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Hack 100. Use a Smart Tag to Open a Web Page

Quickly review web information when you need to see it.

Developers have mixed feelings about smart-tag technology. Some create sophisticated smart-tag solutions, and others shun their use. If you're open to using smart-tag technology, here is a simple way to use a smart tag to open a web page.

First, a smart tag is associated with a table field. Figure 10-13 shows a smart tag being associated with the Cost field in the tblServices table. After the smart tag is selected, the field's smart tag is available to click.

Figure 10-13. Selecting smart tags

Figure 10-14 shows the table open in Datasheet view. In each row, the Cost field displays a small purple triangle in the lower-right corner. Hovering your mouse pointer over the triangle opens the link to the smart tag.

Figure 10-14. Accessing the smart tag from the Cost field

Clicking the smart tag initiates the action associated with the smart tag. In this example, the action is to open a web page to display some additional business information.

Figure 10-15 shows the web page that opens when the smart tag is clicked.

Figure 10-15. A web site accessed from a smart tag

In most database applications, users don't work directly with tables; instead, they do all their work through forms. Figure 10-16 shows that the smart tag in the underlying table is available on a form as well. From here, too, clicking the smart tag opens the web page.

Figure 10-16. Smart tags at work on a form

To summarize, a smart tag can bring information from the Web to the Access application. The mechanics of creating smart tags are beyond our scope here, but if you visit ( and search for smart tags, you will turn up many articles on their development and use.

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