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In Access 2010 Power Shortcuts, Access expert Alicia Katz Pollock shares hundreds of tips and shortcuts to vastly increase efficiency and get the full power out of Access 2010. The course includes tips for working with the Ribbon and Quick Access toolbar, managing files, customizing and automating Access, rapid data entry and editing, working with tables, queries, forms, and reports, managing your database, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.
By default, when you create a new field in the table, it will have the data-type of text, but if you work with specialized data may be you need most of your fields to be a different data type or you want them to have different default properties. Instead of changing each fields each time, you can change Access's default settings. To show you what I mean let's create a table to track stock purchases. Go to the Create tab and choose Table Design, a new table opens up in Design view. I'll type in my first field, I'll give it the name Open, it comes up automatically as Text but I need to change it to Currency.
My next field name is Shares, when I go over to Data Type, it came up as text but I want this one to be a Number, I'll type in N and hit the tab key. When I look down at the field properties, I can see that the default field size is long integer, but I need this to have decimals in it, so I'm going to change the field size to double. So because this is a financial database, I would rather have all my new fields be currency by default and those that are numbers, I want them to have the field size double so that they always include decimal points.
So I'm going to close this table and not save it. Now go up to the File tab to go to the backstage view and click on the Options button near the bottom, go to the fourth option down Object Designers, the first item is default field type and I'll change this from Text to currency. The next one is the number of characters in a standard text box, and most you can have is 255 but maybe in this database you'll never need more than 50 in a field.
By changing this to 50 I'm saving 1/5 of my disk space by not reserving so many characters that all I'll never need. The third option is where I set the default field size for the number data types; I'm going to change this to double. Now I click OK at the bottom to save my changes, but do bear in mind that this is a global setting, not just for this database but for all of them. So if you work in several different files, you may not really want to make this change or after you switch files do you remember to go back and reset these to the defaults again.
So now let's try a new table again, I'll click on the Create Ribbon and back to the Table Design. My first field's name is Open, I want a tab across, and sure enough it comes up as Currency. When I gave it a field name Shares and I change it to Number, my field size comes up as double. And now create a third field for Stock Name, when I change it to text, I can see the default field size is 50 instead of 255. When you have a lot of tables to create with non-standard data, changing Access's default options will cut down the number of settings that you need to modify.
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