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Lesson 2Combo Box and List Box controls
ObjectiveWork with controls that display data from other record sources.

Combo Box and List Box Controls

The Combo Box and List Box controls are two of the most versatile controls available in Access.
They allow you to display and pick data from a lookup table and they allow you to display data from other tables without requiring joins in the underlying record source of the form or report on which they are used.
You got a taste of using the Combo Box and List Box controls as lookup fields in Module 2. You also saw how to use the Combo Box and List Box Wizards.
To use the wizards to place the controls on forms, you can drag and drop the controls from the toolbox by using either the Combo Box control button
Combo Box control button
or the List Box control button
List Box control button

I would like to take this opportunity to expand on that knowledge for you.


Important properties of Combo Box and List Box controls

The wizards do a good job of creating the controls that are needed to use simple Combo Box and List Box controls. To take advantage of some of the more advanced features, however, you will need to be comfortable with some of the properties of the Combo Box and List Box controls. You can see some of those properties in this MouseOver:

  1. Name of the Combo Box or List Box control
  2. Field in the underlying record source of the form to use.
  3. Number of columns to use in the control from the row source.
  4. Choices here are Table\Query, Value List, and Field List. It lets you specify how to populate the control.
  5. Can be a SQL statement, a table or query name, or a list separated by semicolons.
  6. Includes a row in the control that will act as column headings.
  7. How wide do you want each column? A column width of zero doesn't display anything, but the data is still available.
  8. The column in the row source to be entered into the control source
  9. Number of rows that will be displayed.
  10. Width of the displayed list.
  11. Whether to require the data entered to be limited to the list.
  12. Will search the list and move you to the next entry that matches the characters currently entered. If you are using a large row source for the list, you may want to set this to No for better performance.

Combo Box List Box Properties
Using the properties pointed out by the MouseOver, you can display additional information on a form using a Combo Box or List Box control.
In the next lesson, you will learn how to use the Option Group Wizard to create an Option Group control.