Finding Records

In Access 2000 finding records may seem confusing at first. This free lesson offers step-by-step instructions.

Using wild cards

If you are unable to find the record you're searching for using a simple find, try typing an operator in the Find What text box in the Find and Replace dialog box. A common Access operator is a wild card, or a symbol representing one or more characters.

Wild cardUsageExample
*(Asterisk)Used at the beginning or the end of a search string to match one or more charactersSch* finds Schlotz and Schwartz. *ing finds Wheeling and Browning.
? (Question Mark)Matches any single alphabetic characterSp?ll finds spell and spill.
# (Pound Sign)Matches any single numeric character9#1 finds 901, 911, 921, 931, etc.

To search for a record using a wild card:

  • Choose EditImportant PointFind from the menu bar, or click the Find button on the toolbar Find button (Ctrl+F).
  • The Find and Replace dialog box opens.
  • Type your wild card combination in the Find What text box.
  • Click Find Next. The records with the first occurrence of the matched text displays, or the Office Assistant tells you that no matched records were found.
  • Click Cancel if you found the record you're searching for. The Find and Replace dialog box closes.


  • Click Find Next if you need to search further. The next occurrence displays.

Searching with Asterisk wildcard in the Find and Replace dialog box