Plan data types

Data types help keep your data accurate.

Each field receives a data type

After you list the fields in each table, you need to decide on a data type for each field. A data type is a property that controls what you can and can't enter into a field.

For example, if you want to store textual data such as names and addresses, you set your fields to the Text data type. If you want to store dates and times, you set the field to the Date/Time data type.

Data types are a standard for all relational databases, and they help ensure accurate data entry. For example, you can't enter a name in a field set to contain dates and times. What's more, data types also help you control the size of your database, because they control the sizes of your fields. You won't waste space putting a small amount of text in a large field.

Access makes it easy to set data types, and you'll see how during the practice. For now, as you list your fields, note the data type for each. You'll find a complete list of data types in the Quick Reference Card at the end of this course.

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