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Graph: DBPix image storage vs OLE Embedding and Linking in Microsoft Access

Access Master-Detail Image Form (External Files)

A common question in Access is how to overcome the limitations of "Continuous Forms" when using images. The Paging sample presents a solution for displaying multiple images on a form; this sample builds on the Paging technique by incorporating it into a one-to-many relationship, allowing a variable (and unlimited) number of images or photos for each master record.

A subform displays the images for the current record using a fixed grid of DBPix image controls, with Prev/Next buttons to navigate through additional "Pages" of images. To add or edit images the subform is dynamically switched to a standard form in "Single Form" view.

This sample stores the images as external files (i.e. "linked"). A version with images stored in the database (i.e. "embedded") is available here.

Download Sample   1.7 MB (Requires DBPix)

Download DBPix  3.7 MB ( About DBPix )


sample screenshot - Access Master-Detail Image Form (External Files)
Main View
sample screenshot - click to enlarge
sample screenshot - click to enlarge
Sub Edit
sample screenshot - click to enlarge

System Requirements

Any Win32 platform (e.g. Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP, Vista, Server 2003 or Server 2008).
Access 2000 or later (Access 2000, XP/2002, 2003 or 2007).
DBPix 2.0


Unzip the download then open the mdb file in Access.


Open the form 'frmMain', and maximize it.
Click the Main photo to see a detailed version.
Close the Detail window.
Click the 'Next' & 'Prev' buttons to browse through the available sub-images for the current master record.
Click one of the sub-image thumbnails to see a detailed view, then close the Detail window
Right-click on the main image to see image tools (eg to load or paste a new image).
Click the 'Edit' button to switch to the sub-image editing form, then right-click on an image to load a new image.
Click the 'View' button to switch back to the viewing form.

Technical Overview

This sample takes the 'Paging' approach and combines it with a one-to-many relationship and subforms to produce an application with a 'Main Photo' and 'Additional Photos' structure. The multi-view form of the Paging sample is used in a subform to display the 'Additional Photos' for an item, supporting a variable and unlimited number of additional photos for each item. To edit the additional photos the 'Multi View' subform is switched for a different one, which is based on regular bound controls in a single form view.

Files & Code

File / module Description  

frmMain Main Form View Code
fsubViewSubImage Subform for viewing sub-images View Code
fsubEditSubImage Subform for editing sub-images View Code
frmZoomMainImg Pop-up form for displaying Zoomed main image View Code
frmZoomSubImg Pop-up form for displaying Zoomed sub images View Code

Revision History

Date Filename Description

8 Jan 2008   multiview-ex-v4.zip   Added Reports
20 Aug 2007   multiview-ex-v3.zip   Simplified image grid update code.
21 Apr 2006   multiview-ex-v2.zip   Added code to delete external image files when records are deleted.
10 Apr 2006   multiview-ex.zip   Initial Version.