Access Queries   «Prev  Next»
Lesson 4 Working with input masks
Objective Use the Input Mask Wizard to specify data input formats.
Input masks are used to “mask” the input so that it will conform to a set format that you want. In other words, input masks allow data to be entered only in the format you specify. Access allows users to specify input masks by providing users with the Input Mask property on fields.

Using the Input Mask property for input masks lets you control the way you enter data into your fields in a table. This is especially useful when you have data that must be entered in a predetermined way. An input mask also makes data entry easier for the user by showing the user what is expected of him or her. Some types of information that can make good use of the Input Mask property are:
  1. Zip codes
  2. Telephone numbers
  3. State abbreviations
  4. Social security numbers
Setting the Input Mask field property by hand can be a bit elaborate. You need to use a set format so the Input Mask field property will work correctly. The recommended way to set the input mask for a field is to use the Input Mask Wizard. You can open the Input Mask Wizard by clicking the Builder button next to the Input Mask property

Builder button
Builder button

You will be presented with steps to create the input mask. As an example, you can follow the steps presented in the SlideShow below to specify an input mask for a Social Security number.
Specifying Input Mask
In the next lesson, you will learn how to set up fields that display Combo Box and List Box controls for data input.
Input Masks - Exercise
Click the Exercise link below to practice using the Input Mask Wizard to create an input mask.
Input Masks - Exercise