Access Shape Drawing Reference

With a bit of creativity, you can draw just about anything on an Access report. Everything you need to know is in Crystal Long's definitive guide.

Access Shape Drawing Reference

Did you know that you could create an entire Microsoft Access report using graphics created with a handful of native Access methods?

You can do a lot with the following four functions:

  • Line: for drawing lines
  • Circle: for drawing circles and arcs
  • PSet: for drawing points (point set)
  • Print: for adding text

The best resource online to learn more about these methods and their supporting properties and functions is Crystal Long's Report Draw Reference and VBA Syntax page.

Access Report Draw Reference and VBA Syntax
VBA syntax and explanations for drawing Microsoft Access Reports. Great reference.

I mentioned this page in my recent Access Week in Review, but I felt Crystal's page was packed with so much good information it deserved its own article.

Overview of the Resources on Crystal's Page

Here's a sampling of what you'll find on Crystal's site:


Drawing the Periodic Table

Crystal's 80-minute presentation to the Access Pacific User Group with a sample database that shows how to draw the periodic table of elements using the four drawing methods mentioned above.

The Unit Circle

A 37-minute math tutorial using Access drawing functions to animate concepts associated with the Unit Circle.

CalendarMaker Video Tutorial

Crystal's 49-minute presentation to the Eastern Time Access User Group demonstrating how to "draw" custom calendars in Access reports.

Sample Databases

The database from the Access Pacific presentation with several features:

  • DrawAtom: a public procedure that can be called from any report
  • A sample report that shows one atom per page
  • A form to edit the elements
  • Example reports showing circles, ellipses, and arcs
  • An Archimedean Spiral with customizable radius rate of change

The CalendarMaker sample database with features including:

  • One-click to open a blank calendar for the current month
  • A menu form to specify options, such as setting the first day of the week
  • Flexible method for adding holidays to the calendar via custom query

Tips and References


  • Creating a multi-page report without any underlying data
  • Report views that support drawing methods
  • Order of Report Events by report section
  • Unit of Measure conversion (among twips, inches, and points)

Rewritten Help

Unsatisfied with the official Microsoft documentation for the various drawing methods and properties, Crystal rewrote it based on the results of her own experimentation.  This documentation appears at the bottom of the page and appears to be quite thorough.

Other Access Drawing Resources?

If you know of any other good resources for using these methods and properties, please leave a note in the comments for the benefit of other readers.

Image credit: sample of Crystal's Periodic Table of Elements report from embedded in smart mockup from

All original code samples by Mike Wolfe are licensed under CC BY 4.0