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Queries Versus Filters

To handle obstacles that occur from day to day, you must be able to know when to use the right tool. A filter is a criterion that is applied to current data to obtain a subset of records. You can look at a WHERE clause of a query as a filter. In Access, a filter is a tool that uses criteria to temporarily (unless you save the object you have open) obtain a subset of records that you can view or edit. You apply the filter when the table or form is open. In a query, you apply the filter to the results of the query in Datasheet view.

There are places in Access where the lines between a filter and a query blur. However, it is usually a matter of terminology more than a matter of function. For example, when you use the OpenForm action in a macro, you can fill the Filter box with a query or a filter that is saved as a query. Although both filters and queries can retrieve a subset of data based on criteria, there are some distinct differences. You use filters in the following situations:


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