How to Create a Microsoft Access Query with multiple criteria in one field

Microsoft Access is one of the most useful components of the Microsoft Office suite of applications that acts as a database management system. The latest version of the application, Microsoft Access 2010 had been launched in early 2010, with Access 2007 being the earlier one. In its own format, Access stores data based on the Access Jet Database Engine and is also used for linking or importing data, which is stored in other applications and/or databases.

Although the software often creates problems for beginners who are not well versed with its uses, it has proved to be an extremely important application for professionals who work on it everyday. Its uses are being applied through other MS Office programs such as Word, Excel, Power Point and MS Outlook. Among the traditional features, users can access the application for creating queries, tables, forms and reports and for connecting them together with macros. It also has the facility to be able to link to data in its existing location and then using it for viewing, querying, reporting and editing.

Creation of queries, being one of the well known uses of the software, is often used a lot. A simple query can be created without much effort or knowledge; however creating one that uses multiple criteria for a field requires considering few things in mind. It is just like running a filter on the query results. For instance, if you have a table containing the complete addresses of your friends, you can run a query that would display brief information for those who stay in San Francisco, or for those who live in San Francisco and whose first name start with the letter ‘D’.

Instructions for creating an MS Access Query that uses multiple criteria in one field

Step 1: You need to first create a query in the usual manner. By using the example given above, you would need to include the fields ‘First Name’ and ‘City’. For creating a simple query, you can open the Database window, and then select ‘New’. From the dialog box that opens, click Simple Query Wizard and click on OK to go further.

Step 2: Getting back to the process of creating a query that uses multiple criteria in one field, select the query from the Database window in Query view.

Step 3: Click on Design and the query opens in Design view. Click in the Criteria text box in the ‘First Name’ field.

Step 4: Enter Like “D*” in the criteria text box to search for friends whose name begins with ‘D’, and press Enter.

Step 5: Enter ‘San Francisco’ in the Criteria text box for the ‘City’ field and press Enter.

Step 6: Switch to Datasheet view and you would see a list of all those friends who live in San Francisco and whose names begin with letter ‘D’.

You can try to experiment with your queries to see the results when you select certain criteria. However, setting different criteria could be complex and you need to expect a learning curve before you perform more complex operations.


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    I don’t find creating a Microsoft Access Query with multiple criteria in one field difficult but I really like the way you people have displayed the information. The language is easy-to-understand and it is not at all complicated like the articles available on other websites. You have given the accurate details of the subject together with steps to create a Microsoft Access Query


    can someone tell me how you have access disregard disregard certain records with multiple criteria in a query. i.e. in a table of people i want the query to disregard all names with smith, jones, thomas and grant.

  4. Marlon

    Last week my manager asked me to create MS Access Query with multiple criteria in one field. Certainly I had no clue on initiating this task. Looking for help online I came across this article. Once I started following the steps shown here, in no time I was ready to go ahead with my assignment. These tips are very easy to understand and to work with, it really worked for me! Thanks.

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