You can use a variety of data types in Microsoft Access to balance storage space requirements with database usability. For small amounts of information such as names or brief notes, a "Text" data type is often sufficient. But if you want to keep track of longer notes or larger amounts of alphanumeric information, you can add a text box that allows more data. Other text-based fields provide larger amounts of storage space for lengthy notes.
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Open your table in "Design View" by right-clicking the title in the "Navigation Pane" and selecting "Design View." Whether you access the table from a query or form, you have to set the data type in the underlying table. If you are unsure which table to access, reference the "Object Dependencies" from the "Database Tools" tab of the ribbon.
Create a new field by typing in a word or phrase into a new cell in the "Field Name" column. The default data type for new fields is "Text" which allows you to store alphanumeric characters in the field. "Text" data types are limited to 255 characters, which may not be long enough for lengthy notes.
Select "Memo" from the "Data Type" drop-down box. Switching the "Data Type" from "Text" to "Memo" increases your field size to 65,536 characters. All field types in Access have a certain limit, and "Memo" fields provide the most amount of space for text.
Tips and warnings
- If you have an existing field that you want to increase in field size, switch the "Data Type" to "Memo" without losing any data. Back up your database before changing any field properties in case an error occurs.
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