Example Apps for Businesses, Schools & Developers

Version 6.9           Approx 3.9 MB (zipped)                 First Published 19 Aug 2017                 Last Updated 20 Nov 2022

An earlier version of this was originally posted at Access World Forums in August 2017.

This application is designed to show many different ways of getting users' attention.
Experienced users will be familiar with some of these ideas already.

Features include:
1.     Formatted message boxes
2.     Customised message boxes with HTML formatting & countdown timer
3.     Task dialog messages
4.     Flashing, scrolling and balloon tooltip text
5.     Flashing and scrolling form title bar caption text
6.     Form fade, transparency and animation
7.     Dim / blur / remove background
8.     Add warning sounds (requires speakers)
9.     Use of text to speech to alert users (requires speakers)
10.   A simple 'You have 3 new messages' type feature

Main Form


The screenshots below show several of the individual items. Items involving animation and/or sound are not shown here.

Customised Message Form


Task Dialog Message with Progress Bar


Form Transparency & Animation

Form Transparency & Animation

Dim Background


Blur Background


Remove Background


Balloon Tooltips (System Tray Alerts)
NOTE: This feature is ONLY available if Focus Assist is set to OFF (Quiet Hours feature is disabled)


User Messages


All items work in both 32-bit and 64-bit Access.
Hopefully the code for each item will be easy to follow and to use in your own applications.

The application contains a large number of application programming interface (API) declarations which significantly extend the functionality available in Access.
A brief description and help page URL has been provided for the vast majority of the APIs used
However, it is not necessary to completely understand how each of the APIs work in order to use them.

Please don't OVERDO any of the more 'overt' methods or you risk annoying the users of your apps!

a)    Some items are intended to be less serious than others!
b)    The zip file includes all images & sounds used by this example database.


Click to download:     Attention Seeking Database v6.9    (zipped)

YouTube Videos

UPDATE 1 - 28 Dec 2021

I ran a 1 hour session on Controlling the Access Interface and Attention Seeking in Access for the US based Access User Group - Eastern Time
on 17 Dec 2021. The video is now available at the Access User Groups channel on You Tube. Alternatively, click the link below:

Many thanks to Crystal Long (MVP) for the significant amount of time she spent expertly editing the video recording of this session.

UPDATE 2 - 25 May 2022

I have also created a series of four short videos for my YouTube channel demonstrating different features from this example database.

1.   Better Message Boxes

2.   Animation & Background Effects

3.   Scrolling & Flashing Text

4. System Tray and Message Alerts

UPDATE 3 - 20 Nov 2022

I was invited by Juanjo Luna, MVP, to lead an updated session on Controlling the Access Interface & Attention Seeking in Access for the Spanish language Access Espana user group on 17 Nov 2022. My presentation was in English with live translation to Spanish by George Young (Denver Area Access User Group)

The video is now available at the Access User Groups channel on You Tube or you can click on the video below.


Please use the contact form below to let me know whether you found this article / example app useful or if you have any questions.

Colin Riddington                       Mendip Data Systems                       Last Updated 20 Nov 2022

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