Access - Template Contacts - "Search Not Picking Up words"

Copper Contributor

Hello, first time using Access. I was looking online for what is a good(free) program for our office contacts. We have clients, trades, supplies, designer, contractors, etc. so I came across Access! It's been great! I've been able to start inputting our contacts info and have been able to add more fields.

One of my co-workers came over and asked if we can search for lets say a projects name and then all the contacts related to that project will show. So I typed in the Search box and for some words or names nothing appeared. I tried other words and some worked and some didn't. I've tried googling, talked to on chat and phone call with Microsoft, one of them lead me to here and hoping someone knows what I'm talking about. I really like the options Access Contacts template is providing and I don't want to have to look at another program. 

4 Replies


Hello Claire,


You need to add the following to the Search-macro, since you added the Project-field to the Contacts-table and the Contact List-form (Right click the Search-macro and select Design View to edit the macro) :




After adding the statement to the macro and saving it, the Search-functionality in the Contact List-form also searches in the Project-field.


Good luck.


Best regards,




@cf24_ You realize, I hope, that a template is not intended to be a final, working, application suitable for all situations. To state the obvious, that is why it's called "a template" and why it is offered for free as an example of the kind of application you can adapt and modify to suit your particular needs.


As Tieme explains, you need to make appropriate changes to that template in order to make it more useful to your organization. Before you do that, of course, you need to take some additional steps to ensure the integrity of your work.


Make a backup copy of the current relational database application (that is the accdb file). Put it in a safe place. You may need it again sooner than you'd think.


Follow best practices guidelines for implementing and deploying Access-based relational database applications. The first step in that process is to split the application into two files.

All of the tables belong in one accdb. Nothing else belongs in that accdb file. This is usually referred to as the "Back End" because it contains only the tables and your users will never need to directly use them.

All of the other objects belong in another accdb. This is the forms, queries, reports and code--both macros and VBA--which make up the user interface. The user interface--in Access, this is referred to as the "Front End". 


The Front End is linked to the tables in the Back End. This allows you to make multiple copies of the Front End (FE) so you can give one copy to each user. They share the Back End (BE) because there is only one shared set of tables with the data you use jointly.


The BE is deployed in a shared folder on your network. Never on OneDrive or other such file service. ONLY on a network share.

This allows you to continue to modify the FE as needed without having to interfere with ongoing work and without having to change the BE. Once you've made whatever changes are needed in your master copy of the FE, then you can give a fresh copy of it to all users.


There is a great deal more to learn about managing and developing a useful relational database application, but over time, Access will prove to be a reliable partner for your organization's needs. Just be sure to use it appropriately.


Hi Tieme,

Thank you for your response.
When I'm in the Design View - how do I get to the edit the marco?
Hello Claire,

At the bottom of the macro you can add a new action and select the SetTempVar -statement. After filling the statement-parameters for Project (as in the example) you can move it up with the green up-arrow.

Alternatively, you can select the last SetTempVar-statement, right click on it and choose Copy. Next right click again and choose Paste. Now fill in this pasted-stament the reference to the Project field.