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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    5

    Question Unanswered: Some text boxes truncating text, others are not.

    I'm completely and utterly new to Access, so bear with me.

    I've created a form in Access 2010 that I have linked to an external Excel file. The Excel file contains survey results, a few open ended questions and a lot of numbers. I'm using the form to create a report card for each respondent/record and so far I've got a great thing going. The only problem is with the open ended responses, some of which are more than 255 characters.

    The thing is, at least one of my form's text boxes is allowing more than 255 characters to be displayed, but most of the others weren't. I tried looking for differences in the Property Sheets between the 2 types of text boxes and I found that the >255 char text box had nothing in its Format box, while the limited <255 char text boxes had a "@". The >255 text box also had its Text Align as General, a Vertical scroll bar, and (in the Other tab) Enter Key Behavior was set as New Line in Field. Changing the settings in the restricted <255 text boxes to match these settings had no effect.

    An interesting thing I discovered when looking at the linked data table in Access is that all the text looks truncated to 255 characters. So, for one of these >255 char text boxes, my form will show a respondents full answer: "We are not satisfied with work of COMP, as sometimes we have to wait for reply more than 2 hours (as agreed), we have to double check all info, looking for other flight/hotel/taxi options ourselves as COMP doesnt provide us with full information, Emergence Travel System does bad support (managers should attend more trainings)" even though that referenced cell in the data table only shows: "We are not satisfied with work of COMP, as sometimes we have to wait for reply more than 2 hours (as agreed), we have to double check all info, looking for other flight/hotel/taxi options ourselves as COMP doesnt provide us with full information, Emergenc". Of course, the full answer can still be seen in the original Excel file, so this may be an Excel thing. Thing is, I can find no difference between the cells in Excel either.

    Any idea what I'm overlooking here? More importantly, any idea how I can get the rest of the text boxes to populate respondents' full responses (none of which are over 500 characters, if that matters)?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    5
    New finding:

    I made a new form and added all of my open end fields onto it. Some of the fields appear as a big, paragraph-size text boxes with a scroll bar ready to go. The others appear only as small, one-or-two word size fields. At first, none of them allow more than 255 characters to be shown, but as soon as you remove the "@" from the Format field in the Properties Sheet, the big text boxes allow for all the characters to appear. This does not work for the small text boxes.

    I still can't figure out what is different about one open-ended question from the other. I've cleaned out all line breaks and unhidden characters from the Excel file, and have all the open-end columns/cells formatted as text. Clearly, Access is noticing some difference between my open-end columns and imposing its restrictions accordingly. But what?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    5
    Problem solved:

    I forgot that Access is a lazy beast and decides what a whole column's contents are based on what it sees in the first 8 or 10 rows. By making sure my open end response columns all had more than 255 characters (simply added lots of spaces) in the first row, Access realized it was dealing with 'memos' not 'little, tiny text boxes.' Then I removed the '@' from the Format field in each of my open end text fields' Properties and voila: more than 255 characters can now appear in all of those fields. Happy day!

    My apologies if you were in the process of responding to me while I write this. Thanks to those who cared and good luck to those looking for the same answers as I was!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Provided Answers: 59
    erm not to certain you can accuse Access of being the 'lazy beast' here, after all it was you who imported the data and could have set an import specification
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    5
    Quote Originally Posted by healdem View Post
    erm not to certain you can accuse Access of being the 'lazy beast' here, after all it was you who imported the data and could have set an import specification
    Fair enough. I really shouldn't be criticizing what I don't understand, so I take it back. My sincere apologies, Access.

    If I knew what an import specification was, I probably would have set it. Thing is, I've been using Access now for about a week and I've managed to make some fantastic printable/PDFable forms (an example attached), but only after slogging through a lot of trial and error.

    I promise to learn more before calling the program names!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Exampl.png  

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia USA
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    Provided Answers: 19
    Quote Originally Posted by Neato View Post
    Fair enough...I take it back. My sincere apologies, Access.
    A wise move! It doesn't do to make the Access Gnomes mad!
    Hope this helps!

    The problem with making anything foolproof...is that fools are so darn ingenious!

    All posts/responses based on Access 2003/2007

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neato View Post
    Fair enough. I really shouldn't be criticizing what I don't understand, so I take it back. My sincere apologies, Access.

    If I knew what an import specification was, I probably would have set it. Thing is, I've been using Access now for about a week and I've managed to make some fantastic printable/PDFable forms (an example attached), but only after slogging through a lot of trial and error.

    I promise to learn more before calling the program names!
    don't let me stop you calling Access names, after all thats part of the normal development cycle.
    eg
    why won't this P.O.S. do what its supposed to do?
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    5
    You should have heard me on my bike ride home from work last night. I had been fretting with the issue for a few hours in a sleep deprived trance. Kept repeating to myself: "Maybe it's something in the properties, but all the properties are the same. Must be something in the Excel, but the formatting's the same there too. Maybe it's something in the way the table's linked to the database, but wouldn't I have seen something in the source control properties? WHAT COULD IT BE?"

    Trust me, I've been profane enough for the week!

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