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  1. #1
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    input masks (Access 97)

    I am developing a small employees data base, which includes contact phone numbers. These phone numbers could be any of the following formats (00) 000 0000, (000) 000 000, (000) 000 0000 I need to know the input mask values that will accept an either or situation. ie 2 numbers or 3 in the brackets or 6 or 7 numbers outside of the brackets. Or any variation

  2. #2
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    Re: input masks (Access 97)

    I pushed F1 (help) on the input mask box and got these, the 9 or the # look promising but I have not tried them.

    0 = Digit (0 to 9, entry required, plus [+] and minus [
    Cheers

    Steve

    Asking the questions everbody wants the answers too but feels too stupid to ask themselves :-)

  3. #3
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    Re: input masks (Access 97)

    I hate to be a pessimist, BUT . . .
    We found over long experience that if you are trying to capture phone numbers with the proper formatting anywhere except for North American Dialing Plan numbers, you really need to resort to code. That becomes particularly true for numbers involving International dialing. Input masks just aren't smart enough to deal with all the variations, especially if you want to store the format characters (, ), or -. Do a search on this forum for phone numbers - there have been several threads about this previously. With the proper validation code you can really simplify the users life!
    Wendell

  4. #4
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    Re: input masks (Access 97)

    > especially if you want to store the format characters (, ), or -.

    I have found in the past that I am sometimes well-served by specifying a set of noise characters "(", ")", " ", "-" and so on, and stripping the noise characters out of the text field prior to analysis. Theory is that the telephone system can work out where you are dialling (overseas, long distance, local etc) by the decimal digits alone, so should I be able to. Eliminating the noise leaves me with data that can be analysed.

    There's a similar argument for things like postal codes and the like.

  5. #5
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    Re: input masks (Access 97)

    It's true that the decimal digits are all you need to dial a telephone, and that works fine if you are always entering 10 digits. The formatting characters are important however from a readability perspective and from a data entry perspective. That gets to be quite a challenge when you have entries ranging from 7 digits for local calls (in some parts of the world it's less than that) to 18 to 20 digits when making an international call, and using input masks becomes impractical, at least in my view. Validation code works much better at such a task where you can do all sorts of conditional checks. Hope this clarifies the issue.
    Wendell

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