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How To Include Attachments in an Access Database


How To Include Attachments in an Access Database
Mike Chapple
Microsoft Access allows you to include attachments including photos, graphics, documents and other files in your Access database. Access 2007 allows much greater flexibility than earlier versions with advantages including:
  • Storing files in their native format, bypassing the bitmap images used by OLE DB
  • Attaching multiple files to the same record without violating normalization principles
  • Compressing files to optimize use of storage
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 15 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Open the Microsoft Access database using Access 2007.
  2. Open the table where you would like to add attachments in Design view.
  3. Type a name for the attachment field into the Field Name column of a new row.
  4. Select "Attachment" from the Data Type drop-down box.
  5. Save the table by clicking the disk icon in the upper left corner of the screen.
  6. Switch to Datasheet view to see the contents of your table.
  7. Double-click on the paperclip icon that appears in the new field you created for the row where you would like to attach a file. Note that the number in parentheses next to this icon indicates the number of files attached to that particular record.
  8. Click the Add button in the Attachments window to add a new attachment.
  9. Navigate to the file you would like to attach and click the Open button
  10. Click OK to close the Attachments window
  11. Notice that the document count for your record has now changed to reflect the new attachments.


  1. The attachment feature described in this article first became available in Microsoft Access 2007. It is not available in earlier versions of Access.
  2. Each file must be less than 256MB in size. You may attach a maximum of 2GB of data.

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