DLookup Function

You can use the DLookup function to get the value of a particular field from a specified set of records (a domain (domain: A set of records that is defined by a table, a query, or an SQL expression. Domain aggregate functions return statistical information about a specific domain or set of records.)). Use the DLookup function in a Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) module, a macro (macro: An action or a set of actions that you can use to automate tasks. Macros are recorded in the Visual Basic for Applications programming language.), a query expression, or a calculated control (calculated control: A control that is used on a form, report, or data access page to display the result of an expression. The result is recalculated each time there is a change in any of the values on which the expression is based.) on a form or report.

You can use the DLookup function to display the value of a field that isn't in the record source for your form or report. For example, suppose you have a form based on an Order Details table. The form displays the OrderID, ProductID, UnitPrice, Quantity, and Discount fields. However, the ProductName field is in another table, the Products table. You could use the DLookup function in a calculated control to display the ProductName on the same form.


DLookup(expr, domain [, criteria] )

The DLookup function syntax has these arguments:

Argument Description
expr Required. An expression that identifies the field whose value you want to return. It can be a string expression (string expression: An expression that evaluates to a sequence of contiguous characters. Elements of the expression can be: functions that return a string or a string Variant (VarType 8); a string literal, constant, variable, or Variant.) identifying a field in a table or query, or it can be an expression that performs a calculation on data in that field. In expr, you can include the name of a field in a table, a control on a form, a constant, or a function. If expr includes a function, it can be either built-in or user-defined, but not another domain aggregate or SQL aggregate function.
domain Required. A string expression identifying the set of records that constitutes the domain. It can be a table name or a query name for a query that does not require a parameter.
criteria Optional. A string expression used to restrict the range of data on which the DLookup function is performed. For example, criteria is often equivalent to the WHERE clause in an SQL expression, without the word WHERE. If criteria is omitted, the DLookup function evaluates expr against the entire domain. Any field that is included in criteria must also be a field in domain; otherwise, the DLookup function returns a Null (Null: A value you can enter in a field or use in expressions or queries to indicate missing or unknown data. In Visual Basic, the Null keyword indicates a Null value. Some fields, such as primary key fields, can't contain a Null value.).


The DLookup function returns a single field value based on the information specified in criteria. Although criteria is an optional argument, if you don't supply a value for criteria, the DLookup function returns a random value in the domain.

If no record satisfies criteria or if domain contains no records, the DLookup function returns a Null.

If more than one field meets criteria, the DLookup function returns the first occurrence. You should specify criteria that will ensure that the field value returned by the DLookup function is unique. You may want to use a primary key (primary key: One or more fields (columns) whose values uniquely identify each record in a table. A primary key cannot allow Null values and must always have a unique index. A primary key is used to relate a table to foreign keys in other tables.) value for your criteria, such as [EmployeeID] in the following example, to ensure that the DLookup function returns a unique value:

Dim varX As Variant
varX = DLookup("[LastName]", "Employees", _
    "[EmployeeID] = 1")

Whether you use the DLookup function in a macro or module, a query expression, or a calculated control, you must construct the criteria argument carefully to ensure that it will be evaluated correctly.

You can use the DLookup function to specify criteria in the Criteria row of a query, within a calculated field expression in a query, or in the Update To row in an update query (update query: An action query (SQL statement) that changes a set of records according to criteria (search conditions) that you specify.).

You can also use the DLookup function in an expression in a calculated control on a form or report if the field that you need to display isn't in the record source on which your form or report is based. For example, suppose you have an Order Details form based on an Order Details table with a text box called ProductID that displays the ProductID field. To look up ProductName from a Products table based on the value in the text box, you could create another text box and set its ControlSource property to the following expression:

=DLookup("[ProductName]", "Products", "[ProductID] =" & Forms![Order Details]!ProductID)


 Note   Unsaved changes to records in domain aren't included when you use this function. If you want the DLookup function to be based on the changed values, you must first save the changes by clicking Save Record under Records on the Data tab, moving the focus to another record, or by using the Update method.


 Note   Examples that follow demonstrate the use of this function in a Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) module. For more information about working with VBA, select Developer Reference in the drop-down list next to Search and enter one or more terms in the search box.

The following example returns name information from the CompanyName field of the record satisfying criteria. The domain is a Shippers table. The criteria argument restricts the resulting set of records to those for which ShipperID equals 1.

Dim varX As Variant
varX = DLookup("[CompanyName]", _
    "Shippers", "[ShipperID] = 1")

The next example from the Shippers table uses the form control ShipperID to provide criteria for the DLookup function. Note that the reference to the control isn't included in the quotation marks that denote the strings. This ensures that each time the DLookup function is called, Microsoft Office Access 2007 will obtain the current value from the control.

Dim varX As Variant
varX = DLookup("[CompanyName]", "Shippers", _
    "[ShipperID] = " & Forms!Shippers!ShipperID)

The next example uses a variable, intSearch, to get the value.

Dim intSearch As Integer
Dim varX As Variant

intSearch = 1
varX = DLookup("[CompanyName]", "Shippers", _
    "[ShipperID] = " & intSearch)
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Access 2013, Access 2010, Access 2007