Microsoft KB Archive/100131

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Article ID: 100131

Article Last Modified on 1/18/2007


  • Microsoft Access 1.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Access 1.1 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Access 2.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Access 95 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Access 97 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q100131

Moderate: Requires basic macro, coding, and interoperability skills.


This article demonstrates two methods that you can use to pass multiple values to a query by using a parameter prompt. The first method uses the Instr() function to parse the parameter values entered when the query is run. The second method describes a way to create a query by using the In() operator with multiple values.

NOTE: A demonstration of the technique used in this article can be seen in the sample file, Qrysmp97.exe. For information about how to obtain this sample file, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

182568 ACC97: Microsoft Access 97 Sample Queries Available in Download Center


Method 1

The following method demonstrates how to use the Instr() function to pass multiple values, separated by commas, to a parameter query.

The following example is based on the Employees table from the sample database Northwind.mdb (or NWIND.MDB in version 2.0).

  1. Open the sample database Northwind.mdb.
  2. Create the following new query based on the Employees table and save the query as ParamQuery:

          Query: ParamQuery
          Type: Select Query
          Field: EmployeeID
             Table: Employees
             Show: True
          Field: LastName
             Table: Employees
             Show: True

    NOTE: In Microsoft Access 2.0, there is a space in the Employee ID and Last Name field names.

  3. In the next empty column, enter the following expression and attributes:

          Field: InStr([Last Names separated by commas,Blank=All],[LastName])
          Criteria:  > 0 Or Is Null
          Show: False
  4. Switch to Datasheet View and enter the following last names, separated by commas, into the parameter value dialog box:


NOTE: Three records are returned. If you leave the parameter blank, the query will return all records.

Method 2

The following method uses a query that calls a function and passes it two parameters. The first parameter is the name of a field that exists in the table on which the query is based. The second parameter prompts the user to enter a list of values. The function processes the user's entries as the list of multiple parameters for the In() operator.

This part of the article assumes that you are familiar with Visual Basic for Applications and with creating Microsoft Access applications using the programming tools provided with Microsoft Access. For more information about Visual Basic for Applications, please refer to your version of the "Building Applications with Microsoft Access" manual.

NOTE: Visual Basic for Applications is called Access Basic in Microsoft Access versions 1.x and 2.0. For more information about Access Basic, please refer to the "Introduction to Programming" manual in Microsoft Access version 1.x or the "Building Applications" manual in Microsoft Access version 2.0

The following example is based on the sample database Northwind.mdb (or NWIND.MDB in versions 1.x and 2.0)

  1. Create a new module with the following two functions:

          'Declarations section of the module.
          Option Explicit
          ' The GetToken() function defines the delimiter character.
          Function GetToken (stLn, stDelim)
             Dim iDelim as Integer, stToken as String
             iDelim = InStr(1, stLn, stDelim)
             If (iDelim <> 0) Then
                stToken = LTrim$(RTrim$(Mid$(stLn, 1, iDelim - 1)))
                stLn = Mid$(stLn, iDelim + 1)
                stToken = LTrim$(RTrim$(Mid$(stLn, 1)))
                stLn = ""
             End If
             GetToken = stToken
          End Function
          ' The InParam() function is the heart of this article. When
          ' the query runs, this function causes a query parameter
          ' dialog box to appear so you can enter a list of values.
          ' The values you enter are interpreted as if you
          ' had entered them within the parentheses of the In() operator.
          Function InParam (Fld, Param)
             Dim stToken as String
             'The following two lines are optional, making queries
             Fld = UCase(Fld)
             Param = UCase(Param)
             If IsNull(Fld) Then Fld = ""
             Do While (Len(Param) > 0)
                stToken = GetToken(Param, ",")
                If stToken = LTrim$(RTrim$(Fld)) Then
                   InParam = -1
                   Exit Function
                   InParam = 0
                End If
          End Function
  2. Close and save the module.
  3. Create a new query based on the Customers table. Drag any fields that you want to the query grid.
  4. Add the following field to the query grid.

    NOTE: In the following example, an underscore (_) at the end of a line is used as a line-continuation character. Remove the underscore from the end of the line when re-creating this example.

          FieldName: InParam([CustomerID],[ Enter ID list using commas and no _
          Show: False
          Criteria: True

    NOTE: In versions 1.x and 2.0, there is a space in the Customer ID field name.

    NOTE: The value InParam(...) shown for the FieldName should be entered as one statement on a single line. The InParam() function works with Integer fields as well as with Text fields.

  5. On the Query menu, click Parameters. Enter the following parameter with a Text data type:

    Enter ID list using commas and no spaces:

  6. Click OK and run the query. Note that you are prompted to enter a list of parameters. The following message is displayed in the dialog box:

    Enter ID list using commas and no spaces:

  7. In versions 97, 7.0, and 2.0, type:


    In version 1.x type:


    All records meeting the criteria are displayed.

NOTE: One limitation of the In()operator is that it does not support wildcards, such as * or ?. For example, Microsoft Access cannot run

   IN("A*", "BON*", "CRATE???")


For more information about the In operator, search the Help Index for "In operator."

Additional query words: queries

Keywords: kbhowto kbprogramming kbusage KB100131