Field Names and Data Types

Learning Outcomes

  • Discuss field name requirements
  • Discuss types of data used in Microsoft Access

Field Names

A field name should be descriptive enough to identify the purpose of the field, without being overly long to prevent excessive typing. Enter the field name by placing the pointer in the first row of the Table Design window under the Field Name column. In order to ensure a valid field name, a field name:

  • Cannot exceed 64 characters,
  • Cannot include periods (.), exclamation points (!), accent grave (`), or brackets ([]),
  • Cannot include spaces,
  • Cannot include low-order ASCII characters,
  • Cannot start with a blank space.

Practice Question

Data Types

The data type must be consistent with the data to be stored in the field. The “text” type is the most commonly used data type, including numbers that will not be added like social security or street address numbers. Here is a partial list of Access data types:

Data Type Description
Short text Alphanumeric characters
Long text Alphanumeric characters
Number Numeric values
Large Number Numeric values
Date/Time Date and time data
Currency Monetary data
AutoNumber Automatic number increments
Yes/No Logical values: Yes/No, True/False, etc.
OLE Objects Pictures, graphs, sound, video
Hyperlink Line to an Internet resource
Attachment External files
Calculated Stores calculations based on other fields
Lookup Wizard Displays data from another table

Practice Question


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