Office 2010 - Access

Lesson 13: Design View Field Properties

13/76 Lessons 

Field Properties (1)

The field properties to be determined on a field are dependent on the selected “Data type”. For example, we can set many properties for the “Data type”, “Text”.

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I will discuss the “Format” here.


We can use “Format” to display our text entered in a certain way.
For example, the > sign (greater than sign) displays all typed text in upper case.

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The <character (less than sign), displays all text typed in lowercase.


An account, consists of three digits, then another siz digits, and the last part, two figures. The @ sign represents a character.


If you wish to add some text after a number, first type the & character followed by the text in quotation marks.


If you want to add color to the text that you type, first type the & sign, followed by square brackets. Between brackets you specify the color. Access understands the following colors: Black, Blue, Green, Red, Yellow, Cyan, Magenta, and White.

Now, when you enter a record, “Access” will automatically apply the format specified.

Input Mask

Some information that we enter has to have the same formatting, such as zip code, phone number or an account number.

You can force employees to give certain information in a correct way by making use of the “Input masks”.

The fastest and easiest way is to click on the “Wizard” button on the right side of the textbox. This “Wizard” is available only when we set the “Data type” of the field text.


This opens the “Input Mask Wizard” dialog.

The first screen of the “Wizard” shows common “Input masks”. Here, you can select a box and click the “Preview” to see the preview. If you are satisfied, click the “Finish” button, otherwise, click the “Next” button. Clicking the “Next” button opens the second window of the “Wizard” where you can dispay the text in the “Input Mask.” You can preview again.

Click “Finish” when you are satisfied to close the “Wizard”. Click “Next” when you want to proceed with the “Wizard”.
In the last window of the “Wizard”, you have the option symbols to save in the field. Keep in mind that your field width should be large enough.


For your information:

The figures in an “Input mask” are composed of a 0 or a 9. The 0 means that the figure must be filled, the 9 means that the figure is optional. So in the picture above, this means when we fill out this field, all 4 digits MUST exist.

If this is not the case, you get a warning window telling you that the value entered is appropriate for this field.

An input mask consists of three sections, separated by semicolons. In the first part, the placeholder for characters. In the above case, it is “B “, with the B and a space between quotation marks. We place letters or words in quotation marks. The space is there because we want a space between the letter B and the zip code number.

In the second part, we have 1. we have the choice between 0 and 1. We choose 0 as we want to store data and the mask. We choose 1 if we only want to store the data.

In the third section we have the symbol for temporary indicator. By default, this sign is an underscore (_).

If you want to use a different character, type this in the third part of the mask.


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