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Using “Check for Truncated Number Fields” for Partially Displayed Numerical Values in Microsoft Access

Provided by Molly Pell, Technical Project Manager

Displaying Truncated Numbers is Dangerous

In Microsoft Access 2003 or earlier, you may have seen truncated numbers on forms or reports, and not realized that you weren’t seeing the full value:

Sometimes you can tell the entire number isn't displayed but if the text box is sized "just right", it may not be obvious.

Since the user has no way of knowing that the value they’re seeing is actually missing digits, bad decisions can be made. In the example above, the actual value for “Expense Total” is $15,890.48, but on the form it looks like $5,890.48.

Simple Solution

The obvious solution is to widen the control to show more characters. Unfortunately it doesn't work when the digits exceed what you anticipated.

New Option for Microsoft Access 2007

MS Access 2007 includes a new option to check for truncated number fields, and display pound signs (#) to indicate that the entire value is not shown:

This gives you and your users an obvious indication that the field needs to be widened on the form or report. By clicking in the field, the user can scroll through and see the entire value, so functionality is not lost. We just offer a more visible signal that the data is not completely displayed.

This option is turned on automatically for new databases created in Access 2007, but not for databases that were previously created. This setting is on the Current Database tab of the Access Options form:

Microsoft Access 2007 Option: Check for Truncated Number Fields

Programmatic Setting with SetOption in VBA

This property can also be set programmatically with the SetOption command in VBA. Use following command to set “Check for Truncated Number Fields” to True:

Application.SetOption "CheckTruncatedNumFields", True

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