Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Access Data Types
in the datasheet’s narrow columns. Instead, use Shift+F2 to open a Zoom box, and
then use the minibar (Figure 26-11).
To show the minibar (sadly, of
the nonalcoholic variety), select
some text, and then hover over it
with the mouse. The minibar—a
compact toolbar with formatting
options—gradually fades into
view. The minibar is sometimes a
little finicky, and you may need to
reselect the text more than once to
get it to appear.
Tip: There’s another, even easier way to get formatted text into a Memo field. Create the text in a
word-processing program (like Word), format it there, and then copy and paste it into the field. All the
formatting comes with it.
As neat as this feature may seem at first glance, it’s rarely worth the trouble. Database
purists believe that tables should store raw information and let other programs (or
fancy forms) decide how to format it. The problem is that once you’ve created your
formatted text, it can be quite a chore to maintain it. Just imagine having to change
the font in 30,000 different records.
If you really do want to store formatted content, then consider linking your database
to a separate document, like a Word file. In Access, you can do this in two ways:
• Create a field that points to the file. For example, c:\myfile\BonoBobblehead-
Description.docx . For this trick, use the Text or Hyperlink data type (page 731).
• Embed the file inside your database. This way, it’s impossible to lose the file
(or end up pointing to the wrong location). However, you’ll need to pull the file
out every time you want to update it. To do this, you need to use the Attachment
data type (page 733).
The Number data type includes a wide variety of differently sized numbers. You can
choose to allow decimal numbers, and you can use negative values (just precede the
value with a – sign). You should use the Number data type for every type of numeric
information you have—except currency amounts, in which case the Currency data
type (page 726) is a better match.