Monday, 12 October 2015

Creating a splash screen

Okay, so you've created you database application in Access but you don't really want everyone to see that annoying Microsoft splash screen every time you start up, right? Fortunately the solution is unfeasibly simple.

Let's say the filename of your database is my1stdb.mdb - create the image you want to use for a splash screen and save it as a bitmap with the same filename (i.e. my1stdb.bmp) in the same directory as the database. Lo and behold, next time you start the database up (assuming you open it directly from Explorer or a shortcut, rather than opening Access first and then opening your database from within it) your bitmap will be displayed instead of the usual homage to Bill Gates. Neat, but be warned - the bigger and more colourful the bitmap (and hence its file size) the more this will slow your database's start-up.

Okay, but what if you want to get rid of the splash screen altogether? Well (and I haven't checked this bit for versions higher than 97) you can't - but you can do the next best thing. Create a bitmap of size 1 pixel by 1 pixel - reduce the number of colours to 2, to minimize the size (so it loads as fast as possible) and name it as described above. This then pops up on the user's screen, but as a monochrome single pixel, who'll notice? This also has the advantage of keeping the database's start-up speedy, as a monochrome single pixel bitmap is only 66 bytes.

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