How to Insert a Picture, Graph, or Microsoft Office Document Into an Access Database

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In order to understand how to inset a picture, graph or Microsoft Office document into a Microsoft Access database, one must understand the concept of an OLE object. Learn about object, linking and embedding with help from a computer programming teacher in this free video on Microsoft Access.

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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Chip Browne. I teach computer programming in Microsoft Office applications at Steven Henagar college here in Utah. I also create practice tests for Microsoft Office Certification tests. Today we're going to learn how to insert a picture, a graph or other Microsoft Office document into a Microsoft Office Access Database. Microsoft Access is a Registered Trademark of Microsoft Corporation. I'm not affiliated with Microsoft Corporation. To introduce the concept of how to insert a picture, a graph or Microsoft Office document into an Access database it's essential to understand the concept of an OLE Object. OLE is an acronym O, L, E. Stands for object, linking and embedding. Let me show you how to create a field that you can add an OLE object into. First click on the Create tab. And we go on to Design View. Name our field, File. and here in the Data Type drop down. Choose OLE Object. Then save it. Let's go on to the Design View. Now this is literally a field in which we can insert an OLE Object. These are the different types of registered OLE Objects. Or registered OLE servers that can handle various object types. And this is where we choose from the list. Where we would choose a picture or a graph or Microsoft Office document. Or anything else in this list. For example, let's choose a picture. Let's say a Bitmap Image. We click, O.K. And instantly, the application, that is the server for that OLE Object type, begins. As you can see, it's referenced as the Bitmap Image in table six. This is not referencing a file on our hard drive. This is actually referencing the OLE Object embedded inside our database. So here we would create our image. We'd exit out of the application. And it saved automatically, here. If we double click on that, it'll go back into that OLE server, that application. And put you in edit mode. Let's create another one. This time, let's insert a chart. This is a sample chart. It's, as you can see, it's Microsoft graph that is running here. And it puts up the sample chart. And we can change the underlined data to make it automatically change. And when we exit, that's embedded and saved inside this field. Let's see if we can insert our regular document. Let's say, Microsoft Excel chart. And you can click on this. And there's a Microsoft Excel chart. And click on Sheet 1. And this is the data. This is just sample data that it provides us. We can obviously modify all of this and save it. And exit out. So now if we ever go back into any of these. We double click on that filed. And there is our object with it's current edits. The OLE server is automatically invoked. And opens up this object which is embedded inside our database. As you can see, the values are all there. Still present, that we made changes to. And again, this is not typed to your file system, at all. This is all self embedded inside the database. When you save this database file. And it's MDB file. It is separate. And you'll have any other files associated with this. It's all embedded right here. The one last thing I want to explain, is that there is a difference between thins concept of an OLE Object. And that of an attachment. Let's create another field to our table. This time instead of OLE Object. We're now going to choose Attachment and save that. Go into Data Sheet View. This is the attachment field. There's a definite difference between this field and an OLE Object field. The OLE Object field will invoke the OLE server. Where as the Attachment field actually does attach to a file on your hard drive. And so it would literally go into an Add Attachments. And you would choose for example, a database. And excuse me, a spreadsheet. And then click, O.K. Now that means that, that field, that file is attached to this. It's a different association. And you have double click it. And it goes into that file. It's slightly different than an OLE embedded object. That there are two different ways that you can insert a picture or a graph into your database. And so you can use that with pictures and so on. And add that. I'll just go ahead and cancel all that. Because this is another way of adding files. You can add them to an attachment filed. Or you can add them to an OLE Object field. This is if you have the file on your hard drive or disk drive. This is if you are o.k with embedding that information directly in your database. For any more information on this. You can look up in your help on OLE Objects and Attachments. And, or you can visit That's Chip Browne. B, R, O, W, N,


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