Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Choosing Field Types
Long Text fields can contain Rich Text — that is, formatted text. If you need
boldface, italics, and font changes in your text, you need to use a Long Text
field.
Some database designers avoid using the Long Text field because they find
that databases with Long Text fields are more likely to get corrupted (become
unreadable by Access). The same is true of OLE Object fields, which are
used for storing pictures, spreadsheets, documents, and other large objects;
they may give your database indigestion.
Choosing between Text and Number
(or Currency) fields
Access displays and sorts Number and Currency fields differently from Text
fields. Here are the differences:
When displaying a Number or Currency field, Access drops any leading
zeros. (08540, for example, becomes 8540 or $8,540.)
You can format Number and Currency fields in many ways, giving you
control of the number of decimal places, specified currency symbols,
and the use of commas. Access can align these fields vertically on the
decimal points, which makes columns of numbers easier to read.
Access can calculate totals, subtotals, and averages for Number and
Currency fields, as well as do other numeric calculations.
When you sort a Number or Currency field, values sort from smallest to
largest — at least, they do when you’re sorting in ascending order. But
when you sort a Text field, values are sorted alphabetically, starting at
the left end of the field. This difference means that in a Text field, Access
sorts 55 before 6, because the 5 character comes before the 6
character. The following list shows how Access sorts the same list of numbers
in Number and Text fields:
Number Sort
1
2
5
11
21
44
Text Sort
1
11
2
21
44
5
Use Number fields for all numbers except numeric codes (such as zip
codes or phone numbers), which are described in the next section. Store
any number you may want to add to a total in a Number or Currency field.
Choose a Currency field for money values.
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