Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
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Field Properties for Making Sure That Data Entries Are Accurate
Field Properties for Making Sure That
Data Entries Are Accurate
Unfortunately, entering the data in a database table is one of the most
tedious activities known to humankind. And because the activity is so dull,
people are prone to make mistakes when they enter data in a database table.
One way to cut down on mistakes is to take advantage of the Field Properties
settings on the General tab in the Design view window. Figure 2-4 shows the
General tab.
Figure 2-4:
These properties determine what can and can’t be entered in the different
fields of a database table. Some of the settings are invaluable. The Field Size
property, for example, determines how many characters can be entered in a
field. In a State field where two-letter state abbreviations are to be entered,
make the Field Size property 2 to be certain that no one enters more than
two characters. If the majority of people you’re tracking in an address
database live in New York, enter NY in the Default Value property. That way, you
spare data-entry clerks from having to enter NY the majority of the time.
They won’t have to enter it because NY is already there.
The Lookup tab in the Field Properties part of the Design view window is
for creating a data-entry drop-down list. It, too, is invaluable. If you happen
to know that only four items can be entered in a field, create a drop-down
list with the four items. That way, data-entry clerks can choose from a list of
four valid items instead of having to enter the data themselves and perhaps
enter it incorrectly. (See “Creating a lookup data-entry list,” later in this
A look at the Field Properties settings
Especially if yours is a large database, you’re encouraged to study the field
properties carefully and make liberal use of them. The Field Properties
settings safeguard data from being entered incorrectly. Following is a
description of the different properties (listed here in the order in which they appear
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