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Monday, September 12, 2011

Microsoft Access Field

When creating a Microsoft Access table, any information will be stored in fields or columns. These are part of the table and a table cannot be created without them. A table can hold up to 255 fields, although it is better to have a smaller amount. The more fields you have, the more information will be needed and the bigger the database will get. This can lead to an unstable database and corruption of tables. When creating a Microsoft Access field it is essential to select the correct data type for your data. Although it is possible to store for example a unit price as text, it would be better to store it as numeric. If you want to perform calculations on it later it would be better as numeric data.

The various data types available for a Microsoft Access field are:

Text - Can hold either text or a combination of text and numbers. Post code and phone numbers are ideal candidates for this type of data.

Memo - useful for storing large amounts of text. Ideal for storing long descriptions or notes.

Number - used for storing numeric data such as a unit price or monetary amounts. Any data on which a calculation can be performed can be entered here.

Date/Time - Ideal for storing the date and time for the years 100 through 9999

Currency - store values that are to be used in calculations with one to four decimal places. A currency symbol will also be shown against the value.

Autonumber - auto increments by one each time a new record is added. Suitable for storing a primary key or unique record identifier.

Yes/No - true or false values. This field can only contain one of two values.

OLE Object - Objects that are linked or embedded in a Microsoft Access table such as Word documents, images, sounds or Excel spreadsheets.

Hyperlink - A hyperlink web address that can be used to link to a web page or a Microsoft Access object such as a form or report.

Lookup Wizard - a wizard that creates a field allowing you to choose a value from a table or list of values. The field created will be either a combo box or list box.

Attachment - Introduced in Microsoft Access 2007, it allows you to attach items such as Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, music files, photos etc.

Microsoft Access fields are also used on forms by way of controls. For example, when we drag our text data field onto a form it becomes a text box control. Any data entered into form fields is automatically saved back to it's corresponding table field. In Microsoft Access 2007, dragging a date/time field onto a form will show a small calendar icon when the form is run and the field has the focus. When you select a date from the calendar it gets dropped into the date/time field on the form.

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