Feeling left out ? Alone? Wondering why everyone's
ignoring you? Or why you're being flamed for what you deemed an
The following tips will not only help you, they will help us
Access is a RDBMS for the Windows Operating System. It includes
WYSIWYG design tools for easy creation of tables, reports, forms and
queries and a database programming language called VBA (Visual Basic
The purpose of the group will be to provide
technical help to people who use Access to create simple databases as
well as to people who use VBA to create complex databases.
CDMA (along with other
technical newsgroups) is a forum for communicating ideas, and you'll
find plenty of those here, ranging from brilliant to educated
misconceptions, including lucky shots from ignorance.
Understanding what you derive here is the only way to ensure you get
something useful. Blindly copying code and methods from what is posted
here may get you into more problems than you had to begin with, in which case
you're the only one to blame.
If you're looking for help with your homework, consider the fact
that if you were bright enough to come here for help, your
teacher might be as well.
Some teachers lurk in this newsgroup, and at least one has asked for
our help in creating questions for you!
The failure on the assignment you are about to receive by asking
your question here is your own!
The following are specifically forbidden in the
- Advertising of any kind, even if the product is free, a
demo, or otherwise. You may answer a question with a link to a
commercial site which pertains to the question. You may also add a
phrase and/or link in your signature.
- Job Postings of any kind, regardless if the posting is
for help wanted or someone looking for work.
- You may, however, through your regular contributions to the group
find that you are solicited via e-mail with opportunities.
- There are a variety of resources available to you via other
is one such resource. Although not endorsed by this
newsgroup, it has certainly enabled a number of our
- Binaries (zip/exe attachments, v-cards etc.) of any kind.
If the exchange of such files is necessary, they can either be
emailed to an individual who has agreed to take a closer look at
your problem, or they can be made available for download over the
- "Spam", chain-letters and other irrelevant
material. Everybody gets enough of this in their personal
mail-boxes. They shouldn't have to deal with it in the newsgroups
too! (See also "Answering Questions The Right Way",
Newsgroups - Rules of Conduct
Peer-to-peer support Newsgroups on Microsoft's
server, managed by Microsoft Product Support Services, have their
of conduct to ensure a smooth flow of information.
with Trolls (obnoxious posts)
The easiest way to deal with Trolls is to ignore them. If they are
especially obnoxious, you may want to kill-file (filter) them out.
To do that in Outlook Express:
1. Select a post with their name.
2. From the menu, choose Message
3. Choose Block Sender
4. Answer Yes to the dialog.
This will delete all messages from the selected Author.
Here are the instructions for Agent 1.8:
1. Select a message from a troll
2. Hit Ctrl+K
3. Set the Kill Action to 'Delete'
4. Click OK.
This will delete all messages from the selected Author.
The help file has instructions about more elaborate filter expressions.
Additional details and instructions for other newsreaders can be
Searching for an
answer to a problem?
- Start by doing your own research. Look in the help files
first! The help files that come with Access are actually a
great source for help (not counting Access 2000, that is).
- If you've exhausted your options in the help files, try
Most likely, someone else will have had a problem similar to yours.
- It might be quicker to look through the
last few hundred messages (that's about a days worth of messages),
than to post and wait for an answer.
The Access Web is your next
stop in your search.
- Do not confuse this newsgroup with Microsoft Technical Support.
No one here owes you a response. People provide responses to
questions asked in an appropriate manner as they see fit. This is a
public forum where no one gets paid.
Asking questions the
- Do not expect anyone to answer via e-mail. You posted
the question(s) to a newsgroup, and should expect the same for any
- Do not send e-mail to folks posting answers. Everybody has a job and a life, and don't have the
time to respond to individual questions.
- Multiposting is bad!
You commit the crime of multi-posting your questions by
posting the same question to several different newsgroups, one at a time.
Several folks who could answer your questions take this as a serious misuse
of newsgroups and will likely ignore your questions.
- Crossposting is ok provided you include only the relevant
You can cross-post a message to different newsgroups by including the
newsgroup names separated by a semi-colon.
Obviously, this feature is easily and often abused.
Don't be too surprised if you get a email message complaining about your cross-posted message!
- Use the subject line properly.
A question with a proper subject line is more likely
to get a reply than one with a generic cry for help.
The subject line should be brief, yet descriptive of the problem,
and also include the version of Access which you are using.
Avoid changing the subject line as the thread develops.
many newsreaders will track a thread based on posting
references, some newsreaders, notably Google and Yahoo, only
track threads by subject line. Thus, by changing the
subject line, some of the original "audience" tracking
the thread will be lost and may not see your post at all.
i. Remember that with the volume of traffic here, not everyone
able to read every post and many simply browse
subject lines -
if the subject is an area not in their area or not
part of a
thread in which they are participating, that post
may not be read. ii. To thank contributors, it is acceptable to
add a "Thanks"
AT THE *END* of the current subject line.
It is just as effective, however, to leave
the subject line as it
is and express your thanks in the body of the
- Your Keyboard has a Shift Key. Use it! .
Messages and Subject lines in all caps is considered shouting,
annoying and rude.
Messages in all lowercase are somewhat harder to read.
So, leave the caps lock off, and use that shift key when
appropriate. You may of course use caps to emphasize a word.
- Clear and concise questions are more likely to get a clear and concise answer..
If you get a message box notifying you that something is
wrong please include this information in your post.
If you get an error number, include that too!
Letting us know what your table looks like, AND WHAT IT'S
helps us answer your questions about queries, forms and reports.
i. Making Access guess about it is a bad idea.
ii. Making *us* guess is even worse!
- Be thoughtful of bandwidth and other folks' thought processes.
- Trim the messages you are replying to.
- Include quotes, but not excessive ones.
- The standard rule of thumb is to include only enough to
"jog" the person's memory.
- Please include =something= of the message you are
to however. With 300+ messages a day, it's not
easy to remember what was discussed!
- Do not post HTML or attachments.
- Short code segments are very useful, long ones annoying.
- If you can't explain it, no one else is likely to
understand it either!
- Understand that folks are helping you.
- Do not be rude to someone answering your question
(Rule Number One!)
- Don't bite the hand that freely feeds you.
- Don't confuse a concise reply with an insult.
Assume that a reply is *not* meant as a personal attack.
- Look for Smileys :-), grins <g>, and other "Emoticons".
- When you see one, the preceding statement was not
meant to be really serious, don't take it as such.
- If someone uses an acronym that you don't understand,
head for the
Acronym Finder for enlightenment.
- Things get missed. If you don't get an answer in 2 days,
re-post after re-reading your first post for clarity.
This is a community.
- We're all human!
- Well, those of us who aren't Borg, anyways!
- Let folks know what worked when you thank them, and...
- Thank all the folks that helped you in *one* message.
- This lets us know that no additional help is needed, and
- That we gave out the right answer!
- (We're all still learning...)
- Answer as well as ask.
- It is ok to be wrong sometimes.
- If proven wrong, accept it gracefully. (See 10a.)
- If you are 90% sure, say "I think..."
- The use of your real name, unlike some juvenile handle, says "please take me seriously."
- These are real people.
- Read the From header and/or Signature line and realize
that there's a person behind the online persona.
- The internet is archived.
- Think twice before you hit Send.
- Especially if you are angry at the moment.
- Don't set your computer to post from the future.
- Posting a message with the time/date set to the future causes your
message to remain at the top of the queue in most peoples newsreader.
Therefore, it has become a common strategy to attract more attention.
- Such posts are generally ignored, and may subject you to
criticism by the people in the newsgroup.
- You have now been warned against doing this! Post that way at
your own peril.
Answering questions the
- All the rules for "Asking questions the right way"
- *Everyone* is allowed to answer questions.
a. You don't have to be a genius or
a wizard or the author of a
Although there are quite a few newsgroup regulars who
are all of the above.
ii. The point
is that you do not need to be on a select list
of official responders; there is no such list.
b. You _do_ need to have some inkling about the subject you
you are not sure of the answer, but have some advice
that may be helpful, post it with disclaimers.
- Advise people of the nature of your response.
a. If you are not sure of the answer, say so.
you are hesitant about your answer, it may help to
wait a while to see if anyone else responds. If not,
then go ahead and post, with the proper disclaimers of
Conversely, if you are absolutely sure, say so. It may
help people to filter out the answers that are potential
solutions vs. the answers that are proven fixes.
b. If the code you are posting is off
the top of your head and
untested, say so!
usual term for such code is "air code", because it's
been pulled from thin air
c. If your answer applies only in
certain situations, say so.
- Be polite.
a. Always give people the benefit of
b. If you can't make heads or tails
of the question, a polite
clarification will get better results than
English isn't the native language of everyone.
c. The best way to deal with a troll
is to ignore him.
That's the best way to deal with spam, too.
ii. If you
_do_ feel compelled to respond to a spam post,
delete all product identifiers, internet addresses,
and company names! Otherwise, you will just be giving
the advertisement more exposure.
d. Use emoticons (smilies) whenever
something you say could be
taken the wrong
- Tailor your answer to the proficiency level of the
a. This can be more difficult than it
in doubt, it's usually best to err on the side of
ii. Or better
yet, ask for clarification.
Thanks to Kathleen Joeris and Karl
E. Peterson for providing parts of this document.