Searching a database is easy but somewhat limited because you can retrieve only a record that matches any text that you want to find. If you want to find multiple records, you can use a filter.
A filter lets you tell Access to display only those records that meet a certain criteria, such all records that contain people who earn more than $200,000 a year, are currently married, live in Las Vegas, Nevada, and own two or more cars.
To filter a database table, you must tell Access which field to use as a filter, and then you must define the criteria for that filter. For example, if you want to filter your database table to see only those records listing the names of people who are at least 65, you filter the Age field and set the criteria to Greater than or equal to 65.
Filtering simply hides all records in a database table that don't match your criteria. Filtering doesn't delete or erase any records.
Using an exact match for a filter
The simplest filtering criterion searches for an exact match. When you filter a field by an exact match, you're telling Access, "I want to see only those records that contain this specific chunk of data in this particular field." By using an exact match filter, you could display only those records that contain CA in the State field.
To filter a database table, follow these steps:
1. In the All Tables pane on the left of the screen, double-click the name of the database table you want to filter.
Access displays the Datasheet view of your database.
2. Click the Home tab.
3. Click in the field (column) that you want to use as a filter.
4. Click the Filter icon in the Sort & Filter group.
A pop-up menu appears, as shown in Figure 17-2.
The Filter pop-up menu lets you specify the criteria for a specific field.
5. (Optional) Clear one or more of the check boxes that appear to the left of the list of data that appears in the field you chose in Step 3.
6. Click OK.
Access displays the filtered view of your database table.
7. Repeat Steps 3-6 for each additional field you want to filter.