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ApplyFilter Macro Action

Office 2007

You can use the ApplyFilter action to apply a filter, a query, or an SQL WHERE clause to a table, form, or report to restrict or sort the records in the table, or the records from the underlying table or query of the form or report. For reports, you can use this action only in a macro specified by the report's OnOpen event property.

 Note   You can use this action to apply an SQL WHERE clause only when applying a server filter. A server filter cannot be applied to a stored procedure's record source.


The ApplyFilter action has the following arguments.

Action argumentDescription
Filter NameThe name of a filter or query that restricts or sorts the records of the table, form, or report. You can enter the name of either an existing query or a filter that has been saved as a query in the Filter Name box in the Action Arguments section of the Macro Builder pane.

 Note   When you are using this action to apply a server filter, the Filter Name argument must be blank.

Where ConditionA valid SQL WHERE clause (without the word WHERE) or an expression that restricts the records of the table, form, or report.

 Note   In a Where Condition argument expression, the left side of the expression typically contains a field name from the underlying table or query for the form or report. The right side of the expression typically contains the criteria you want to apply to this field to restrict or sort the records. For example, the criteria can be the name of a control on another form that contains the value you want the records in the first form to match. The name of the control should be fully qualified, for example:


Field names should be surrounded by double quotation marks and string literals should be surrounded by single quotation marks.

The maximum length of the Where Condition argument is 255 characters. If you need to enter a longer SQL WHERE clause, use the ApplyFilter method of the DoCmd object in a Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) module. You can enter SQL WHERE clause statements of up to 32,768 characters in VBA.

 Note   You can use the Filter Name argument if you have already defined a filter that provides the appropriate data. You can use the Where Condition argument to enter the restriction criteria directly. If you use both arguments, Microsoft Office Access 2007 applies the WHERE clause to the results of the filter. You must use one or both arguments.


You can apply a filter or query to a form in Form view or Datasheet view.

The filter and WHERE condition you apply become the setting of the form's or report's Filter or ServerFilter property.

For tables and forms, this action is similar to clicking Apply Filter/Sort or Apply Server Filter on the Records menu. The menu command applies the most recently created filter to the table or form, whereas the ApplyFilter action applies a specified filter or query.

In an Access database, if you point to Filter on the Records menu and then click Advanced Filter/Sort after running the ApplyFilter action, the Advanced Filter/Sort window shows the filter criteria you have selected with this action.

To remove a filter and display all of the records for a table or form in an Office Access 2007 database, you can use the ShowAllRecords action or the Remove Filter/Sort command on the Records menu. To remove a filter in an Access project (.adp), you can return to the Server Filter By Form window and remove all filter criteria and then click Apply Server Filter on the Records menu on the toolbar, or set the ServerFilterByForm property to False (0).

When you save a table or form, Access saves any filter currently defined in that object, but won't apply the filter automatically the next time the object is opened (although it will automatically apply any sort you applied to the object before it was saved). If you want to apply a filter automatically when a form is first opened, specify a macro containing the ApplyFilter action or an event procedure containing the ApplyFilter method of the DoCmd object as the OnOpen event property setting of the form. You can also apply a filter by using the OpenForm or OpenReport action, or their corresponding methods. To apply a filter automatically when a table is first opened, you can open the table by using a macro containing the OpenTable action, followed immediately by the ApplyFilter action.


The following macro contains a set of actions, each of which filters the records for a Customer Phone List form. It shows the use of the ApplyFilter, ShowAllRecords, and GoToControl actions. It also shows the use of conditions to determine which toggle button in an option group has been selected on the form. Each action row is associated with a toggle button that selects the set of records starting with A, B, C, and so on, or all records. This macro should be attached to the AfterUpdate event of the CompanyNameFilter option group.

ConditionActionArguments: SettingComment
[CompanyNameFilters]=1ApplyFilterWhere Condition: [CompanyName] Like "[AÀÁÂÃÄ]*"Filter for company names that start with A, À, Á, Â, Ã, or Ä.
[CompanyNameFilters]=2ApplyFilterWhere Condition: [CompanyName] Like "B*"Filter for company names that start with B.
[CompanyNameFilters]=3ApplyFilterWhere Condition: [CompanyName] Like "[CÇ]*"Filter for company names that start with C or Ç.

... Action rows for D through Y have the same format as A through C ...

[CompanyNameFilters]=26ApplyFilterWhere Condition: [CompanyName] Like "[ZÆØÅ]*"Filter for company names that start with Z, Æ, Ø, or Å.
[CompanyNameFilters]=27ShowAllRecords Show all records.
[RecordsetClone].[RecordCount]>0GoToControlControl Name: CompanyNameIf records are returned for the selected letter, move focus to the CompanyName control.