Easier data entry in Access databases

Use these shortcuts to speed up the work of entering data into an Access databases. They work on forms or datasheets:

  • Press CTRL and ; together to enter today's date in a field
  • Press CTRL and " together to fill this field with the value from the same field in the previous record. You'll find the shortcut easier to remember if you think of the double-quote as 'ditto'.
  • Use the Tab key to move to the next field. This is quicker than using the mouse and safer because it makes sure you select the entire field. If you use the mouse to click on the next field then you might find yourself typing into the middle of the field because the characters are inserted at the position of the mouse click.
  • Press Shift and Tab key to move back one field.
  • If you need to select the whole field then press F2.
  • Press F 4 to open a drop-down list then type the first few characters of the entry you want.
  • Press CTRL and Z together if you need to undo an entry. It's quicker than using the mouse to select the Undo button on the toolbar.
  • You do not need to enter the year of a date. If you just give the day and the month then Access will fill in the current year. Access will accept 25/12, 25-12, or even 25 12 and convert it to 25/12/2007.