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Microsoft Access DLOOKUP Function

Looking Up a Value from a Table or Query

Q: I have a service call form where I track service calls for each customer. I can pick a customer from a combo box, like you covered in your relational combo box tutorial. Now, however, I'd like to know how to automatically set the address of the service call to the customer's current address - but I need to be able to change it if necessary, so I can't just show the customer's address. Help!

A: In order to do this, you're going to need a little bit of VBA programming. Now, if you've never done any VBA programming before, I strongly recommend you start by taking my Access 301 tutorial. I cover all of the basics (no pun intended) of VBA programming with Access.

Now, there is a special function called DLOOKUP (short for Domain Lookup) which lets you look up a value in a table or query. For your example, you need to look up the Address, City, and State fields (and ZIP code if you have it) from your customer table where the CustomerID is the same as the CustomerID on your service form - or in this case, the value in your CustomerCombo box since you're picking from a list.

Here's how the DLOOKUP function works:

=DLOOKUP (Field, Domain, Criteria)

The Field is simply any field you want to return the value of: Address, City, State, ZIP, etc. The Domain is any table or query where your data resides. The Criteria allows you to tell DLOOKUP which record to return.

For example, if you want to get the last name of the customer whos ID is 5, then you'd say:

=DLOOKUP ("LastName", "CustomerT", "CustomerID=5")

Since you're working with a service call form and the value of the CustomerID is in a combo box called CustomerCombo, you'd use the following line to get the selected customer's Address:

=DLOOKUP ("Address", "CustomerT", "CustomerID=" & CustomerCombo)

When you put this in the AfterUpdate event for the CustomerCombo, the Address field can be automatically populated on your form. Then, just add in DLOOKUP statements for any other fields like City or State that you might need.

Here's a screen shot from one of my tutorials. The address fields are automatically populated when the customer is changed using the combo box.


Here is a FREE VIDEO TUTORIAL that will walk you through this topic in detail.

I teach the concepts in this free mini tutorial in my Access 302 course. These are full courses - over 60 minutes in length each. I spend a lot more time going over how to do this, in addition to lots more tips and tricks.

UPDATE: The DLOOKUP function was also recently covered again in my Access 2013 Expert Level 10 class.


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