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How to change field in forms to drop down lists

Posted on 2014-07-24
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Last Modified: 2015-02-25
I am new to Access 2013- I am using a template called Contacts which had tables, forms reports already created, I just had to import that data from my Excel spreadsheet.  I added this field and formatted it as drop down and entered the choices for it in the table.  But the problem is when I try to get this information to show in the existing forms it will not.  It shows the field I added to the table but it is not showing the drop down options.  I have tried to figure out how to get this to work and so far have not been able to.  Can someone tell me how I can change/format the 2 existing forms so that this field will show the drop down selections that are setup for this field in the table?
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Question by:jajen
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3 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Helen Feddema
ID: 40217051
Generally, this is done by placing a combo box on the form, bound to the field, with a row source of the table containing the items for the drop-down list.  The field may be a text field, holding selections from the list, or (more usually) it would be a numeric field, holding an ID value.  In that case, the lookup table would have a numeric ID field and another field to display in the drop-down list, with the first column width set to 0 so it won't display in the list.
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PatHartman earned 2000 total points
ID: 40217675
If you open the form in design view and right-click on the textbox, you will see an option to change it to a combo.  Once it is changed to a combo, you need to set several properties to get it to work correctly.

Data Tab
1. Control Source - if you used the method I suggested, the control should still be bound to the correct column.  The Control Source defines what column in the Forms RecordSource will hold the selected value
2. Row Source - this is a table/query that contains the "list" of items that will appear in the dropdown.  Make sure it is sorted and conventionally, the "key" column is the first column and the "display" column is the second column.
3.  Bound Column - usually 1 but could be different if the "key" column is not the first column.
4. Limit To List - I set mine to Yes because I don't generally allow people to add to the list on the fly.
Format Tab
5. Column Count - total number of columns selected in item #2.  If you bind the RowSource directly to a table (not recommended), this is the number of columns in the table.
6. Column Widths - specifies the width of each column in item #5.  0 means hide the field.  Anything else will display it.  Typically we hide the "key" column if it is an autonumber ID and display the "display" column(s).
7. Column Heads - I set this to Yes if I am displaying more than one column in item #5 so the user knows what he is looking at.
8. List Width - make this wide enough to be at least the sum of all values in item #6.

There are lots of other properties but these 8 are the ones you will set to make the combo "work".
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Expert Comment

by:Jeffrey Coachman
ID: 40225382
I added this field and formatted it as drop down and entered the choices for it in the table.  But the problem is when I try to get this information to show in the existing forms it will not.  It shows the field I added to the table but it is not showing the drop down options.

Make sure the RowSourceType Property of the combobox is set to: Value List
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