Chapter 1. General Annoyances

It’s fitting to start this book with a chapter on “General” Access annoyances, since no other military rank (Private? Major?) suggests how aggravating—or impressive—Access can be. Truly, Access is the supreme commander of all annoyances. And yet, when it works, it rules.

General annoyances aren’t just annoyances we couldn’t fit in anywhere else. They’re global annoyances, such as the ridiculously bad default settings that affect everything you do in Access, mysterious #Name? errors that can crop up almost anywhere (in queries, forms, reports, and so on), and data corruption that can turn your database into digital mush. In this chapter we’ll show you how to make the most of Access’s user interface, demystify its obscure error messages, and take preventive measures against its worst booby traps.


Access’s Bad Defaults

THE ANNOYANCE: My database was running like a dog until I found out that Name AutoCorrect was turned on by default—and it’s a known cause of corruption, too! Are there any other disasters hiding in Access’s default settings?

THE FIX: You bet. Access has hundreds of default settings, and they range from quite sensible to pretty troublesome. Let’s take a look at some of the worst offenders, along with some of our favorite tweaks. You can set the global defaults by clicking Tools → Options; the specific defaults that follow can be set inside individual forms or reports.

Global Defaults

Changing these global defaults will vastly ...

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