How to Use Combo Boxes to Find Records in MS Access

This article addresses how users can use Combo Boxes to find records in MS Access.

Combo Box has been designed with both the features of list box as well as a text box. Combo Box is used for selecting a value from a data of predefined list.  However, it can also be used for finding records in MS Access.Using Combo Boxes To Find Records In MS Acces

Steps to Use Combo Boxes to find records in MS Access

There are three ways by which users can use Combo Boxes to find records in Ms. Access:

First Method

Users can use Navigation buttons, which are placed at the bottom of the form. The user just needs to click on the next button to advance to the next record. However, this is a time-consuming process as it demands the user to search for the record one by one. This is, of course, an inefficient way of finding records.

Second Method

The Find And Replace Button In Ms AccessUsers can also find records using Combo Box using the Find and Replace button in the dialog box. To initiate this dialog box, the user needs to click on the field that he/she wants to search, then select Edit – Find with the help of menus present on top of the MS Access Window. Now the user needs to type in a part of the phrase that he/she wishes to search in the dialog box. So, for example, a user wants to find the record details of a particular client named Sharon, he/she can just type in ‘Sharon’ in the first name, and Access will return with the data of all the clients named Sharon from the database.

Third Method

The user can find a Record by using a form by adding a Combo Box in his/her form. This step requires users to learn a new tool that will come in handy for the user while working with Access forms.

Steps to add a Combo Box

  • Step 1: Open the Form from which you want to find the data in design view.
  • Step 2: Press on first One, while holding on shift, then continue clicking on next to select all fields from the file. Now drag these fields down to about 0.25” to create space to add a combo box.
  • Step 3: Now turn on the Control Window icon in the Toolbox. This will allow Combo Box Wizard to launch, whenever a user will select it. If the button is set off, the Combo Box Wizard won’t be able to launch.
  • Step 4: Select Combo Box icon, and then select the ClientID from the Client form, to search for Sharon.
  • Step 5: Now Select ‘Find a Record’, from the Combo Box Wizard Window that asks ‘How do you want your combo box to get its values?’ appears on the screen.
  • Step 6: Enter the details that you want to search in the form of the users can specify the location (Place or Address), where Sharon lives, to get a more specified result. Then Click next.
  • Step 7: This prompt allows user to modify the width of the column, like in our example, the user only knows the first name of the Client Sharon, and as the user is searching for her personal details he/she won’t be able to enter more information apart from the basic stuff like her City.
  • Step 8: To specifically find the client “Sharon” by the information at hand, the user can create a label ‘Find by First Name’ and then click on Finish.
  • Step 9: Now Click on Form view to view the result, matching your search name. Every client with the first name as Sharon will appear on the screen.

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Author Introduction:

Vivian Stevens is a data recovery expert in DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including sql recovery and excel recovery software products. For more information visit

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