Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Using Input Masks to Validate and Format Data
7. Click Next to see more questions about the input mask.
The questions you see depend on the type of data you chose in the first
window; you may not see all the options in the next three steps.
8. Edit the input mask, if you want to, using the characters listed in
Table 5-1 (later in this chapter).
Access displays the input mask it created, and you have the opportunity
to edit it.
9. Choose a placeholder character and then click Next to see the next
window of the wizard.
A placeholder character holds a place for every character that the user
needs to enter so that the user can see that he needs to enter five
characters or whatever the input mask defines.
10. Choose how to store the data and then click Next to display the final
window of the wizard.
If you include punctuation or other additional characters in your input
mask, you can choose how to save the data being entered: the
characters entered plus the extra characters, or just the characters entered.
Generally, you don’t need to save the extra characters.
11. Click Finish to tell the wizard to put the input mask it created in the
Input Mask property for the field.
Access displays Design view with the new input mask.
12. Save the table design by clicking the Save button on the toolbar.
Otherwise, you may lose your nifty new input mask!
Creating an input mask manually
To create an input mask manually, enter a series of characters in the Input
Mask property of the Field Properties pane to tell Access what kind of data
to expect. Data that doesn’t match the input mask can’t be entered. To block
data from a field, first figure out exactly what data you want to allow in a
field and then use the characters in Table 5-1 to code the data in the Input
Mask field property. A caption explaining the allowed entries can help
prevent users from being frustrated in entering data.
If you have trouble formulating an input mask, you may find that a validation
rule meets your needs better.
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