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Embedding vs. linking images in forms

I'm developing some forms that have background images (.png format). Each form has a tab control with 1-5 pages. Each page has a different unbound image file. What are the pros and cons of using linked vs. embedded images? I am using linked images now, thinking that will reduce database bloat, but I've had some Access crashes while changing pages in form design mode. Disk space is cheap -- will embedded images perform better?

Thanks for sharing your experience.
pT72
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pteranodon72
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pteranodon72
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Jeffrey CoachmanMIS LiasonCommented:
Hey buddy!
;-)

I will use linked images until there is a distinct advantage to embedding the image...
The reason are many
I don't have to worry about updating the image (as long as it gets updated on the server, and the name and path stay the same)
I don't have to worry about the space used to store the image (Yes even in Acc2007 Attachment fields, ...still "Huge" images will still take up more space than I would like)
I don't have to worry about how to "Extract" the image from the DB
I don't have to worry about all the OLE issues

<I've had some Access crashes while changing pages in form design mode.>
Can you post the details of how you are doing this.?

I can see how going out on a distant server, over a 10/100 network to pull in data from a 25MB Bitmap file might be slow.
So yes, using an embedded image might be better.

It's just that (the last I heard in Acc 2003 and older), even though the image is embedded,  Access will still create a bitmap of the image to "Display" it.
So even if the file takes up 100k(embedded), this might equate to a 1MB "Display" bitmap.
This is bloat, and you would have to Compact/repair the DB after each session to clear this bloat...

Let's see what the other Experts post...
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Aaron TomoskySD-WAN SimplifiedCommented:
I never embed images as data for a field, However when designing a background for a form or images for buttons I don't have a problem with embedding that. As Long as your sure it's not going to change anytime soon because If it does you will have to update the mdb or adp or whatever your using. I do mostly adp front ends with mssql back ends so I draw the line that data goes in SQL (and never images, only references to locations) and the front end goes in the adp. Since images used to display the form are part of the front end, I embed them.

There was a trick to stop the bloat Boag mentioned which was to use bitmap files in the first place so access didnt have to convert them.
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Jeffrey CoachmanMIS LiasonCommented:
<There was a trick to stop the bloat Boag mentioned which was to use bitmap files in the first place so access didnt have to convert them. .>
Correct, but the catch there is that a lot companies will specify another file type simply because Bitmap files are generally larger than some of the other formats...

But thanks for stating that, I should have mentioned it...


For me, I try to use bitmaps anyway, because sometimes Access will give you grief if using another format.
I like bitmaps because the are uncompressed.

Jeff
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Aaron TomoskySD-WAN SimplifiedCommented:
Correct me if I misunderstand, but we are just talking about  1-5 images used for backgrounds in the form right? What's the total number and size of all the images in bmp format?
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pteranodon72Author Commented:
It was helpful to distinguish "static" images for form design as good candidates for embedding, vs. dynamic images tied to data as ones where I'd use linking. Also helped imagine the work Access does to render images -- converting to bitmap -- so that I can save the originals as bitmaps to reduce overhead.

pT7w
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Jeffrey CoachmanMIS LiasonCommented:
great
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