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Using MS Access/Unique increasing primary key


Hi, very new to access, I am trying to create a unique primary key that does not repeat for a small but growing group, but I do not want to use autonumber as some records will have single digit ID. The primary key will serve as the client ID. It has to be not less than 3 or 4 or 5 characters. It can be a mixture of text and numbers, or just numbers, Could you please tell me how to do this?

For instance, I want access to be able to generate the ID when a new record is created by someone who is just entering the details of a new client. Is there a way to do this? Thanks very much.

Well, I strongly recommend using Autonumbers. If you don't want 1- or 2-digit numbers, then you can insert 100 records and then delete them (copy and paste works fine). Your next record would be 101. Then you can just keep using Autonumbers for your IDs.

However, if you want to create your own counter, see this: INCREMENT YOUR OWN COUNTER FIELD.

Be sure to visit my web site and watch my FREE 2-hour-long Microsoft Access Video Tutorial

Richard Rost
599CD Computer Training

Using MS Access

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Richard Rost


I am happy to answer any kinds of questions about Microsoft Access - from basic table design to advanced VBA programming. Also, please feel free to check the Access Tips & Tricks section of my web site, and free Access 101 tutorial.


I am the president of and I specialize in Microsoft Access Tutorials. I have been teaching Access in the classroom since 1994, and online since 2002.

I am a self-taught Access expert. I have been building databases for clients since the early 90s. You can see a sample of my Access Tutorials on my web site at

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