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Expressions

In an introductory Access book that I wrote, I named one chapter “It's Only an Expression.” The title might or might not have been catchy, but it certainly didn't do expressions justice. They are essential to your work in Access, and they are indispensable for finding and retrieving records in filters and queries. Whether you are using the Find command to locate a Jane in a First Name field or setting criteria with multiple conditions in advanced queries, you are using expressions to tell Access which records to retrieve.

Unfortunately for the nonmathematical, the dictionary definition of an expression doesn't offer much enlightenment: any combination of mathematical or logical operators, constants, functions, and names of fields, controls, and properties that evaluates to a single value. Half the words in the definition themselves require definition (the sidebar on expression terminology offers some help).


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