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Using Lookup Fields

Data entry can be a time-consuming and error-prone process. If the value to be entered into a field is limited to one or two different choices, such as one of three different states in an address field, you can save time and reduce typing errors by allowing your users to enter data using a lookup field.

Lookup fields are also valuable because they link fields to data from a table. You can create a lookup field that includes single fields or entire records, so you can display as much information as you want through your lookup field. Lookup fields come in three varieties: the text box, the list box, and the combo box. A text box is the standard way to enter data into a table—the user just clicks the text area of the box, enters the value, then presses Enter or Tab (Figure 9.7). A list box, by contrast, allows users to select values from a pre-existing list (Figure 9.8). Combo boxes combine the best features of text boxes and list boxes. Users can enter their own values or select a value from a list you define (Figure 9.9).


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