How to move to a specific record from a Combo Box selection in Microsoft Access

Note

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Moderate: Requires basic macro, coding, and interoperability skills.

This article applies to a Microsoft Access database (.mdb) file or to a Microsoft Access database (.accdb) file.

Summary

This article shows you four methods of moving to a specific record based on selection from a combo box. The methods are as follows:

  • In the AfterUpdate event of a combo box, execute code that uses the FindFirst method.
  • In the AfterUpdate event of a combo box, call a macro that requeries the Filter property of a form.
  • Use a Form/Subform, with a combo box on the main form, and the data in the subform, bound by the LinkMasterFields and LinkChildFields properties of the subform control.
  • Base the form on a query that joins two tables, and then use the AutoLookup technique to bind a combo box to the field that controls the join.

These four methods are outlined in the "More Information" section of this article and are based on the Northwind sample database.

More information

Microsoft provides programming examples for illustration only, without warranty either expressed or implied. This includes, but is not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. This article assumes that you are familiar with the programming language that is being demonstrated and with the tools that are used to create and to debug procedures. Microsoft support engineers can help explain the functionality of a particular procedure, but they will not modify these examples to provide added functionality or construct procedures to meet your specific requirements.

Caution

If you follow the steps in this example, you modify the sample database Northwind.mdb. You may want to back up the Northwind.mdb file and follow these steps on a copy of the database.

The following table compares the features (benefits and drawbacks) of the four methods:

Method 1 2 3 4
Requires no code/macros x
Subform is not required x x
Can scroll to other records x x
Does not require a query x x x x
Can edit records x x x x
Opens form in other modes x

Note

These methods can also apply to text boxes.

Method 1

  1. Create a table named Products that has the ProductID field and the ProductName field.

  2. Use the AutoForm: Columnar Wizard to create a new form that is based on the Products table, and then save the form as frmComboTest.

    To do this in Microsoft Office Access 2003 and earlier versions of Access, follow these steps:

    1. In the Database window, click Forms under Objects.
    2. Click New on the Database window toolbar.
    3. In the New Form dialog box, click AutoForm: Columnar, select the Products table in the drop-down list, and then click OK.
    4. Save the form as frmComboTest.

    To do this in Microsoft Office Access 2007 or a later version, follow these steps:

    1. On the Create tab, click Form Wizard in the Forms group.
    2. In the From Wizard dialog box, select the Products table in the drop-down list.
    3. Select the fields that you want to see in the new form, and then click Next.
    4. Select the Columnar option to set the layout of the form, and then click Next.
    5. Type frmComboTest as the form title, and then click Finish.
  3. Use the Combo Box Wizard to add an unbound combo box. To do this, follow these steps:

    1. Open the frmComboTest form in the Design view.
    2. In the toolbar, make sure that Control Wizards is selected.

    Note

    In Access 2007 or a later version, make sure that Use Control Wizards is selected in the Controls group on the Design tab.

    1. Create a combo box on the frmComboTest form.

    Note

    In Access 2007 or a later version, click Combo Box in the Controls group on the Design tab, and then click the frmComboTest form. In the Choose Builder dialog box, click Combo Box Wizard, and then click OK.

    1. In the Combo Box Wizard dialog box, select the Find a record on my form based on the value I selected in my combo box option, and then click Next.
    2. Select the ProductID and ProductName fields, and then click Next.
    3. Click Finish.

    The Combo Box Wizard creates an event procedure that is similar to the following:

    Private Sub Combo0_AfterUpdate()
         ' Find the record that matches the control.
         Dim rs As Object
    
     Set rs = Me.Recordset.Clone
         rs.FindFirst "[ProductID] = " & Str(Nz(Me![Combo20], 0))
         If Not rs.EOF Then Me.Bookmark = rs.Bookmark
    End Sub
    
  4. View the frmComboTest form in the Form view.

    Notice that when you choose a product name in the combo box, you are moved to the record for the product that you selected.

Method 2

  1. Create a new form based on the Products table by using the AutoForm: Columnar Wizard as instructed in the step 2 of method 1, and then save the form as frmComboTest2.

  2. On the Property Sheet page of the frmComboTest2 form, set the Filter property on the Data tab to [ProductName] = Forms![frmComboTest2]![cboLookup].

  3. Add an unbound combo box named cboLookup, and then set the properties of the control as follows:

    Combo Box
    -----------------------------------------------------
    ControlName: cboLookup
    ControlSource: <leave blank>
    RowSourceType: Table/Query
    RowSource: Select [ProductName] from Products;
    BoundColumn: 1
    ColumnWidths: 1"
    AfterUpdate: mcrLocateProduct
    
  4. Create the following macro named mcrLocateProduct:

    Action
    --------------------------------------
    SetValue
    Requery
    
    mcrLocateProduct Actions
    --------------------------------------
    SetValue
    Item: Forms![frmComboTest2].FilterOn
    Expression: True
    

    Notice that when you open the frmComboTest2 form and select a product name from the cboLookup combo box, the filter is set to that value.

Method 3

  1. Create a new form based on the Products table by using the AutoForm: Columnar Wizard as instructed in the step 2 of method 1, and then save the form as frmSub.

  2. On the Property Sheet page of the frmSub form, set the Default View property on the Format tab to Single Form.

  3. Create a new form (that is not based on any table or query) and save it as frmMain. Then, add a combo box and set its properties as follows:

    Combo Box
    ----------------------------
    ControlName: cboLookup
    ControlSource: <leave blank>
    RowSourceType: Table/Query
    RowSource: Products
    ColumnCount: 4
    ColumnWidths: 0";2"
    BoundColumn: 1
    
  4. Insert a Subform control of the frmSub form.

    • Go to Design > Subform/Subreport, and then cancel the SubForm Wizard.
    • Drag and drop the frmSub from the navigation pane into the frmMain form.
  5. Set the subform control properties as follows:

    Subform
    ----------------------------
    LinkChildFields: [ProductID]
    LinkMasterFields: cboLookup
    

    By changing the value in cboLookup control, Access ensures that the records in the subform match the combo box.

    The Orders form in the Northwind sample database illustrates this method. The Order Details subform is related by the LinkMasterFields and LinkChildFields properties.

Method 4: Use the OpenForm macro action with the WHERE clause

  1. Create a new form based on the Products table by using the AutoForm: Columnar Wizard as instructed in the step 2 of method 1, and then save the form as frmComboTest5.

  2. Add an unbound combo box named cboLookup, and then set the properties of the control as follows:

    Combo Box
    -----------------------------------------------------
    ControlName: cboLookup
    ControlSource: <leave blank>
    RowSourceType: Table/Query
    RowSource: SELECT [ProductID], [ProductName] FROM Products ORDER BY [ProductName];
    BoundColumn: 1
    ColumnCount: 2
    ColumnWidths: 0";1"
    
  3. In the Macro Builder, create a new embedded macro in the AfterUpdate event for the cboLookup combo box.

  4. In the Add New Action drop-down list, select OpenForm, and then set the following properties:

    Form Name:   frmComboTest5
    View:        Form
    Filter Name: <leave as empty>
    Where Condition: [ID] = [Forms]![frmComboTest5]![cboLookup].value
    Data Mode: <optional>
    Window Mode: <optional>
    
  5. Save and close the macro.

  6. Save and run the form.

After you change the value of the combo box, the form will be closed and opened again with a filter applied.