Oct 21

Microsoft Access 2016 and Invisible Picture Images

Microsoft Access 2016Microsoft recently released Office and Access 2016. In our preliminary testing and development with the 2016 version, there’s very little that has changed from Access 2013. However, a bug was introduced late in the development cycle that is quite annoying and serious.

Some Images (Pictures) are Missing

If you’ve added images (pictures) on your forms and reports, they may appear blank in MS Access 2016. For example, here’s a form with a picture that is blank in 2016:


This occurs with the 32-bit version of Access 2016 (16.0.4229.1024) and not the 64-bit version. That’s not a reason to use the 64-bit version, but it is a difference.

Not All Pictures are Invisible

Some images appear properly, while others don’t. With some research, we discovered:

  1. Images that were originally BMP files appear properly
  2. Graphic types such as GIF, JPG and PNG formats become blank

Impacted by the Picture Property Storage Format Setting

Upon further investigation, the problem is associated with the database’s Picture Property Storage Format when the picture was added to the form or report. This is under the Access Options setting for the Current Database:


There are two options:

  • Preserve source image format (smaller file size)
  • Convert all picture data to bitmaps (compatible with Access 2003 and earlier)

If the image is added when the option is set to the second option (Convert), the non-BMP graphics do not appear in the 2016 version.

Microsoft is Fixing the Problem

The Microsoft Access team is aware of this bug and fixing it. How long it will take before it’s publicly available is undetermined. It’ll probably be a few months as service packs take a while to get through the Office release process. We’ll let you know when we know.

What to do Now?

If you can’t wait for Microsoft to release a patch and need to use Access 2016 immediately, here’s what you should do:

  1. Set the Current Database, Picture Property Storage Format to “Preserve source image format”
  2. Reinsert your pictures. If your pictures are BMP files, the storage format setting won’t matter

Of course, it’s not easy to find all the places on your forms and reports where this is a problem, then reinsert every picture, especially if you don’t have or can’t find the original graphic files.

Total Access AnalyzerProperty Slices in Total Access Analyzer Can Help

Our Total Access Analyzer program documents all the objects in your database. While it can’t replace your graphic files, it identifies all the places where there’s a picture property. Whether it’s at the object (form or report) level or its controls, the Picture property shows whether an image file is assigned.

After documenting your database, from the Documentation Explorer, click on the Forms folder in the treeview, select the Property Slices tab, then choose the Picture property. This shows every form and its picture property value. The ones that aren’t “(none)” need to be reviewed:


Similarly, choose the Controls option and Picture property to see this value for all the controls on all your forms:


Press the Design button to put the current row’s form into design mode to make your changes. Then do the same for reports.

Unfortunately, this is quite a hassle for something that should just work. Let us know what you’re experiencing.

Aug 24

Total Access Analyzer 2010, 2007 and 2003 Updates Ship

Total Access AnalyzerIn conjunction with the release of Total Access Analyzer for Microsoft Access 2013, FMS is pleased to release updates for earlier versions of MS Access:

Click on the links for detailed information on the new features.


Total Access Analyzer is the most popular Microsoft Access add-in of all time. It provides detailed documentation and analysis of your MS Access databases to help you better understand how your objects work together, detect problems, improve your designs, and enhance performance.

This update is part of the 10th major release of Total Access Analyzer since its debut in 1993.

Free Demo

A demo is available for you to see the types of documentation it generates using the sample Northwind database. Look at the results, filter and search it, and see the reports it generates: Demo Download

Existing Customers

Customers on an annual support contract for Total Access Analyzer or the suites it’s in receive the new versions for free:

Other Total Access Analyzer customers can upgrade for a discounted price.

Aug 03

Appearance on FOX Business News for Tom Brady’s Destroyed Text Messages

cavutoOn Wednesday, I was invited for a live interview with Neil Cavuto on his FOX Business News show Coast-to-Coast.

The primary issue was NFL quarterback Tom Brady’s destruction of his cellphone surrounding the Inflate-gate controversy and his recent suspension.

Prior to his hearing before the NFL, Brady physically destroyed his cellphone and was able to avoid disclosing his text messages which were suspected to contain incriminating information. The question was whether that really destroyed his text messages.


It’s a rather interesting question because people don’t often think about how different types of communications are stored whether it’s email, text or instant messages. With our concerns over security, hacking, and privacy, it’s important to better understand how these platforms work to address the risks we face.

How Emails are Stored

Emails are always stored on a server which retains the emails even if the device that received or read the emails is destroyed. This is how emails can be retrieved from multiple devices simultaneously. Depending on the mail server’s rules, old emails generally remain available until they are permanently deleted. They also exist on the sender’s email box and any of the Cc and Bcc recipients.


How Text Messages are Stored

Text Messages do not have the same permanence as emails. They exist on the sending and receiving devices until they are deleted. The phone company that transmits the text message also retains the message. At a minimum, they need to retain it until they successfully transmit it since the receiving device may be unavailable. It can take multiple attempts and multiple days before the message is transmitted.

After that, the phone company has no requirement to retain the message. The text message only exists on the sending and receiving devices.

However, some phone companies, like Verizon, offer text messages that can be read online. The messages are available online even after the message is received by the phone. That means the phone company is playing the role of a text message server. They may exist there for months, which means it remains a repository if the device is destroyed.

So if you think your text messages only exist on yours and the other party’s device, you may want to check your mobile phone provider (and that of the other party) to understand their policies.

Unfortunately, Fox did not release an online copy of the interview, so we can’t share it.

Jul 07

Total Access Analyzer Ships for Microsoft Access 2013

Microsoft Access 2013FMS is pleased to announce the release of Total Access Analyzer, version 15, for Microsoft Access 2013. Total Access Analyzer 2013 is our 10th major release of this product since its debut with Access 1.1 in 1993.

Total Access Analyzer provides detailed documentation and analysis of your MS Access databases to help you better understand how your objects work together, detect problems, improve your designs, and enhance performance.

Over 300 Types of Issues are Detected

Total Access Analyzer examines all your database objects in detail to find 300+ types of issues including errors that crash your application, unused objects and VBA code, design inconsistencies, and other best practices to maximize your investment in your Access applications.

390 + Professional Quality Reports

Over 390 filterable and customizable reports are available to document your applications and help you develop more efficiently. Reports include table/field dictionary reports, object cross-reference lists, module printouts, application flow diagrams, field and SQL consistency reports, and much more.

Discover why so many Microsoft Access enthusiasts made Total Access Analyzer the most popular Microsoft Access add-in of all time and the winner of every Best Access Add-in Award for decades.


New Features

Total Access Analyzer is now available for Microsoft Access 2013 with many new features:

  • Total Access AnalyzerSupports Microsoft Access 2013, 32 and 64-bit versions
  • New documentation of Conditional Formatting
  • Documentation of Navigation Control and Buttons
  • Documentation of Web Controls
  • New Control Type Reports
  • Support Procedure Calls to Libraries
  • 3 New Module VBA Coding Suggestions
  • Enhanced VBA Module Parser for Compiler Conditionals
  • New Search Bar for Selecting Objects
  • Improved Open Documentation Form
  • Report Filter Shows Count of Issues
  • New Treeview with 64-bit support
  • New user manual and help file
  • and more!

Here’s a complete list of new features.

Free Demo

A demo is available for you to see the types of documentation it generates using the sample Northwind database. Look at the results, filter and search it, and see the reports it generates: Demo Download

Existing Customers

Existing Total Access Analyzer customers can upgrade for a discounted price.

Jun 01

Total Access Admin 2003, Version 11.6 Ships

adminThe release of Total Access Admin 2013 added many new features. Due to customer demand, we’ve updated Total Access Admin 2003 from version 11.5 to 11.6 to include the new features.

The primary difference between the 2003 and 2013 version is that the 2003 version doesn’t require installing Access 2007 or later on the machine in order to support the ACCDB database format. It supports Access databases in MDB formats and does not require Access to be installed on the PC.

Many New Features

Total Access Admin 2003 version 11.6 includes these enhancements:

  • Maintain a list to translate computer names to more friendly user names
  • Manage up to 100 database in one screen (up from 50)
  • Specify a time to close the program
  • More command line parameters
  • New forms to view the activity log, and more.

Read our New Features page for details.

Free Trial

Download the free, fully-functional Trial Version to see how helpful Total Access Admin can be for you.

Supports All Microsoft Access Versions

Total Access Admin 2003 supports MDB databases created in any version of Microsoft Access. Existing customers can upgrade at a discounted price.