How to Base One Combo Box on Another in Access 2007

Written by tiesha whatley
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How to Base One Combo Box on Another in Access 2007
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Forms are Access database objects employed as the user interface to add, edit or delete data stored in tables. Forms are made up of items, such as text boxes, labels, command buttons, check boxes and combo boxes. A combo box is a mixture between a text box and list box; values can be picked from a drop-down list or typed right into the combo box. You can bind one combo box to another to depict the actions of one combo box based on the values of another.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Open Microsoft Access 2007 and select the database you want to open from the opening screen.

  2. 2

    View the database objects by clicking on the "Navigation Pane" on the left side of the screen.

  3. 3

    Right-click the form that has the combo boxes with which you are working. Click on "Design View." The form opens in a view that allows you to set the properties of the form items, move items or add new ones.

  4. 4

    Right-click on the combo box that you want to base on another one. Click on "Properties."

  5. 5

    Click on the "All" tab of the "Properties" sheet. Scroll down to the "Row Source" box. Click on the ellipsis (...) button next to the "Row Source" box. The "Query Builder" opens.

  6. 6

    Go to the column that has the common piece of data as the other combo box. For instance, if you have a "Classes" table that holds the information for all of the classes offered, you can populate the "Class Name" combo box based on what the user chooses under "Category." Bind the combo boxes together by the "Category" column. In the "Criteria" field for "Category," type in "[Forms]![Combo Form]![Category]." Instead of "[Category]" type in the name of the other combo box that you are basing this one on.

  7. 7

    Save the form and click on "Form View" from the "Views" drop-down menu.

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