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Basic Microsoft Access Data Entry Knowledge

January 28, 2010 By: lilybird Category: Software

If you are a new Access user, you may not be using fields’ validation rules. If you are the only database user, this might create fewer problems for entering data in the short term. But, if there are more people using the database and entering the data into database, then it would be wise to set up these validation rules for inputting data. In the long run, it will save time, because you immediately make sure that the data is entered according to certain format and that no important fields are left blank.

Having inconsistent data in the database can cause more work for database administrator and other problems. A lot of data types can be validated before entry such as dates, titles, telephone numbers, postal codes, serial numbers, etc. If the data that has been entered doesn’t correspond to the specific format, Access will spot the error and ask you to enter the data again, this time using the right format. The easiest form of validation is the field input mask. There is an input mask wizard added to Access, which makes the process much easier.

In order to start the input mask wizard, you should go to the input mask property and select the ellipsis button. If you were doing something prior to this, Access may ask you to save whatever you were doing before. Choose yes. You will see a list of predefined input masks in the wizard. So, for example, you can make the user enter a phone number in a certain format, which will help you prevent errors in data entry. Choose the mask you want to use. If you don’t see a mask that can suit your needs, select the similar one. You will be able to adjust the mask to fit your needs. Click next.

Now, you can adjust your mask according to your likings in the input mask box. Choose the examples for your input data and click next. Then, indicate whether you want different symbols like hyphens stored with your field data or not and click finish.

You can also adjust a mask to restrict or allow the use of certain characters. Some characters can be set up as optional. You can also configure input masks with modifiers that act on the data but do not appear as data. There is a modifier that can turn all entered data into upper case letters and perform other modifications with data. Input mask can also configure literal characters. These characters will be stored with the data and can be a character, symbol or a string, which is added to the data entered. Using the input mask will help you to organize and standardize the data input and avoid errors that could corrupt your database.

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