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Chapter 35. Entering, Finding, and Filte... > Secrets of the Office Masters: Input...

Secrets of the Office Masters: Input Masks Made Easy

Struggling with the Byzantine codes to define an input mask manually is a sucker's game. To create an input mask for common data types, such as phone numbers, ZIP codes, passwords, and popular date and time formats, it's much, much easier to use the well-hidden Input Mask Wizard. Click to position the insertion point in the Input Mask property box for a field, and then right-click and choose Build from the shortcut menu. The three-step wizard (the first step of which is shown here) lets you choose a built-in format from a list, specify the character to be used in blanks, and specify how you want the data stored.

You can also use this wizard to save and reuse your favorite input-mask formats. On the first screen of the Input Mask Wizard, click the Edit List button; then follow the wizard's prompts to add a custom input mask, give it a name, and save it for use in other tables—even if those tables are in other databases.


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