Software

Generate random AutoNumbers in Access tables

Sequential numbers are fine for some purposes, but sometimes random numbers are better. Mary Ann Richardson explains how you can populate the AutoNumber field with random numbers when necessary.

There may be times when you would rather have Access generate random, rather than sequential, numbers in an AutoNumber field. For example, if you print a list of members whose membership numbers are generated sequentially, it may appear as if some of the records are missing when, in fact, those members have simply left the organization and their records archived. With random numbers, none of the "missing" members would be noticed.

To have Access randomly generate numbers that are unique to a table, follow these steps:

  1. Open the table in Design view.
  2. Click in the AutoNumber field row.
  3. In the Properties window, click in New Values property text box.
  4. Click Random (Figure A).

Figure A

The AutoNumber field will now be populated with random numbers as shown in Figure B.

Figure B


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