Text and Memo data types (Format property)

Applies to: Access 2013 | Access 2016

Use special symbols in the setting for the Format property to create custom formats for Text and Memo fields.


You can create custom text and memo formats by using the following symbols.

Symbol Description
@ Text character (either a character or a space) is required.
& Text character is not required.
< Force all characters to lowercase.
> Force all characters to uppercase.

Custom formats for Text and Memo fields can have up to two sections. Each section contains the format specification for different data in a field.

Section Description
First Format for fields with text.
Second Format for fields with zero-length strings and Null values.

For example, if you have a text box control in which you want the word "None" to appear when there is no string in the field, you could type the custom format @;"None" as the control's Format property setting. The @ symbol causes the text from the field to be displayed; the second section causes the word "None" to appear when there is a zero-length string or Null value in the field.


Use the Format function to return one value for a zero-length string and another for a Null value, and you can similarly use the Format property to automatically format fields in table Datasheet view or controls on a form or report.


The following are examples of text and memo custom formats.

Setting Data Display
@@@-@@-@@@@ 465043799 465-04-3799
@@@@@@@@@ 465-04-3799 465043799 465-04-3799 465043799
< davolio DAVOLIO Davolio davolio davolio davolio
@;"Unknown" Null value Unknown
Zero-length string Unknown
Any text Same text as entered is displayed

See also

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