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It's my first time using Access, and I have my first of what I assume will be many questions. Yay!

So I imported some data from Excel to a table, including a column with a comma separated tagging system (let's say x, y, z). After some poking around, I went to design view and did the following in the Lookup tab for this "tagging" field:

Lookup tap settings

What happened: entries with just an x, y, or z tag worked. When I click the drop-down arrow for a given entry, I see x, y, and z as choices with the correct one selected. For entries with multiple tags though, it shows up as a new box to be checked. So if I have x, z in the cell, there's a x, y, z, and x, z selection in the drop-down box.

So my question is, how can I make the boxes with multiple tags work correctly?

  • What does "correctly" mean? Do you want the dropdown to have every combination? Do you not want a dropdown at all? Not sure what your desired outcome is. Please elaborate. – paulbarbin Jan 21 '16 at 14:48
  • I do want a dropdown, and I want it to have the correct boxes selected automatically out of the options x, y, and z. If I have x, z in a cell right now, instead of the options of the dropdown box being x, y, z, and x,z with x,z being ticked, I want the "x" and "z" boxes to be ticked. – g_raham Jan 21 '16 at 14:57
  • Sorry, I was hoping to help without having a bunch of knowledge in Access. I don't currently have it installed or I'd play with it and see if I could solve it. – paulbarbin Jan 21 '16 at 15:13
  • Have you tried changing the Allow Value List Edits to No? That might do it. – paulbarbin Jan 21 '16 at 15:14
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I think your best bet would be to use a many to many relationship. Generally this is done with a table for the records (like you have now), a table for the comma delimited field and a primary key field with rows for each of the entries (one for x, one for y and one for z) and a third table with nothing but that keys from the other 2 tables.

So, in your join table, you might have a section of 3 rows with the same key on the main table but different entries for the reference table. This link explains it reasonably well.

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