How to Use Memo Fields to Filter Data in MS Access

Learn to use Memo fields in MS Access for filtering data.

Access databases are a storehouse of data. As much as they are needed to for storing data effectively, we also need to pay attention to how well is data being entered. So that when needed, it can be easily retrieved using the search filter. Anyone who has been making use of Access databases would know how crucial it is to structure information well before entering it in databases. This is precisely the reason why we opt for putting criteria over given fields, to ensure that no incorrect information is added.Using Memo Fields For Filtering Data In MS Access

Memo Fields

There might be occasions when you would not know what criteria to put over a filed, as it has the tendency to store varied information. In this kind of a situation, you can opt for making use of the memo field. These are the free form text fields that can be used for containing information of any length and type. Filtering using memo fields can be challenging, but it can be effectively done if you make use of text that has been spread over the given memo field at different locations.

A lot of the users use memo fields for storing information, but do not make use of it for filtering while retrieving information for adding in reports or viewing. This is because it is believed that memo fields are difficult to use and printing or displaying its contents is complicated due to the unpredictability of its contents. There certainly is some amount of inflexibility with memo fields, but they can still be of help when filtering.

Given below are the steps to use memo fields for filtering.

  1. Memo FieldsImport the table of your choice from the sample database, and then open it in datasheet view.
  2. Bring the horizontal scrollbar at the end of the page to the right, this will make the contents of the Notes Memo Field more visible to you.
  3. You can increase the row size by dragging it down this makes the contents in the Notes fields more visible. Once you are able to see all the contents clearly, you will be to get an idea as to what filter you need to apply to get the desired result.

To get filtered data, you can either use the datasheet view, or create a query that filters contents using text in memo filed. We will do it in the datasheet view.

  1. Highlight the letters in the record using which you want to filter the contents.
  2. After highlighting the desired contents, right click on them and select the preferred option from the appearing shortcut menu.
  3. The option you have selected will be used for filtering all contents inside the memo field.
  4. All the fields that adhere to the specified option in anyway will be returned as results.
  5. You have now successfully filtered contents in the memo field.

The similar method can also be used when you need to filter records for printing, but for that you will have to create queries.

Incidents of data corruption are quite commonly noticed by users while working on MS Access databases. Hence professionals and businesses should always keep an mdb recovery tool handy to deal with contingencies.

Author Introduction:

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

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