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Access Beginner Level 9

Beginner Microsoft Access Tutorial - 1 Hour, 24 Minutes
This Microsoft Access video tutorial picks up where Level 8 left off. This class covers tracking a contact history for your customers. We will also spend a lot of time on designing reports from scratch.
  - Tracking Contact History
  - Data Integrity
  - Report Design From Scratch
  - String Concatenation
  - Report vs. Page Header & Footer
  - Can Grow / Can Shrink Properties
  - Records from a Specific Date
  - Explicit Query Parameters
  - Report Formatting

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If you would like a preview of what's covered in this class,
click here to watch the first and last lessons of this course (free of charge), or scroll down for more information.


Access 2010 Beginner Level 9
Description: Access 2010 Beginner Level 9
Versions: Recorded with Microsoft Access 2010
Works fine with Access 2013 and 2007
Pre-Requisites: Access 2010 Beginner Level 8
Running Time: 1 Hour, 24 Minutes
Cost: $14.99

This class picks up where Level 8 left off. We will focus primarily on tracking a contact history for your customers and designing reports from scratch. We begin by setting up a contact table and a simple contact form for data entry. We will discuss data integrity and how poorly entered data will make a mess of your database.


Next we'll create a contact query. You'll see how to hide duplicate fields with the Show Box. We'll generate a list of contacts from one specific date using an inequality, and we'll discuss how the BETWEEN keyword isn't always the best thing to use. You will learn how to declare explicit query paramters.


Next we'll begin building a contact report from scratch. The built-in report wizards and quick-report creators will only get you so far. You'll learn about the page header and page footer, the detail section, print preview, problems with the layout view, and how to remove the borders from around a text box. You'll learn how to set your report in portrait or landscape view, set the margins and paper size, add horizontal lines, and how to print your report.


Continuing on with our contact report, you'll learn how to use the Can Grow and Can Shrink properties to make sure the proper amount of space is reserved for your fields. You'll learn about String Concatenation to take two fields (such as First Name and Last Name) and put them together into one. You'll learn what the Trim function does.


Finally, you'll learn a ton of different report formatting techniques, including changing the alternate row background color (or removing it), HTML color codes, line thickness, line type, section background colors, the difference between the page header/footer and the report header/footer, how to set up page numbering, and more.


Of course, if you have any questions about whether or not this class is for you, please contact me.


Complete Outline - Access 2010 Beginner Level 9

00. Intro (6:26)

01. Contact Table & Form (12:48)
What is a Contact
Why not use a Memo field?
Create Contact Table
Review of Now() Function
Create Contact Form
Enter Data into Contact Form
Notice Poor Data Integrity

02. Contact Query (11:39)
Bring in All Fields "ContactT.*"
Duplicate Fields
Show Box to Hide Column
Records from a Single Date
=#11/24/12# doesn't work
Between Keyword doesn't work
Inequality works
Today's Contacts with Date()
Yesterdays Contacts Date()-1
[Enter Date] in multiple places
Explicit Query Parameters

03. Contact Report 1 (14:54)
Building a Report from Scratch
Page Header, Footer
Detail Section
Print Preview
Problems with Layout View
Remove Box Borders
Transparent Shape Outline
Portrait vs. Landscape View
Horizontal Line
SHIFT to keep line strait
Printing Reports
04. Contact Report 2 (13:44)
Switch back to Portrait
Can Grow, Can Shrink
Force exact size for reports
String Concatenation
FirstName & LastName in Query
Trim Function
Concatenation in Report Fields
LastName, FirstName in Report

05. Miscellaneous (17:11)
Alternate Back Color
HTML Color Codes
Light Gray Line
Line Thickness
Line Type
Section Background Colors
Page Header vs. Report Header
Page Numbering
Page [Page] [Pages]
Report Footer
Confidentiality Notice
Add Buttons to Main Menu

06. Review (6:50)


Keywords: Contact History, Explicit Query Parameters, Report Design, Can Grow, Can Shrink, microsoft access tutorial, microsoft access 2010 tutorial, microsoft access 2010 training, data integrity, show box, hide fields, records from specific date, page header, page footer, print preview, transparent, shape outline, portrait, landscape, margins, horizontal line, printing reports, string concatenation, trim function, alternate back color, html color codes, line thickness, line type, background color, report header, report footer

Student Interaction: Access 2010 Beginner 9

Richard on 11/25/2012:  This Microsoft Access video tutorial picks up where Level 8 left off. This class focuses on creating a contact history for our customers and designing reports from scratch. - Tracking Contact History - Data Integrity - Report Design From Scratch - String Concatenation - Report vs. Page Header & Footer - Can Grow / Can Shrink Properties - Records from a Specific Date - Explicit Query Parameters - Report Formatting Click here for more information on Access 2010 Beginner Level 9, including a course outline, sample videos, and more.
James Fisher on 11/26/2012: what a great class this was Richard. Reallyu good report deign skills. You make it look very easy

Reply from Richard Rost:

Thanks, James. Your feedback means a lot to me.

Vannak Hou on 11/29/2012: I'm ready for the Expert class (the relational database). Let me know when the videos are done. I am familiar with SQL (50%). I really like your lessons. I have learned a lot about Access 2010.

Reply from Richard Rost:

Thanks for the compliment. Expert lessons are coming VERY soon. If you don't want to wait, you can always watch my Access 201 (for 2003) lesson. See this video for details.

Gregory J Smith on 1/17/2013: Great course - I look forward to following the expert classes.
Joe Franett on 1/24/2013: This was the best computer course I've ever taken on-line or in class. Very nicely done, easy to follow, simple to go back for a second look and the exact information I need to create an Access data base for work. I'm looking forward to Expert 1.

Reply from Richard Rost:

Thank you, Joe. Your compliments mean the world to me. Expert 1 should be out very soon. In the mean time, see THIS video.

C Johnston on 2/14/2013: Brilliant! Looking forward to the Expert levels.

Reply from Richard Rost:

Thanks. Expert Level 1 is out now. X2 should be out in a day or two.

yifan zhang on 2/15/2013: Sorry, forget about the question i just sent. i have found that [Tab Order] from drop down manu.
Lisa A on 3/5/2013: Great courses, Richard! I appreciate the way you break up the lessons and that the lessons are not overly long in duration. It is a very easy way to learn. I have completed the Beginner courses and ready to start the Expert classes. I already have Expert level 1. Please let me know when the other levels are available. Thanks! Lisa

Reply from Richard Rost:

Thanks for the compliments, Lisa. Expert 2 should be out today or tomorrow.

Chrisantha Dias on 3/6/2013: I am studying the Access 2010 Beginner 9
Contact Table & Form. After completing the Form and when start to input data into the name (First, Last) record (Joe Jones) ContactID becomes 2. My question is why the ContactID becomes 2 instead of 1. Time Index 08:37.

Reply from Richard Rost:

I don't understand the question. Can you elaborate, please? Are you saying that your first record is ID #2? If so, then you must have already had an ID #1 and deleted it. Autonumbers are never reused.

Chrisantha D on 3/8/2013: No Sir, I am talking about the Access 2010 Beginner Level 9 first chapter Contact Table & Form. In this chapter after completing the form and when you start to input the data Contact ID automatically becomes 2. Please refer to the Contact Table & Form video Time Index start at 08:34 minutes. I would like to know why it becomes 2 instead of 1.

Reply from Richard Rost:

Ah. Good point. I'm glad you brought this up. There was probably a record that was inserted in there - either when I was making the table or first finished the form - that you didn't see because it was OFF CAMERA. I might have inserted a temp record and then deleted it to move forward. Or I might have made a mistake while recording and deleted it and re-recorded. In any case, that record is gone and that Autonumber will never be used again. The bottom line is that YOU should never have to worry what those Autonumbers are. They're meaningless for any HUMAN purposes. The only reason they matter is for forming RELATIONSHIPS between tables - which we cover in the next class: Access Expert Level 1.

Brian Keeney on 4/8/2013: Hi Richard, I am formatting a report and I need to place a disclaimer and signature/Date box behind the first and last reports only however, Access by default wants to place these boxes behind each report which is much to redundant. What do I need to do in formatting to accomplish this?
Thank you, Brian

Reply from Richard Rost:

Do you mean first and last PAGES of a single REPORT only? If so, you could use the Report Header & Footer. The Report HEADER goes at the top of each REPORT (not each page) and the Report FOOTER goes at the END of the report (but not at the bottom of each page).

Leo Morales on 4/30/2013: When putting in the string of instructions to include a Full Name field to include first and last name,(concatenation the application asks me for Full Name and First name instead of following the instructions to make a single field into the First and last Name. I have Access 2007 and you are teaching with Access 2010 (if that makes any difference).

Reply from Richard Rost:

That trick works all the way back in the earliest versions of Access. You likely have something spelled wrong.

Patricia Clark on 5/7/2013: at 11:25 of Acces 9 Review you discuss page numbering. I was wondering if Access drops the page number if there is only one page; if so, can it be forced?

Reply from Richard Rost:

Access only puts numbering on a page if you tell it to.

Patricia Clark on 5/7/2013: RE: Page Number--found my problem. The "Visible" was set to "no" in the Page Footer Properties. Is this a default setting that we need to reset each time we add page footers?

Reply from Richard Rost:

Generally, no. Sections shouldn't be set to invisible unless you set them yourself. Perhaps you accidentally marked it No.

Maureen Geisinger on 5/31/2013: I am working on Beginners Lesson 9 ..Contact Table and Form ... Creating a form (Form Review ..12:48) .. my property sheet doesn't pop up like in the video .. i did exactly what I saw the instructor do (at least I thought I did) :) ...please help! thankyou

Maureen Geisinger on 6/4/2013: Ok - i just finished Contact Report 1 (Access Beginner 9) ... and when I print preview, only one record shows up- I have about 10 in my list. .. thank you

Reply from Richard Rost:

Without seeing your database, it's impossible for me to tell you what's wrong. Did you do everything EXACTLY as I did in the video? Mine works. What did you skip / miss / do differently? :)

Carolyn Cwik on 6/10/2013: I am doing a report on different types of customers. I have a customer type table. How do I show the text rather than the customertypeID number?

Reply from Richard Rost:

Hide the key column when you create the combo box. This is an option in the wizard if your combo box is based on a table. If it's based on a query, you need to manually set the column width to 0".

Fernando Figueroa on 6/16/2013: Can I bring in a report in a column format instead of a row format?
Brian Merrick on 7/3/2013: Can you create a form without creating a table?

Reply from Richard Rost:

Sure. You can create an UNBOUND FORM, but it won't be able to store data.

Elaine Boffing on 7/29/2013: I have enjoyed your lessons very much. I have created a simple date base to record patient charts in storage. Some staff entering information have not capitalized names. Is there a way to force either all caps or at least first letter caps. I am finding the non caps are not in ABC order. Also can I write a query to look for those errors to correct them.

Reply from Richard Rost:

There are a couple of ways you can do this. You can use the INPUT MASK property to force characters to upper case as they're entered:


You could also use the UCASE function in an AfterUpdate event for your form field to perform the conversion too. I generally go with this route.

You can use something called PROPER CASE to make the first letter of each WORD capitalized. That's a bit more tricky. I cover that in Access 222.

As far as fixing all of the records you currently have, that's possible with the UCASE function again, and an UPDATE QUERY.

Joyce B on 8/26/2013: This course has been great! Currently I am building a database for my kids school for fund raising. When generating a report can a sort be done so that the report when generated groups the information and page breaks to the next group of information. Would that need to be in the query prior to creating the report?

Reply from Richard Rost:

Yes, you need to set the FORCE NEW PAGE AFTER SECTION property of the group to YES. I cover this in Expert 6.

Christine Evans on 9/6/2013: Rick,
At 4:45 you're talking about getting a specific date range in your query.
Could you use a wildcard (i.e. *Date()* or *[Enter Date]* ) to just get all of the date/times for the current date?

Reply from Richard Rost:

Sure can. See Access Beginner 5.

Lynda Chase on 11/2/2013: Can you change the default font that is used for all access databases?
Lynda Chase on 11/2/2013: Hi Again, Is there a way to put 'conditional' formatting on a form, so say if a customer is 'active' the form will be blue, but if they are inactive it will be a different colour?
Kerwin Tarroza on 11/17/2013: Hi, For making a report, how do you make print only for the selected customer and not all customer on your table or form?
Alex Hedley on 11/23/2013: Check out this tip on how to Open a Report and Find Specific Data to Display
terrye benjamin on 2/10/2014: When do you discuss Data Access Pages & Modules? Never did learn about then in Access 2003. Did they disappear or are they called something else?
Pamela S Yoma on 2/10/2014: Best video tutorial I've seen. I was just looking for a beginner class but you did such a great job that I think I could do more :)
William Conley on 6/11/2014: I created a print preview button for a report and for some reason Access locks up until I click somewhere outside of the data base program (my desk top). It appears like the macro doesn't know to stop?
lauro cecilio on 6/13/2014: Richard, re: M.Access2010 Beginner 9 for DateTimeField (time 10:30)
Can we format/change the DateTime 6/19/2007 5:34:23 PM to 6/19/2007 1724 --- military time instead of 5:34 PM (hh/nn) AM/PM

Reply from Richard Rost:

Sure. Try: mm/dd/yyyy hhnn

Richard W on 6/25/2014: Great course and very helpful. However, I want to build a FullName with a MiddleName, but some people don't have middle names or Initials. I get two spaces when I add the MiddleName field and it is blank. Is there a way to "trim" out those spaces? I thought zero length might work, but alas . . .

Reply from Richard Rost:

There's a little trick that I teach in my SQL Seminar that if you use the + sign instead of & it will automatically turn a NULL+" " into just a NULL (because if you add NULL to anything, it's NULL).

For example, if you have:


If you say:

FullName: [FirstName] & " " & [MiddleName] & " " & [LastName]

You get:

Joe A Smith
Peter Watson

Notice the two spaces between Peter and Watson because MiddleName was NULL, but you're still adding spaces around it. Now, if you change the equation to this:

FullName: [FirstName] & (" "+[MiddleName]) & " " & [LastName]

This says to ADD the space to MiddleName using STRING ADDITION, not CONCATENATION. It's slightly different in how it's treated, but the benefit is that if you have a NULL value, that equates to NULL. (Null plus anything is Null). Now you get:

Joe A Smith
Peter Watson

This would probably make a good tip video, huh? :)

Richard Wilson on 6/26/2014: Excellent tip. And it WOULD make a grfeat TV tip. There are, perhaps, a lot of people who need to use truly full names. Trim works to get rid of extra spaces if you us a Prefix and Suffix and either or both is empty. And it works . . . most of the time!!! Some time -- in the same table -- I get two spaces, but MOSTLY I get just one. Thanks a bunch.
lauro c on 7/8/2014: thanks Rich: the military time worked fine using hhnn after the mm/dd/yyyy
Lori Cave on 7/11/2014: Hi there, Can you tell me how to number my data listed in a report? I do not want the ID numbers from the tables, but I want a chronologically numbered report so that I can also create a total at the bottom of the report.
Michelle Arieux on 8/10/2014: How do you maintain field input mask creating a string concatenation field. Example: I want a field to show Phone Info as such: Home - (123) 456-7890 instead of Home - 1234567890

Reply from Richard Rost:

You can just use a simple input mask or format to display numbers that way - what do you mean about the concatenation?

Michelle A on 8/11/2014: Example: I have 1 field on a table that has the phone number using the phone number input mask and another field that has the phone type (ie Home, Work, Cell). I created a new field using string concatenation to combine the two but the input mask does not hold for the phone number. I wanted to do this so I can use the new field on reports to combine phone type and phone number.

Reply from Richard Rost:

Input masks won't work that way. The field has to be uniform. You'll have to use the FORMAT() function when you concatenate two fields together like that. Access Expert 11, Lesson 3. Something like:

NewField: Format(Phone1,"###-###-####") & " " & Format(Phone2,"###-###-####")

shawn mccune on 8/25/2014: This may be repeating but will beginner and expert classes give you the expertise to work in the field as a database operator? I assume so or is it better to on to advanced and then develper?

Reply from Richard Rost:

If you want a job as a database OPERATOR (someone who USES Access and does some SIMPLE design work) then sure, you should be able to work WITH an Access database by the time you're finished with the Expert series.

If you want a job as a database DEVELOPER (someone who BUILDS Access databases for others) then you will definitely need my Advanced and Developer lessons.

John Hirschy on 9/13/2014: I would also like an answer to this question for Access 2013. I cannot find an answer on Google. I would like the default font changed for the whole database, not just a text field.

Reply from Richard Rost:

I believe that's a WINDOWS system setting. Change the default system font in your control panel.

simon b on 9/14/2014: There would appear to be only two settings in Access 2013 to change the anything to do with the font.
Access options
Default font

here you can change the font size weight and make it underline or italic
But as Richard says the font type is a windows setting.

You can under Object Designers settings change the font type ad size of a Query design but thats about it.

Craig Brown on 12/7/2014: Richard:
I've always said you are a gifted teacher.
I really appreciate how you explain multiple times as you are demonstrating. I don't learn at a fast pace so this really helps me. Plus I can stop and replay.
Thanks for all your hard work.

Luis Cruz on 12/12/2014: how can i fix my cell for home phone number
everything looks fine but when i need to print it is missing the last digit ofthe phone
is readed as 951-123-4567
but to print it it shows
951-123-456 missing (7)
please help me out

Reply from Alex Hedley:

Have you set a format on the label in the report?
You might need to change the width of the control showing the value.

Steve Reed on 1/27/2015: Level 9, Lesson 1
When I click on "Add Existing Properties" and get the Field List, I can highlight, but I cannot drag the items over into my Form??

Reply from Alex Hedley:

Do you mean Add Existing Fields?

What is showing in the Field List in the Property Sheet?
Have you set the Record Source of the Form to your Table/Query?

Steve Reed on 1/27/2015: Never mind, I had to bring one over first, and then I was able to bring the others over.
Aaron Chapman on 2/3/2015: I setup the full name field in my query as instructed in this lesson, then added that field to my form. I then set a default value in the properties for that full name field to one employee so that he doesn't have to keep typing his name in the field for every record he adds. When I try to add a new record, though, Access opens a window that says, "Field cannot be updated." When I click okay, I can then continue on but the full name field is blank.

Reply from Alex Hedley:

Was it the Default Value you set or the Control Source?
With it being joined you may need to set the Default Vaule of the First and Last name fields so the query joins them

Aaron C on 2/4/2015: It was the default value in the text box properties of the "FullName" field. The control source is "FullName" and it gets that from the concatenated field I set up in the query. I tried to set the default value of the first and last name fields but with the same effect. Thanks for your help.

Reply from Alex Hedley:

Did you remove Default Value of the FullName and just set First/Last?

Aaron Chapman on 2/4/2015: Yes, I did. The default value for first and last name are set in the query. I no longer get the "field cannot be update" message but when I click the command button to create a new record on the form, the "fullname" field still goes blank and it doesn't allow me to type anything in the box. Sorry, I'm still pretty new at Access.

Reply from Alex Hedley:

A record isn't created until you add some data
You won't now need to type into the Full Name this will be created automatically
Just add another field you would usually fill in.

Aaron C on 2/5/2015: Thanks, Alex. That worked.

Reply from Alex Hedley:


Brian Merrick on 4/15/2015: I have a question about access. I have created a database for our trouble logs. When I open a call I want it to remain in the main menu when the call is open and I can go into the call and click on the open call and update it and close it. Do you explain it through your lessons?

Reply from Alex Hedley:

Can I clarify, you always want the main menu to stay open and from that open a call, work on it, close it and have the main menu there to work on another?

If so yes, you can use a macro or VBA to open another form, you don't need to close the Main Menu if you don't want to.

Brian M on 4/16/2015: My answer is yes. I want to be looking at the main menu and be able to open/close calls. I want the open calls to be displayed so i know what calls are still open. I can click on the call in the main menu and it open to a form and allows me to close it.

Reply from Alex Hedley:

Do you mean Open/Closed as call Status?
If so I misread your question.
Here just use a Query that has a Criteria of Status='Open'
Then when you are working on a ticket, changed the status, close the Form and Requery your list.
These techniques are covered in the series. If you need more pointers let us know.

Wayne Markel on 5/11/2015: You mentioned that you will address in a future lesson how to deal with "hanging" commas when using [LastName] & "," & [FirstName]. Which lesson is that?

Reply from Alex Hedley:

It might be Expert 25
This deals with String concatenation.

Casey K. on 6/8/2015: I am following along using Access 2013. I am still getting two dialog boxes prompting me to enter date when trying to run the query even after assigning an explicit query parameter to [Enter Date]. Can you explain why this might be happening?

6/8/2015 8:47:09 AM

Reply from Alex Hedley:

So you declared it in the Query Parameters popup box under show/hide?

If you change to SQL View what does it say?

PARAMETERS [Enter Date] DateTime;

Marjorie Kovacs on 7/31/2015: How do I get the data description in my reports and queries from my combo boxes? When you enter the data in the forms the description is shown but the table, reports and queries show instead the bound column that is using the auto number ID. I absolutely love the lessons and have learned so much!!

Reply from Alex Hedley:

This is where you can make a Query that Joins your two Tables on this ID column and bring through the text you wish to show instead of the ID.

Marjorie K on 8/4/2015: Is there a lesson that shows an example of this?

Reply from Alex Hedley:

Expert 1 starts with Relationships

Robert Wiebel on 8/27/2015: I am using 2007 2013 - I get the parameter error message because FirstName and LastName are already field names.

Reply from Alex Hedley:

I'm not sure what your question is?

Christopher Sherman on 9/28/2015: The beginner session was excellent. I have no experience in access before this course and I am interested in starting a data base for my child track club. I understand the members data base information but I do not see how to relate the # of track meets/year, data for each meet and data in years to come.
What sessions in the expert do I need to do to cover those functions.

Reply from Alex Hedley:

Expert 1 covers Relationships then work you way on from there.

Deborah Sisco on 11/20/2015: Thank you for all your help in the Beginners Class....Love the way you teach.
John Slaugh on 12/17/2015: I'm using Access 2013. When I set the Design Section Can Grow Can Shrink options to yes, press save, then select Print Preview, the extra space between records with no notes does not shrink. If I manually move the Footer bar up to the bottom of the notes field, the Print Preview looks fine (extra space is gone).

Reply from Alex Hedley:

Do you have any other fields close by or overlapping, I'm sure that sometimes causes issues.

Adrian Clarke on 4/13/2016: 2 questions
I have a form which in design view is small, but when I go to Form view it occupies the whole screen, also the footer is way down the page. Is there a way to set the height and width of the actual form?

2. I run a catering company and I am attempting to set up a customer data base which links to a customer invoice data base. My clients book way in advance and pay a deposit, then they might make a interim payment and then after the event a final payment. My problem is that on the invoice DB they have three invoices, whereas it would be great if I could set up a invoice which would have the total cost of the event, the food they are eating and at the bottom a list of payments made on the date that I received the payments. Is this possible?

Reply from Alex Hedley:

See this glossary item.

I'd create another table that stores the payments, you could then add it as a subform to your main form and add them linking on an InvoiceID.

james lai on 4/27/2016: Hi Rich.

I have a special design a layout on my Forms. But when i copy and past that design into new Report, I notice that all fields are not in the fields like shown in the Forms.

Do i have to redone the Reports like i am doing on the the forms?



Reply from Alex Hedley:

Some formatting copies over and others don't, since they are different objects, there might be some tweaking needed.

Barbara Hayes on 5/24/2016: At about 10m46s you were able to run the query, type in the month and day once, and a report was created. I followed the steps, defined the [Enter Date] parameter, and it is still asking me for a 2nd date. I am running Access2013. Do I need to do something special in the parameter definition so it stores what I enter?

Reply from Alex Hedley:

Do both have the same words in between []?

Barbara Hayes on 5/24/2016: Please disregard my question about the [Enter Date] parameter. It helps if the parameter is typed exactly the same both times. :-)
Anonymous on 6/1/2016: Beginning at 10:07 or so, you suggested formatting the date to exclude the seconds. I typed everything you said to do, but when I went to the date/time format field, there was not a drop-down list from which to choose. (I'm not sure this has anything to do with the next problem.) I typed the "mm/dd/yy hh:nn am/pm" as you said to do. I went to Print Preview and the seconds remained on the time. They did not disappear. What do you suggest I do?

Reply from Alex Hedley:

Is the Field a DateTime field in the Table?
Were you selecting the correct field on the Form?
Try deleting and re-aading it to the Form.

Dan G on 9/26/2016: Can you provide more detail on the INPUT MASK for ALL CAPS. I have a SHORT TEXT field that I want to force the users to only input capitalized words. The entries could be anywhere from a few letters to almost 100. The example above seems to lock them at 14.

Reply from Alex Hedley:

Why not just use a UCASE on the Form when you save it.


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