How to highlight a record in a continuous form?

Below are the steps to highlight a record in a continuous form without writing a class.

1. Make a continuous form and fill it with transparent background controls.  Make sure that the source of the table has a unique identifier, like an Id or some sort.

2. Add two hidden controls, one is the Id mentioned in no. 1 and the other is an unbound control, you can call it “SelectedId”.

3. Add a special control, you call it “BackgroundControl”, position it at the back of the controls you want to highlight.

4. Disable and Lock the three controls mentioned in no. 2 and 3.

5. In the form current event add a simple code as shown below:

Private Sub Form_Current()
    Me.SelectedId = Me.Id
End Sub

6. Now set the background character “█” to the background control mentioned in no. 3 by modifying it’s control source with the following


Below is the screen shot in design view and form view of my running Item Search form for a POS system.



You can add  Key Codes so that you can use your keyboard to navigate through the record in highlighted fashion.

Thats it.  Have fun coding.


Software developer living in the Philippines.

Posted in Microsoft Access
2 comments on “How to highlight a record in a continuous form?
  1. ronnie valero says:

    Nice share Glenn. Can you share your 2 cents here why still you continue to develop in Access? (I know you’re already an advanced user of LS)

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Harold Glenn P. Minerva
Software Developer / Tech Enthusiast
Living in the Philippines

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