ComboBox Object (Access)

This object corresponds to a combo box control. The combo box control combines the features of a text box and a list box. Use a combo box when you want the option of either typing a value or selecting a value from a predefined list.





In Form view, Microsoft Access doesn't display the list until you click the combo box's arrow.

If you have Control Wizards on before you select the combo box tool, you can create a combo box with a wizard. To turn Control Wizards on or off, click the Control Wizards tool in the toolbox.

The setting of the LimitToList property determines whether you can enter values that aren't in the list.

The list can be single- or multiple-column, and the columns can appear with or without headings.

Link provided by: Community Member Icon Luke Chung, FMS, Inc. | About the Contributors

Links provided by: Community Member Icon The UtterAccess community | About the Contributors

The following example shows how to use multiple ComboBox controls to supply criteria for a query.

Sample code provided by: Community Member Icon The UtterAccess community | About the Contributors

UtterAccess members can download a database that contains this example from here.

Private Sub cmdSearch_Click()
    Dim db As Database
    Dim qd As QueryDef
    Dim vWhere As Variant
    Set db = CurrentDb()
    On Error Resume Next
    db.QueryDefs.Delete "Query1"
    On Error GoTo 0
    vWhere = Null
    vWhere = vWhere & " AND [PymtTypeID]=" + Me.cboPaymentTypes
    vWhere = vWhere & " AND [RefundTypeID]=" + Me.cboRefundType
    vWhere = vWhere & " AND [RefundCDMID]=" + Me.cboRefundCDM
    vWhere = vWhere & " AND [RefundOptionID]=" + Me.cboRefundOption
    vWhere = vWhere & " AND [RefundCodeID]=" + Me.cboRefundCode
    If Nz(vWhere, "") = "" Then
        MsgBox "There are no search criteria selected." & vbCrLf & vbCrLf & _
        "Search Cancelled.", vbInformation, "Search Canceled."
        Set qd = db.CreateQueryDef("Query1", "SELECT * FROM tblRefundData WHERE " & _
        Mid(vWhere, 6))
        Set db = Nothing
        DoCmd.OpenQuery "Query1", acViewNormal, acReadOnly
    End If
End Sub

The following example shows how to set the RowSource property of a combo box when a form is loaded. When the form is displayed, the items stored in the Departments field of the tblDepartment combo box are displayed in the cboDept combo box.

Sample code provided by: MVP Contributor Bill Jelen, | About the Contributors

Private Sub Form_Load()
    Me.Caption = "Today is " & Format$(Date, "dddd mmm-d-yyyy")
    Me.RecordSource = "tblDepartments"
    txtDept.ControlSource = "Department"
    cmdClose.Caption = "&Close"
    cboDept.RowSourceType = "Table/Query"
    cboDept.RowSource = "SELECT Department FROM tblDepartments"
End Sub

The following example show how to create a combo box that is bound to one column while displaying another. Setting the ColumnCount property to 2 specifies that the cboDept combo box will display the first two columns of the data source specified by the RowSource property. Setting the BoundColumn property to 1 specifies that the value stored in the first column will be returned when you inspect the value of the combo box.

The ColumnWidths property specifies the width of the two columns. By setting the width of the first column to 0in., the first column is not displayed in the combo box.

Sample code provided by: MVP Contributor Bill Jelen, | About the Contributors

Private Sub cboDept_Enter()
    With cboDept
        .RowSource = "SELECT * FROM tblDepartments ORDER BY Department"
        .ColumnCount = 2
        .BoundColumn = 1
        .ColumnWidths = "0in.;1in."
    End With
End Sub

The following example shows how to add an item to a bound combo box.

Sample code provided by: Access 2010 Programmers Reference book cover The Microsoft Access 2010 Programmer’s Reference | About the Contributors

Private Sub cboMainCategory_NotInList(NewData As String, Response As Integer)

    On Error GoTo Error_Handler
    Dim intAnswer As Integer
    intAnswer = MsgBox("""" & NewData & """ is not an approved category. " & vbcrlf _
        & "Do you want to add it now?" _ vbYesNo + vbQuestion, "Invalid Category")

    Select Case intAnswer
        Case vbYes
            DoCmd.SetWarnings False
            DoCmd.RunSQL "INSERT INTO tlkpCategoryNotInList (Category) "
                & _ "Select """ & NewData & """;"
            DoCmd.SetWarnings True
            Response = acDataErrAdded
        Case vbNo
            MsgBox "Please select an item from the list.", _
                vbExclamation + vbOKOnly, "Invalid Entry"
            Response = acDataErrContinue

    End Select

        DoCmd.SetWarnings True
        Exit Sub

        MsgBox Err.Number & ", " & Error Description
        Resume Exit_Procedure

End Sub

Luke Chung is the founder and president of FMS, Inc., a leading provider of custom database solutions and developer tools.

UtterAccess is the premier Microsoft Access wiki and help forum. Click here to join.

Holy Macro! Books publishes entertaining books for people who use Microsoft Office. See the complete catalog at

Wrox Press is driven by the Programmer to Programmer philosophy. Wrox books are written by programmers for programmers, and the Wrox brand means authoritative solutions to real-world programming problems.