Working with Filters in Ms Access – A Primer

The Ms Access database hasth all the key elements that are expected from a commercial RDBMS. While it is limited it certain aspects, it does have a host of sophisticated features. In Access you can use queries to retrieve data from numerous tables in one go and even perform actions. In fact using SQL, you can write and execute complicated queries which can even be saved. Now given the overwhelming superiority of queries one would wonder why anyone should use filters in Ms Access. The answer lies in one word – convenience. If you are looking to make quick data sorts, filters are the way to go. You do not need to create anything, just apply the filter and the data gets sorted as per your need.


How to apply a filter in Access

Applying a filter in Access is extremely easy. First you need to open the table where you wish to apply the filter. Select the datasets and these could include multiple columns if needed. Next head to the Home tab and move to Sort and Filter. Now choose Selection from the drop down list and select the filter type. A whole array of filters is present in Access and you can even use wildcard characters. Filters in Access can be easily turned off or brought back in with a few clicks. Interestingly one can even go on to save a specific filter as a query for future use. Once done the same filter can be executed on other forms with minor tweaking.


Dealing with Multiple Fields

When you are looking to quickly sort through multiple fields in Access you need to consider the possible options before you. Ideally you should opt for filter by form option and choose to use one of the operators namely “And” and “Or”. If you choose the first, it would look to match all the criteria that you have selected while the later would be satisfied if any one of the criteria meets the match. In some cases you may even opt to use both of them together. Imagine a scenario where you wish to find sales across two cities and at any of the different months.


Recovering a database from a crash is ideally best achieved with specialized tools

Typically when it comes to recovering a database after an Access crash, people tend to use a backup copy of the MDB file.  However in most cases, given the fact Access is normally used in small businesses, the backup is dated and does not contain the latest records. Thus it is ideally advised to use a specialized access repair tool like DataNumen Access Repair to retrieve your data in the quickest possible time. Everything from forms to indexes and queries can be brought back and you get back to using the Access application without any hassles. The application is exceptionally good at locating missing MDB files and is equally adept at tackling different storage media types.


Author Introduction:

Alan Chen is President & Chairman of DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including access repair and sql recovery software products. For more information visit

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