CanGrow: Yes
          CanShrink: Yes
          Height: 0.5 in.
  8. Set the detail section's OnPrint property to the following event procedure:

           Private Sub Detail_Print(Cancel As Integer, PrintCount As Integer)
              Dim X1 As Single, Y1 As Single
              Dim X2 As Single, Y2 As Single
              Dim Color As Long
              ' Specify unit of measurement for coordinates on a page...
              Me.ScaleMode = 5 ' Specify that measurement occur in inches.
              ' Set line to print 5 inches from the left margin.
              X1 = 5
              X2 = 5
              ' Set line to print from the top of the detail section
              ' to a maximum height of 22 inches.
              Y1 = 0
              Y2 = 22
              Me.DrawWidth = 8 ' Width of the line (in pixels). Note: Some printers do not accept odd numbers.
              Color = RGB(0, 0, 0)  ' Use black line color.
              ' Draw the line with the Line method.
              Me.Line (X1, Y1)-(X2, Y2), Color
           End Sub
  9. Preview the report. Note that the height of the vertical line to the right of the Notes field is the same as the height of the detail section.


For more information about using the Line method in reports, search the Help Index for "Line method."

For more information about using the Line method to draw rectangles, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

124642 How to shrink and grow a rectangle in a report

Keywords: kbcode kbhowto KB170838