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Defining criteria

From: Access 2010: Queries in Depth

Video: Defining criteria

One of the most common uses of queries is to filter data within your database down to a specific subset based upon a single common attribute. To do this we'll make use of the criteria selector. There are many different types of criteria that we can define. We can specify an exact match like a specific product or employee's name or we can define a group of values such as all of the products within a specific department. The criteria field is very flexible and Access provides some additional help when writing them to ensure that our syntax is correct. So let's see this in action.

Defining criteria

One of the most common uses of queries is to filter data within your database down to a specific subset based upon a single common attribute. To do this we'll make use of the criteria selector. There are many different types of criteria that we can define. We can specify an exact match like a specific product or employee's name or we can define a group of values such as all of the products within a specific department. The criteria field is very flexible and Access provides some additional help when writing them to ensure that our syntax is correct. So let's see this in action.

We'll go up to the Create tab and we'll create a new query in Design view. Let's go ahead and add our Employees table by double-clicking on it. And close Show Table. Now the query that we want to start with first is which employees live in Arizona. We'll add a couple of fields to our query here. I'm going to open this up we'll add FirstName and LastName and State to our query. Now if I run it right now, we're going to get everybody, no matter what state they live in. We can see that we have a total of 200 records.

Let's go ahead and run back into Design view. For our criteria, we're going to specify that we're only interested in employees that live in the state of Arizona and we can put in the two letter abbreviation for Arizona, AZ. Press Enter to accept that value and Access actually wraps it in quotation marks, which is the proper syntax. Let's go ahead and run this query again and we'll see that we're down to three records with just the employees that live in the state of Arizona. Let's go ahead and switch back into Design view. I can specify multiple criteria by using the same line.

So for instance if I'm interested in all the employees that have a first name of Jennifer that live in the state of Arizona I can put it in like this. FirstName is Jennifer and State is Arizona. If I run this I'll see that I only have one employee that matches both criteria simultaneously. Back in the Design view and let's get rid of Jennifer here and I'll get rid of Arizona. I'm just going to highlight and press Backspace. Let's expand our reach a little bit and now say we're interested in all of the states that begin with the letter A.

We can use the Like operator to use this query. I'll write the word "like" followed by a asterisk. What this is telling Access is that we're interested in all of the states that have an A as the first letter and then any letters after that. Let's go ahead and press Enter to accept that. Access adjusts our statement a little bit, capitalizes the word Like, wraps it in quotation marks. If we run that, we'll see the states of Alaska, Alabama and Arizona are all represented. Let's go back into Design view and I'll highlight this and get rid of it.

The asterisk character is a wild card and it means any character and any number of characters. So for instance, if I was interested in all of the employees that have a W anywhere in their last name I can write that statement this, like *w*. Now I'm asking for any characters, W, and then any characters after that. I'll press Enter and we'll run that query and you'll see that our last names either have a W at the beginning, a W at the middle, or a W at the end.

Let's go ahead and switch back into Design view and I'll get rid of this. Now right below the Criteria line is the word or. Any criteria that you put on multiple lines will be treated as an Or statement. So if I was interested in multiple states, I can say the state of Arizona and on the line below that, I can say New Mexico, 'nm'. Let's go ahead and say Run and you'll see that we have both states there.

Let's go ahead and switch back into Design view and I'll get rid of these. We can also write an or statement on a single criteria line. So I could also have written that same query as 'az' Or 'nm'. And when I press Enter, Access understands that that's Arizona or New Mexico. Again, the same results. Back into Design view, we'll go ahead and get rid of this criteria. Another logical operator in addition to Or is the word Not.

This does exactly what you would expect. It excludes records. So I can say Not 'az' and we would get all of these employees that do not live in the state of Arizona. Now there's a third operator called And. We've already seen how we can include multiple columns here. So for instance, I have the first name of Jennifer in the state of Arizona on one line. Access treated that as an And statement. We're looking for both at the same time. If I were to put in here 'az' And 'ny' thinking that I'm going to get all of the records for the employees that live in Arizona and New York, if I say Run I don't get anything and the reason for that is because Access uses a very literal understanding of the word And.

It is actually looking for all the employees that live in Arizona and New York at the same time. So that's why the proper operator for this statement was Or. We will see And coming up here when we look at mathematical operators. So we have seen how we can use queries to filter out data down to just the specific records or range of records that we are interested in, based off of some text-based criteria. While many of these operators will also work for numerical values, Access provides some additional tools when defining mathematical operations.

So let's take a look at those in the next movie.

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This video is part of

Image for Access 2010: Queries in Depth
Access 2010: Queries in Depth

46 video lessons · 14235 viewers

Adam Wilbert
Author

 
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  1. 9m 9s
    1. Welcome
      1m 10s
    2. Using the exercise files
      41s
    3. Introducing the database
      4m 29s
    4. Previewing the course
      2m 49s
  2. 17m 17s
    1. Understanding queries
      3m 31s
    2. Following naming conventions and best practices
      2m 56s
    3. Using the Query Wizard
      5m 21s
    4. Exploring the design interface
      5m 29s
  3. 26m 39s
    1. Defining criteria
      5m 40s
    2. Understanding comparison operators
      3m 19s
    3. Defining the column headers
      2m 49s
    4. Exploring the property sheet
      7m 32s
    5. Printing query results
      2m 41s
    6. Working with joins
      4m 38s
  4. 14m 14s
    1. Understanding parameter queries
      4m 27s
    2. Obtaining parameters from forms
      5m 17s
    3. Creating a combo box
      4m 30s
  5. 23m 24s
    1. Understanding the Totals field
      5m 31s
    2. Creating aggregate calculations
      3m 31s
    3. Exploring the Expression Builder interface
      4m 28s
    4. Using mathematical operators
      5m 46s
    5. Applying text functions
      4m 8s
  6. 24m 23s
    1. Understanding dates as serial numbers
      2m 42s
    2. Specifying a range of dates or times
      3m 47s
    3. Formatting dates
      4m 31s
    4. Using other Date/Time functions
      3m 47s
    5. Defining today's date
      2m 41s
    6. Calculating time intervals
      6m 55s
  7. 20m 9s
    1. Introducing the conditional IIf function
      2m 57s
    2. Creating an IIf function
      7m 31s
    3. Nesting IIf functions
      4m 57s
    4. Using the Switch function
      4m 44s
  8. 20m 41s
    1. Understanding the reporting tool
      2m 13s
    2. Building the form
      6m 57s
    3. Building the query
      5m 4s
    4. Building the report
      3m 30s
    5. Finalizing the reporting tool
      2m 57s
  9. 25m 37s
    1. Finding duplicate records
      2m 17s
    2. Identifying unmatched records
      2m 29s
    3. Creating crosstab results
      2m 57s
    4. Creating backups
      1m 29s
    5. Creating update queries
      3m 22s
    6. Making, deleting, and appending records
      5m 36s
    7. Uniting tables
      3m 16s
    8. Embedding SQL code in queries
      4m 11s
  10. 1m 0s
    1. Next Steps
      1m 0s

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