Field Types Field types have been discussed previously, but Access has a few more options associated with the main types - these are detailed below: Integers: Short integer Long integer Integers are whole numbers, and integer variables are used when you know there is never going to be anything after the decimal point, e.g. if you're writing a lottery ball generator, all the balls have whole numbers on them. The difference between short integers, integers and long integers is the number of used to store them - if you're going to be dealing with large numbers, then select Long Integer. Remember that number fields allow you to enter numbers only - if you want to include spaces or punctuation, choose text. Floating point: Single Double Floating point numbers are ones that contain fractional parts - i.e. they are not whole numbers. The single and double quantifiers are analogous to the short and long quantifiers used with integers - i.e. they indicate how many bits are used to store the variable. Floating point arithmetic can lead to problems with rounding and precision, so if you're dealing with a limited number of decimal places, it is probably more efficient to use integers and multiply all your values by a power of 10. Boolean (yes/no) A Boolean variable can store one of two values - either TRUE or FALSE. This is actually stored as an integer - in VisualBASIC, for example, FALSE is 0 and TRUE is -1, and you can use these values in calculations. Strings: text memo Strings are variables that contain text, and they come in two sorts. With a text field, you declare how many characters the string is going to hold in the properties at the bottom of the screen. The maximum number of characters is 255. A memo field is a effectively a text field of (practically) unlimited length - this is good for adding fields to your database for notes, etc., but will be less efficient for fields containing just a few characters. Dates There are various date formats that control the way in which the date appears - they have no effect on the way in which it is stored. However, be careful when using the Now() function - it stores the time as well as the date and can upset any queries using dates. It's probably better to use Date().