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Change the ruler’s measurement units for comfortable form and report design (Access 2000/2002/2003/2010)

The ruler is a great way to ensure that your reports print accurately or your form controls are right where you want them. However, you may not know exactly what measurement units Access’ ruler indicates. If you’re more comfortable with the metric system (centimeters instead of inches), you can adjust your ruler permanently. Or, if you have Access 2003, you can simply input measurements in your preferred unit.

To change the ruler’s units of measurement:
1. Access your Windows Control Panel, which you can usually find on the Start menu.
2. Double-click on the Regional And Language Options icon. If you’re using Windows XP’s Category view, just click on Date, Time, Language, And Regional Options and then click on Regional And Language Options.
3. In the Regional And Language Options dialog box, select the Regional Options tab, if necessary.
4. Click the Customize button to display the Customize Regional Options dialog box.
5. Select the Numbers tab, if necessary.
6. Choose either U.S. or Metric from the Measurement System dropdown list and click OK to apply it.
Of course, since the ruler is based on the Windows regional settings, this means that the change from one measurement system to another affects your entire operating system.

In Access 2003, if you want to enter measurements in a different unit, but you don’t want to make the change permanent, you can do so. For instance, follow these quick steps to set a report’s left margin to six centimeters:
1. Choose File | Page Setup from the menu bar.
2. Click on the Margins tab, if necessary.
3. In the Margins (Inches) panel, type 6cm in the Left text box and press [Enter].
When you press the [Enter] key, Access automatically converts the six centimeters into its equivalent inches, since our operating system is set to the U.S. measurement system. If you’re using the metric system as your default, you can perform the same automatic conversion by typing the text in after your measurement. Access converts the measurement from centimeters to inches.

Adapt for Access 2010: To adjust a report’s margins, use the Page Setup contextual tab, which is part of the Report Design Tools. In the Page Layout Area, click on Page Setup.


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