A paper database is useful for storing information, but not so useful for finding it again. If you have a thousand business cards stored in a Rolodex file, how much time do you want to waste trying to find the phone number of a single person?
Searching a database is crucial to make your data useful, so Access provides two different ways to search a database:
Search for a specific record.
Use a filter to show one or more records that meet a specific criterion.
Searching for a specific record
The simplest type of search looks for a specific record. To search for a record, you need to know the data stored in at least one of its fields, such as a phone number and e-mail address.
The more information you already know, the more likely Access will find the one record you want. If you search for all records that contain the first name Bill, Access could find dozens of records. If you just search for all records that contain the first name Bill, the last name Johnson, and a state address of Alaska, Access will likely find just the record you want.
To search for a specific record in 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 search.
Access displays the Datasheet view of your database.
2. Click the Home tab.
3. Click the Find icon in the Find group.
The Find and Replace dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 17-1.
Search for a specific
Record in a database table.
4. Click in the Find What text box and type in the data you know is stored in the record you want to find.
For example, if you want to find the phone number of a person but you know only that person's last name, you type that person's last name in the Find What text box.
5. Click the Look In list box and choose the name of the entire database
6. (Optional) Click in the Match list box and choose one of the following:
Any Part of Field: The Find What text can appear in any part of a field.
Whole Field: The Find What text is the only text stored in a field.
Start of Field: The Find What text can be only at the beginning of a field.
7. (Optional) Click in the Search list box and choose one of the following:
Up: Searches from the record where the cursor appears, up to the beginning of the database table
Down: Searches from the record where the cursor appears, down to the end of the database table
All: Searches the entire database table
8. Click Find Next.
Access highlights the field where it finds the text you typed in Step 4.
9. Repeat Step 8 to search for more records that might contain the text you typed in Step 4.
10. Click Cancel or the Close button.