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Format … in Access

The word “format” can mean multiple things in Access. The links in the tables below can help you find the information that you need, based on which tasks that you are trying to perform.

What do you want to do?

Format text, dates, or numbers

Highlight important data on forms and reports

Improve the appearance of database objects

Make sure data is entered in the correct format

Learn about file formats

Format text, dates, or numbers

Use expressions and property settings to make sure that data displays the way that you want. The articles in this section apply to multiple versions of Access.



Learn the basic syntax of the Format function and see some examples of how to use it in an expression.

Format Function

See specific examples of how to format dates and times by using the Format function in an expression.

Format date and time values

Learn how to set the Format property to control the display of dates and times on forms, reports, and datasheets.

Format Property - Date/Time Data Type

Learn how dates and times are displayed in Access, how to add a Date/Time field to a table, and how to make sure dates and times are entered and displayed the way that you want.

Format the date and time field in Access

Display data in a specific format, even if it’s stored with a different format.

Specify how data displays by using custom formatting

Get general information about how to add and format date/time fields.

Add and customize date and time formats

Customize the default settings for datasheets, such as gridlines, raised or sunken cell effects, and font styles.

Set the default format options for datasheets

Highlight important data on forms and reports

Apply conditional formatting rules to make important data easier to see.



Make important data stand out on reports.

Video: Use conditional formatting on reports

Make important data stand out on forms.

Video: Highlight data on forms by using conditional formatting

Make it easier to compare numbers that are displayed in columns.

Display comparative data visually with data bars

Use the Format Painter to apply one control’s conditional formatting to another control.

Copy the conditional formatting of a control

Improve the appearance of database objects

Create a more professional-looking application by using Office Themes, images, and layout features.



See how layouts help you align and resize many controls at the same time.

Video: Introduction to form and report layouts

Learn some basic features of Layout View, and how to use it to build professional-looking forms and reports.

Know when to use Layout view in Access 2010

Make sure data is entered in the correct format

Learn how to use input masks and validation rules so that data is formatted correctly at the point of entry.



Make sure that data is entered in the correct format by specifying which characters or numbers are allowed.

Control data entry formats with input masks

Make sure that valid data is entered by using a logical expression.

Restrict data input by using a validation rule

Learn about file formats

Learn how to save databases in earlier file formats, or upgrade older databases to the newer format.



Set an option so that new databases are saved in an earlier file format.

Change the default file format

Convert older .mdb files to the newer .accdb file format.

Convert a database to the .accdb file format

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