Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Field Properties for Making Sure That Data Entries Are Accurate
For a field that holds numbers, open the Decimal Places drop-down list and
choose how many numbers can appear to the right of the decimal point.
This property affects how numbers and currency values are displayed, not
their real value. Numbers are rounded to the nearest decimal point. The
Auto option displays the number of decimal places that the format you
choose on the Format drop-down list permits.
For Text and Date field types, this feature provides a template with
punctuation marks to make entering the data easier. Telephone numbers, social
security numbers, and other numbers that typically are entered along with
dashes and parentheses are ideal candidates for an input mask (another
ridiculous database term!). On the datasheet, blank spaces appear where the
numbers go, and the punctuation marks stand at the ready to receive numbers,
as shown in Figure 2-5.
In the Input Mask text box, enter a 0 where numbers go, and enter the
punctuation marks where they go. For example, enter (000) 000-0000 or
000/0000000 to enter an input mask for a telephone number like the one shown in
Figure 2-5. You can also create input masks by clicking the three dots beside
the Input Mask text box. Doing so opens the Input Mask Wizard dialog box,
where you can fashion a very sophisticated input mask.
If the field you’re working on has a cryptic or hard-to-understand name,
enter a more descriptive name in the Caption text box. The value in the
Caption property appears as the column heading in Datasheet view, as a
label on forms, and on reports in place of the field name. People entering
data understand what to enter after reading the descriptive caption.
When you know that the majority of records require a certain value, number,
or abbreviation, enter it in the Default Value text box. That way, you save
yourself the trouble of entering the value, number, or abbreviation most of