How to Expand a Text Field in Microsoft Access


Maximize the use of your Microsoft Access tables by setting properties that fulfill your needs. Text fields limit the number of characters you can input into a record. Having a maximum character limit set at 50 works well if you have a short field, such as a company name. But if you want to include longer sets of information for writing notes, access the table properties to change the character limit. You can also change the field type to allow even more characters per field.

  • Open your Access table in "Design View" by right-clicking the title in the Navigation Pane and selecting "Design View". This view allows you to make changes to the content, layout and format of your table. Click on the text field that you want to expand.

  • Change the character limit under the "Field Size" text box in the Field Properties options. You can set the maximum number of characters from one to 255 characters. If you need to input more than 255 characters, you can change the data type from "Text" to "Memo" which has a larger character limit.

  • Click on the "Data Type" drop-down box in the "Design View" of the table and select "Memo". Since you are changing your field between two text-based fields your data should remain intact. Click CTRL+ S to save the changes to your table and review changes by switching to "Datasheet View".

Tips & Warnings

  • As a precaution back up your Access database before making any changes to the field types in your table.


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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