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Combo Box Controls in Access- Tutorial

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

Combo Box Controls in Access: Overview

            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 create a “lookup” field within your Access tables, notice that these types of fields appear in the forms as combo box controls in Access when you add them from the “Field List.”

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

Combo Box Controls in Access- Tutorial: A picture of the “Combo Box Wizard” used to create combo box controls in Access 2016.

Combo Box Controls in Access- Tutorial: A picture of the “Combo Box Wizard” used to create combo box controls in Access 2016.

            As long as you have the “Use Control Wizards” button selected in the “Controls” group on the “Design” tab of the “Form Design Tools” contextual tab in the Ribbon when you create the combo box control, a “Combo Box” wizard will appear to guide you through the rest of the process of creating combo box controls in Access. Note that this button appears in a separate section when you click the “More” drop-down button in the lower right corner of the control group.

            Simply answer the questions posed to you by the wizard for each screen, and click “Next >” until you are done. Then click “Finish” to create the desired combo box control within the form. Combo boxes are almost always exclusively used by forms and not by reports. This is because reports are read-only, and you often use combo boxes to update values in underlying data sources.

Combo Box Controls in Access: Instructions

  1. To add combo box controls in Access to a form, open the form in design view.
  2. Click the “Design” tab of the “Form Design Tools” contextual tab in the Ribbon.
  3. Then click the “Combo Box” button in the “Controls” group.
  4. Then click and drag over the area within the form where you want to place the combo box.
  5. As long as you have the “Use Control Wizards” button selected in the “Controls” group on the “Design” tab of the “Form Design Tools” contextual tab in the Ribbon when you create the combo box control, a “Combo Box” wizard will appear to guide you through the rest of the process of creating combo box controls in Access. Note that this button appears in a separate section when you click the “More” drop-down button in the lower right corner of the control group.
  6. Answer the questions posed to you by the wizard in each screen, and click “Next >” until finished.
  7. Click “Finish” to create the desired combo box control within the form.

Combo Box Controls in Access: Video Lesson

            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 training, titled “Mastering Access Made Easy v.2016-2013.”

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