ACCESS field name error message

Copper Contributor

If I enter an incorrect field name, I get an error message:  "The field name you entered does not follow Microsoft Access object-naming rules. If you pasted the name from another application, try pressing ESC and typing the name again. For more information about naming objects, click Help."  If I choose OK to acknowledge, nothing happens. If I click "Help," I am taken to webpage for field name rules but error message remains. If I choose the "X" in the upper right corner of message, nothing happens. I cannot exit the program or continue once this error message appears and the only solution I have found is to restart my computer - which is frustrating. What can I do to get rid of error messages and continue. I am new to access and this is my 2nd database so I fully understand that I have a learning curve (I just want to learn and continue without restarting computer to get rid of message) HELP please.

8 Replies
Where and when are you trying to enter this field name? In a new table you are creating? There are reserved words in Access which should not be used for object or field names, including words like "Name" or "Date" and others. What is the name you entered?

By the way, the error message says press "ESC" and try again. Did you try that?
if you Copy/Paste the Field name from Excel or another app, chances is that your pasted fieldname has "unseen" non-printable characters (usually at the end of the text).

go to the end of the pasted text and use Backspace until you can delete a "normal" character.
Yes, in new table. I entered "borrowed by..." pretty sure the periods were not allowed. I did try the ESC key...the error popup remains
Did not copy/paste. Typed new field name prob used character that won't work...but I can't get past error message box to backspace or erase entry and retry

So both Arnel and I are right in that you tried to use invalid characters for a field name in a table, albeit in a different way than maybe it first appeared.
You should now be aware that some names, such as "Date", which are names used by Access itself, should not be used as field or object names.

You are also now aware that non-standard characters, such as the ellipsis, or "three dots", are not valid either. You probably should invest a bit of reading time on the subject of proper naming conventions for Access. Use your favorite search engine and read some of the discussions about it.

In this case, it is a bit surprising, in one way, that the problem you encountered with the ellipsis resulted in that level of difficulty, but in another, given what the ellipsis is normally used for, I can see Access being unable to properly handle it in an error situation. I'll do some testing as well.


Unfortunately, I can't replicate the error situation you described, although Access does reject the use of an ellipse in a field name.


You can find more information on good naming conventions here.

Thanks. I figured that was the input problem. That seemed to be the only error pop-up that froze the program. I reviewed allowable input data and hopefully won't see it again
Now I'm a bit confused again. Are we talking about "input data" or "field names"?