Try the Access Course for Free!

Combo Box Controls in Access- Instructions

/ / Access 2013, Access 2016, Access 2019, Access for Office 365, Latest, Microsoft, Office 2013, Office 2016, Office 2019, Office 365
A picture of the “Combo Box Wizard” used to create combo box controls in Access.

Overview of How to Create Combo Box Controls in Access

            Combo box controls in Access allow you to create drop-down menus. These let users select a choice to make an entry within a field. The choices available in the combo box menu can come from different sources. You can use a table or query, or you can type your own list of values from which users can select.

            Combo box controls in Access reduce the amount of data entry error in a field. They do this by limiting the range of data entry choices. If you created a “lookup” field within an Access table, it automatically appears as a combo box control if you add the field to a form from the “Field List” when using form design or layout view. Combo box controls are almost always exclusively used by forms, not reports. This is because reports are read-only, and you often use the combo box to update values in an underlying data source.

            Before adding a combo box control to an Access form, ensure you enable the “Use Control Wizards” button by clicking the “More” arrow in the lower-right corner of the scrollable list of controls in the “Controls” button group on the “Design” tab of the “Form Design Tools” contextual tab in the Ribbon to show its drop-down menu. Ensure the “Use Control Wizards” button is highlighted, which means it is enabled. If not highlighted, click the button to enable it.

            To then add a combo box control to a form in Access, open the form in form design view. Click the “Combo Box” button in the scrollable list of controls in the “Controls” button group on the “Design” tab of the “Form Design Tools” contextual tab in the Ribbon. Then click and drag over the area within the form where you want to place the combo box.

A picture of the “Combo Box Wizard” used to create combo box controls in Access.

A picture of the “Combo Box Wizard” used to create combo box controls in Access.

            If the “Use Control Wizards” button is enabled, then when you release the mouse button, you create the combo box control and open the “Combo Box Wizard” dialog box. Answer the questions posed to you in each screen of the “Combo Box Wizard” to choose how the combo box should get its data. Then click the “Next >” button after answering questions in each screen until you reach the last screen. Then click “Finish” to create the combo box control within the form.

Instructions on How to Create Combo Box Controls in Access

  1. If you created a “lookup” field in an Access table, it automatically appears as a combo box control if you add it to a form from the “Field List” when using form design or layout view.
  2. Combo box controls are almost always exclusively used by forms, not reports. This is because reports are read-only, and you often use a combo box to update values in an underlying data source.
  3. Before adding a combo box control to a form in Access, enable the “Use Control Wizards” button by clicking the “More” arrow in the lower-right corner of the scrollable list of controls in the “Controls” button group on the “Design” tab of the “Form Design Tools” contextual tab in the Ribbon to show its drop-down menu.
  4. Ensure the “Use Control Wizards” button is highlighted, which means it is enabled.
  5. If not highlighted, click the button to enable it.
  6. To then add a combo box control to a form in Access, open the form in form design view.
  7. Click the “Combo Box” button in the scrollable list of controls in the “Controls” button group on the “Design” tab of the “Form Design Tools” contextual tab in the Ribbon.
  8. Then click and drag over the area in the form where you want to place the combo box.
  9. If the “Use Control Wizards” button is enabled, then when you release the mouse button, you create the combo box control and open the “Combo Box Wizard” dialog box.
  10. Answer the questions in each screen of the “Combo Box Wizard” to choose how the combo box gets its data.
  11. Then click the “Next >” button after answering questions in each screen until you reach the last screen.
  12. Then click the “Finish” button.

Video Lesson on Creating Combo Box Controls in Access

            The following video lesson, titled “Adding Combo Box Controls,” shows you how to add combo box controls in Access. This video is from our complete Access tutorial, titled “Mastering Access Made Easy v.2019 and 365.”

TOP
Sale! $49 All-Access 0 Days 15 Hours 34 Minutes 44 Seconds      $199 $49 Entire Library!
See Deal