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In our databases we often want to be able to include relevant material with our records. For example, if you are in a health related field, you might want to include the latest information about a particular drug or the latest study about a particular medical ailment. Up to now, what you had to do was to either retype a short summary of the article or you could create a hyperlink data type to store the URL of the article on the web. In an employee database, you might want to also store the resumes with the applications. Now in Access 2010 and in Access 2007, you can use the new data type field of attachment to do this. This is where you can attach any type of file or multiple files to a particular record: a word document, an Excel worksheet, a chart, or an image to name a few. In the Employee table of your database, you may want to include the resumes of perspective employees. You can do this by simply adding the field of resume as an attachment data type in design view of your table.

Once you switch to datasheet view, the view will look similar to this.

To use the attachment field, simply double click on the paper clip and this dialog box will open.

Click the Add button and choose the file that you want to attach. Then click the okay button.

Now in the datasheet view, your record will look similar to this.

The number represents the number of attachments to this record. To be able to open that attachment, just double-click on the number and this dialog box will appear. Choose the file that you want and double-click on the file name or single click on the name of the file and then click the open button.

When you open the attachment, Access will also open the associated program for that attachment. You can add several documents as attachments for one record. Notice that you can also choose to save this attachment as a separate file, simply read the document, or edits the attached document.

Everything can now be kept within your database for a logical way of keeping track of your information. No more trying to remember where your supporting documentation is stored.

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12 Responses to “The Attachment Field in Access 2010 and in Access 2007”

  1. Good Morning,
    very interesting article… but there is a problem, often after creating and saving a record, the field attachment does not work. It don’t open attachment screen.
    What could be the problem?
    OS: Windows 7
    Thank you

  2. Hello Maurizio Sperati
    It could be one of 2 things you have to click the enable button if it shows on the screen
    Or The photo may have to be saves in your USB when you open the file
    Acccess is not friendly like other microsoft It getts aggrivate it with puch of error messages and I wish you best of luck I just read your post today while searching for some questions about access 2010
    I wish you have a nice holiday

  3. Thank You! I have been struggling with this for hours. I’m an Access newbie & am building a database for work. I knew there had to be a similiar way than what I was finding elsewhere. Thanks again!

  4. Is there any way to add a print button to be linked with this attachment field. I.E. to print the files attached, lets say a few PDF documents.
    Thank you,

  5. Very Helpful for a beginner.

  6. Very helpful for a beginner.


  7. If I have a PDF attached to record will the attachment be available for view as an embedded file if I analyze the record with excel?

  8. I have a table with two field attachment columns. When I try to add a 3rd column, Access will not let me give the field a name. I enter the name in design view (photos) but in datasheet view the field name is the paper clip symbol.

    I had no trouble assigning field names to the first two attachment columns.

  9. I am working on trying to find a way to print Attachemts (or any sort, pdf, docx, xls…) when I print a report. I am willing to set up a macro or VB with a button. However, I really need to have attachments printed. it would be best if I could get them to print WITH the Report.

    Figure one record at a time for a report being printed.

  10. I want to write in vba code the steps in attaching a file to the attachment field. How?

  11. Can anyone help? Is it possible to send attachment In Access via email in Outlook? I can do this if its a PDF attachment but not if its a word document which is what I need to do. Both my Access and Outlook are 2010. Any help much appreciated.

  12. I am writing a stamp catalog database that uses an attachment field to store links to images, up to three per record. I want to be able to store the links themselves in a separate field as hyperlinks. Can anyone help?


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