Field length - how much does it matter?

terpsichore
terpsichore used Ask the Experts™
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Basic but very important question - how much should I be concerned with optimizing field size - for example, we have a table of vendors, maybe 1000 records, will grow to 2 or 3 times this size, but we have kept all the text fields at 255 characters - most of them are address, phone, other fields that probably can do with anywhere from 10 to 50 or slightly more characters.

If is worth going in and shortening field lengths?

Many thanks,

Robert
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Commented:
But I guess the question is, in your experience, how much?
Database Architect / Application Developer
Top Expert 2007
Commented:
"If is worth going in and shortening field lengths?"
In a text field, Access only uses the required amount of space for a given field, no matter what the field size definition. So, if you have a Text field defined at 255 ... but for example in a specific record(s), only 10 characters are entered, then only 10 characters are used.  That's how it works.

On reason for using a smaller number than 255 is if you want to limit the number of characters in a given field to some value.

mx

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Commented:
Thanks - exactly what I was looking for

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