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Microsoft Access 2013 Training: Using Field Properties

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Setting Field Properties

You can set the properties of the table fields that you create in the design view of the table. When you open tables in design view, you name the fields and assign them a data type using the top half of the screen which is called the table design grid. Below that, in the “Field Properties” section, you set the properties of the field that is currently selected in the table design grid on the two tabs labeled “General” and “Lookup.”

To set a field property, you must first find the specific property of the field that you would like to set on the tabs. Most of the time, the property that you are trying to set is on the “General” tab. You only use the “Lookup” tab when you are manually setting properties of “lookup” fields which display values from another table or list.

The “General” tab contains field properties that allow you to control the size, display, default values, and many other features of the selected field. You can click into a property box and view information about its function or purpose in the right pane of the “Field Properties” section. If you need additional help in setting the value of a particular property, you can click into the property field about which you have questions, and then press the “F1” key for additional assistance. The help file will appear in a separate window, which you can read and print, if desired.



The Field Size Property

You can use the “Field Size” property of a text field to set the number that you type as the maximum allowable number of characters in the selected field. This can be useful in restricting the amount of data that can be entered into the field. Access allows up to 255 characters in a text field, and also assigns that as the default field size.

Number fields are different from text fields when you set the “Field Size,” in that you set the field size by assigning a type of number that can be stored in the field. The sizes available are: “Byte,” “Integer,” “Long Integer,” “Single,” “Double,” “Replication ID,” and “Decimal.” Their various sizes and decimal restrictions are illustrated in that following table.

The default size for number fields is Long Integer. This is one of the largest field sizes. In Access, things will run more quickly if they are smaller, so you can use a smaller field size if you want. If not, don’t worry, you probably won’t notice any serious performance problems. Note that if you are joining the “Number” field to an “AutoNumber” field in a table relationship, then you should leave the setting at “Long Integer.”



The Format Property for Date/Time Fields

You can set the “Format” property for date/time fields to change the way that they will display dates and times in the table in datasheet view.



The Format Property for Logical Fields

You can set the “Format” property for logical fields to change the way that they will display in forms and reports. The following formats are available for logical fields in Access. To set this property, simply select the logical field in the table design grid. Then click into the “Format” property in the field properties section and select a choice from the drop-down menu available.





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