Change the Field Size

How to Change the Field Size in Access

Change the Field Size

The Field Size property determines the maximum size of information that can be stored in a text or number field. For example, if you set the size of a text field to 2, you could enter “MN” but not “Minnesota.” There are several reasons why you would want to change the size of a field:

  • Changing the field size to only allow for what is necessary reduces data-entry errors.
  • Access can process smaller field sizes more quickly.
  • Smaller field sizes require less hard drive storage space.

While Field Size determines the maximum number of characters in a text field, in a numerical field, it determines the number type.

  1. In Design View, select the field whose size you want to change.
  2. Click the Field Size box and type or select the field size. If prompted, click Yes to complete the action.

    Be very careful when changing the Field Size of a field that already contains data. Access will truncate or delete data that is larger than the new field size.

    Change the Field Size
Number Field Sizes
Byte Integers from 0 to 255. Very small – not usually a good choice.
Integer Integers from -32,768 to 32,767. Works for most numbers without decimals.
Long Integer Integers from -2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647. Works for most numbers without decimals.
Single Positive or negative numbers up to 38 zeroes and 7 decimal places. Good for large numbers with decimals.
Double Positive or negative numbers up to 308 zeroes and 15 decimal places. For really big numbers with decimals.
Replication ID Long unique codes. Used when you want to merge copies of a database.
Decimal Positive or negative numbers up to 28 zeroes and 28 decimal places. Good for numbers with a lot of decimals.

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