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  1. #1
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    Can't add WorkoutDate input mask? (Access 2003)

    In Access 2003 ("student edition" purchased through my university), I used a wizard to create an Exercise Log database. I wanted to put an input mask (mm/dd/yyyy) on the WorkoutDate field, but when I clicked on the "three little dots" button for that field in Table design view, I got the following error message: "Microsoft Office Access can't start this wizard. This feature is not currently installed. Would you like to install it now?" I clicked Yes. Then a Windows Installer dialog box appeared briefly, saying "Preparing to install", which was soon followed by another that said "Installing: Microsoft Office Access feature", which was soon followed by an error dialog box that said, "Microsoft Office Access can't start this wizard. The feature is not available"

    I figured I might be prompted to insert one of the installation CD-ROMs (which I have), but it didn't. Any suggestions?

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    Re: Can't add WorkoutDate input mask? (Access 2003

    You may want to try to insert the CD and run a full install to install all components to your computer (set all as 'Run from My Computer'). Additionally, input masks and date fields rarely coexist peacefully, you're better off formatting the date field, and allowing the date to be input any way the user can manage (Access will automatically recognize dates written in US format mm/dd/yyyy, mm/dd/yy, ddmmmyy, etc...)
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  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Can't add WorkoutDate input mask? (Access 2003)

    You could try the following:
    - Open the Add/Remove Programs control panel.
    - Select Microsoft Office 2003.
    - Click Change... to start Microsoft Office Setup.
    - Click Add or Remove Features, then click Next.
    - Expand Microsoft Office Access.
    - Select Default Wizards (or something similar)
    - Click Run on this computer.
    - Click Update. You should be prompted for the Office CD.

    You can also try to re-register DAO, this sometimes solves problems with Access wizards:
    - Select Start | Run... (in Windows)
    - Type <code>regsvr32 "C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft SharedDAODAO360.DLL"</code> and press Enter.

    Finally, you can enter the input mask manually. It would look like this:
    <code>
    00/00/0000;0;_</code>

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    Re: Can't add WorkoutDate input mask? (Access 2003

    I'm not sure what you mean by "...input masks and date fields rarely coexist peacefully...". I never have any problem. Just make sure the input mask and formatting are consistent in a field. So if your format is mm/dd/yy provide an input mask of 99/99/99.
    Mark Liquorman
    See my website for Tips & Downloads and for my Liquorman Utilities.

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    Re: Can't add WorkoutDate input mask? (Access 2003)

    Thank you for the responses. I'm at work now, but I will try what you've suggested when I get back home. I've only recently gotten a home computer, so I've only used Access there a few times, but I've never had a problem with dates and input masks before (at work).

    One further question regarding your response: If/when it prompts me for the Office CD, will it be obvious which one of the four it's referring to?

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Can't add WorkoutDate input mask? (Access 2003)

    Access is on the first CD, as far as I know. But no doubt, the setup procedure will tell you which CD you need to insert.

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    Re: Can't add WorkoutDate input mask? (Access 2003

    I suppose you deal with a more technologically adept group of front end users....I'm in the Marine Corps - if it can't be shot, eaten, or blown up, chances are my users don't understand it. From a developer standpoint, I always have to have explicit instructions on my data entry forms to tell users how to enter dates, etc....otherwise, I'll get the following formats:

    20051219
    051219
    5/12/19
    dec 19, 05
    19 Dec 05

    the list goes on.....
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    Re: Can't add WorkoutDate input mask? (Access 2003

    I generally use a 99/99/00 input mask and a mm/dd/yy format for dates. When user tabs into a field, they see __/__/__. Most seem to know what to do with that.
    Mark Liquorman
    See my website for Tips & Downloads and for my Liquorman Utilities.

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    Re: Can't add WorkoutDate input mask? (Access 2003

    <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15>
    You'd be surprised....I've had them in before, but with the numerous ways people attempt to enter dates, it's better for me to use no input mask and test for ridiculous values (i.e. years of 1901 or 1005, etc...)
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    "If you spend more on coffee than on IT security, then you will be hacked. What&#39;s more, you deserve to be hacked." -Richard Clarke

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    Re: Can't add WorkoutDate input mask? (Access 2003)

    Bad news: It didn't work. I got to the "Typical Wizards" part OK, but about halfway through the installation, it stopped, and an error message said: "Installation ended prematurely because of an error." Upon closing that box, another box appeared titled "Add or Remove Rrograms," which said "Fatal error during installation."

    Now what? I'm a little leery of doing anything to the registry, which I think is what your second suggestion involves. I've read enough e-mails from Woody saying don't mess with the registry unless you know how to back it up--which I don't. Any further ideas?

  11. #11
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Can't add WorkoutDate input mask? (Access 2003)

    That's worrying - perhaps your Office CD has a flaw, or there is something very wrong on your PC, but I have no idea what.

    The instruction I posted for re-registering DAO does not involve manually editing the registry, so it is not dangerous.

    However, if the rest of your Access installation works correctly, I would suggest either entering input masks yourself, without using the wizard, or not use input masks at all (I never use them in my databases).

  12. #12
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    Re: Can't add WorkoutDate input mask? (Access 2003)

    Uh-oh. It's worrying that you said, "That's worrying." <img src=/S/frown.gif border=0 alt=frown width=15 height=15>

    I will try re-registering DAO as you suggested and/or entering the mask manually, but I'm a little concerned that it is indeed something more serious. After getting those "fatal error" messages mentioned above, I tried to use the "repair" function on Add/Remove Programs, and THAT got halfway through before getting a similar error message; as with the Access-only attempt, I never even got prompted to put in the CD.

    If I have to reinstall Office, will that wipe out everything I have, e.g., Outlook contacts?

    FWIW, I've never had any problems with input masks before, and I certainly find it much simpler to enter dates with them than without--but the databases I use are generally pretty simple.

  13. #13
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Can't add WorkoutDate input mask? (Access 2003)

    You can back up data files before reinstalling, if that becomes necessary. Contacts, e-mails etc. are stored in a .pst file. Its default location is in

    Cocuments and Settings<username>Local SettingsApplication DataMicrosoftOutlook

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