Date is closer to number than to text.
The Nightowl plaintively hoots:
They only give me date/time as an option, or text, or number. I don't see anything where I can customize the date. Grrr.
Sheesh, woman, DO try to learn to read a bit more constructively -- everybody has been talking about the NUMBER datatype as an alternative. You just enter a number that happens to ALSO BE a date, seewhatimean?
Then you preferably add a constraint (look up that word in the help; if it isn't there, it's the help file that sucks, not my advice; then you'll have to think of all the synonyms for "constraint" that you can imagine, and try those) that says the value in this number field has to be between, say, 19000000 (nineteen million) and 21000000 (twenty-one million). Your choice as to whether the constraint is on the data table itself, the editing window, or wherever else Access lets you put it... But "your choice" doesn't necessarily mean that it's unimportant; think a little about which would be the most logical and sensible place to put it.
And if you go that way, for all that is good and holy in the world, DO follow Ben's suggestion to use the YYYMMDD format, NOT the idiotic American MMDDYYY one. (In case you're wondering why, think about sorting.) (*)
I thought about making one column the year, and the next the date, would that work, is that what you are explaining, Ben?
That would also work(**), but would be a bit more work to make into a whole date for reporting, sorting, and comparing... With the single-number format (which Ben SAID he was talking about; learn to frigging READ, woman!), you get the opposite problem of grouping on just the year or month portion of the number.
On balance, though, I tend to agree with Ben that the single-number model is easier and better.
My biggest problem is that I wanted the database to sort by date, (date and year), and this is causing the 1974's not to follow that sort pattern, well, it won't even take them without some date. Grrr.
So why on Earth hasn't it occurred to you to just use some fake date?!? Preferably one that isn't too likely to be an actual true date... Like, how often do you finish a book on Christmas Day? Or, say, New Year's Day? (Even if you DO occassionally do that, just lie and pretend that you finished those ones on the second of January.)
If you go with the number-as-fake-date idea, you can of course say 'YYYY0000' where you can remember only the year, or 'YYYYMM00' where you have the month but lack the day.
And yes, I want to learn about it, by query do you mean making a report? If I wanted to look this up in my book, any idea what to look under? There is nothing under customize data type.
Tried looking under "Query"? (Again, if it isn't there, the help file sucks.)
Sheesh, ever tried just BROWSING a book; flip a few pages at a time and skim, until you get to something that looks like it could be approximately what you're after, then slow down and flip somewhat fewer pages at a time and skim somewhat more thoroughly, until you're actually reading a page that is actually about what you were after? If not, it's high time you started; knowing how to do that is really the least that can be expected of anybody over, say, twelve.
(*): And in case you've ever wondered about the "It's MIDDLE-ENDIAN!" LRPDism, wonder no more -- it's about the US date format.
(**): Provided you actually meant "thought about making one column the year, and the next the month, and the next the day of the month"; what would "and the next the date" be supposed to mean, otherwise? Yet another column with the same problem you already have...?