Combo Box Controls in Microsoft Access: Access Combo box
controls provide a flexible form control feature for making data entry
consistent and user friendly. Here we provide an overview of our combo box form control
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Access dropdown list, lookup lists, and combo boxes are all synonyms for
basically the same GUI control. The combo box control is used in nearly
all programming languages include: HTML, Excel, Java, net, ASP, etc.
Use the navigation links on the right side
of this page to see each example in detail. Below you will find excerpts from each of
Initially, a combo box control displays a single entry
which is typically the default value, nothing, or the previously selected
choice from the list. The drop
down feature is activated when the user clicks the down arrow which is located
on the left or right side of the control.
Combo boxes usually show several choices at one time with the selected or default choice highlighted in some manner.
All of our examples use Visual Basic, VBA, VB, VB script code. We don't
These form controls normally provide two functions:
In these programming examples we refer to the following controls interchangeably in Microsoft Access:
Dropdown List Box
An Access combo box looks simple on a data entry
screen. However, these controls combine nearly all aspects of database programming including table
design, Visual Basic, query design, and finally the user interface design. They are probably the most complex
of the Access database form controls.
Our developers have put
together the following excerpts from our examples to show you a variety of
Yes/no Drop Down
The simplest dropdown list box - the yes/no field. Create a field
(text) in your table with a field length of one character. Create a validation
rule that specifies in ("Y","N").
Table-based Access Combo Box
Lookup lists based on values stored in a table. It is pretty simple to
setup and provide you and your users with the flexibility to
add new list items as necessary and that is how 95% of MS Access
users/developers setup a combo box.
All/Any Choice List Box
Add choice to a table-based list using union query. Start by setting
up a dropdown lookup list using table as the row source with ' All' added to the
item list. This All query setup is used to provide with user ability to choose
a specific item in the list or select All records.
Lookup list table design & index pointers.
The autonumber ID field makes the database compact, efficient, and reliable.
Other Form Fields
Filling in a text field from a dropdown list: Expanding upon
a previous example, suppose that we have account numbers associated with each
shipping method and that these account numbers (for whatever reason) can change
Best Way to
Fill Form Field
A better way to fill text field from a multi-field combo box.
Dependent Combo Box List
Cascading combo boxes. Changing the controls source programmatically with
a parameterized query for row source.
Multiple Dropdown Lists from One Table
Combining many lookup tables into one table - advance table and query design
Speed Up Form Lists
Speed up slow drop down list box activation time - advanced VB Script
You can find more information on
programming lookup lists
on Microsoft's website.