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Microsoft Access Database Features

March 02, 2010 By: lilybird Category: Software

Microsoft Access database has lots of useful features and one of them is combo boxes. Using combo boxes will improve the look and feel of your Access forms. In order to understand the work of combo boxes, let’s consider the example of countries.

Access forms may require different information like name, address or country. And as we know some countries’ names can be recorded in few ways, for example the United Kingdom is also known as the UK, England, Britain, and Great Britain. And if you have entered a different name of the country every time you wanted to record the United Kingdom, it might cause some problems. If you want to run a query and search for all customers in the UK, you will get a wrong result. The query will show you all the customers registered under “the UK”, but will not show other records you might have entered as “Britain” or “England”, for example. You will also have the same problem with the United States.

Another problem, which may arise, is an incorrect spelling of the name of the country. One time you might record country as Brazil, and the next time you might spell it as Brasil. And again you will get wrong results in your search.

The solution to this problem is using a dropdown box or MS Access combo box. Using combo boxes will also speed up the process of data entry, because you will not have to type the data in, but select it from the list.

MS Access combo box can use table or a query as its data source. It is probably better to use a query, just because you can filter the data you need in a query. Imagine that you need only European countries in your form, so using a query you can set the needed criteria. Besides, queries work faster than tables, which will also improve your performance.

It is not that hard to create a combo box for any type of information you store in your database. And you can also use the Access Wizard for this purpose, which makes the process even easier.

When you use a combo box in Microsoft Access, you don’t have to worry about entering the wrong information in the database, which often leads to problems. Every record you have to create in Access database will always have the same items to select from, which prevents typing in the same information in different variations. You will simply select the one correct data item from a combo box and your data as well as the form will be more consistent. Learning how to create and use combo boxes in Access can prevent many database problems and save time.

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