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Is it possible to do a simple search (Find) in an Access 2007 form on an Attachment field type?

Posted on 2013-11-25
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I have an Employee table and want to attach a Word 2007 resume file in an Attachment field type field (Resume).  Is it possible to do a search on this Resume field in the future from within a form for this table?  I would like to be able to do a search using the Find feature on the Resume field from within the Employee form.
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Question by:PJ_KD
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Scott McDaniel (Microsoft Access MVP - EE MVE ) earned 2000 total points
ID: 39676442
Do you mean search within the item in the attachment field - for example, search a Word document in the attachment field for data in that document? If so, then no, you could not do that directly in Access.

You could find the name of an attachment in the attachment field. For example. if you have 3 attachments named Attach1, Attach2 and Attach3, your could search for "Attach3" and find that.
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by:PJ_KD
ID: 39676476
So if there is only one attachment field in my example I would not be able to search the contents of that attachment like was possible in older  versions of Access?
You said that the search was not directly available in Access. Is there any means to do a search on the attachment content?
In your response of the three attachments, what would be the value in searching for the attachment file name?  Thank you for your help so far.
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LVL 85
ID: 39677603
The Attachment datatype is new in 2007, so I'm not sure what you mean by "older versions of Access". If I've misunderstood, then please provide more details.

You could use the native application to do a search, but that would be a massive effort IMO. For example, if you have Word document, you could get the name/path of that Word document and then automate an instance of Word, and use the search features through that automated instance to search the document. You'd then have to do this for all other attachment types (like Excel, for instance). Of course, you can't search Images and many other types, so I don't know how useful that would be.

Regarding the value in searching for the file name - I have no idea what that value would be to you, but if you're storing attachments that have relevance in the title/name, then it could be of value. For example, if I'm storing scanned Invoices as an attachment, and I have 30 or 40 invoices attached to a single Customer, then perhaps I'd want to search for an invoice named "INV12092012" ...
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by:PJ_KD
ID: 39677702
Access 97 used to support an OLE type of field that was actually searchable but exploded the size of the DB because the field was embedded in the DB.
Do you know whether an Attachment type field can be attached to an email generated from Access then and if so, do you have a link to how to do this?
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LVL 85
ID: 39679437
2007/2010 still support the OLE field type, but as you mention it's not a good way to store data.

You could attache anything to an email, but you cannot do so directly from an attachment field item. You'd need to output that file somewhere, then create an email and attach it. However, that would really be a separate question, so it would be best to post that as a new question.
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by:PJ_KD
ID: 39679623
Thank you.
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