February 19, 2009

Save a million keystrokes by turning Access text boxes into combo boxes

  • Date: November 18th, 2008
  • Author: Mary Ann Richardson

If you repeatedly type the same text in the same field, you’re working too hard. See how to set up a combo box that will speed data entry and spare you a TON of tedious typing.

Do you find yourself constantly typing the same data in the same field? For example, say you work with an Employee Data form, and you find that you’re typing the same three Zip codes repeatedly. Since most of your employees live near your company’s three offices, you seldom need to type any other codes. By converting the Zip code text box into a combo box, you’ll eliminate the retyping. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the form in Design view.
  1. Right-click the Zip/Postal Code text box.
  1. Move to Change To and click Combo Box (Figure A).

Figure A


  1. Right-click the Zip/Postal Code combo box.
  1. Click Properties (Figure B).

Figure B


  1. On the Data tab, click the Build button in the Row Source field (Figure C).

Figure C

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  1. Add the Employees table.
  1. In the field list, double-click Zip/Postal Code.
  1. Click in the Criteria box under Zip/Postal Code and enter Is Not Null (Figure D).
  1. Close and save the query.

Figure D


Now you can simply select one of the three zip codes from the drop-down list in the combo box, as shown in Figure E.

Figure E

combo box

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