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I suggest you ...

Linked Table Options

When Linking Tables, initially and in the LinkedTable Manager, it would be nice to:

1) Expand the dialog box !!!! Many table names are too long to see
2) have an optional textbox to optionally preface the name in Access with something
(as the SourceTableName and Name are 2 different properties)

3) skip tables with errors and continue linking with all in the list -- leave the problem tables checked

thank you

62 votes
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Crystal shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →


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  • Dan Moorehead — PowerAccess commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I absolutely agree.

    I've proposed specifically how this could be implemented (along with other enhancements and fixes for the "NEW Linked Table Manager" for Access in Office 365) at:

    👉 "New Linked Table Manager – Suggested Improvements, Fixes, and Relative Path Relinking" ( )

    You can find, and reply to, the Microsoft Access team's response to my suggestion there.

    Though voting is locked (seemingly due to Microsoft Access team having accepted those suggestions in part), it's unclear which of the many suggestions covered there Microsoft may be implementing or to what degree they may be prioritizing them in their backlog.

    Therefore, IF you want to see this (and other major enhancements) to the Linked Table Manager prioritized, then:

    👉 Please reply to the Access team with **COMMENTS**

    ● voicing your support for this (as well as other suggested Linked Table Manager, auto-relinking and relative linked path enhancements and fixes) by describing:
    **WHY** you believe this should be a **PRIORITY** for the Access team and **WHICH** of the alternatives and separate suggestions I've outlined there you support:

    Specifically, I had proposed there (as the preferred solution) adding:

    New EDITABLE (and Sortable) Columns, including:

    ● Target Table Name
    (as Combobox – so can optionally select the corrected table name via drop-down)
    ● Local Table Name (if should differ)
    ● Data Source Filepath (or Connection String)
    ● Table Status + highlighting (indicating which, if any, tables need relinking)

    That may actually **completely remove** the need for Edit vs. Relink buttons, checkboxes, prompts and dialogs in most or all cases.

    I also proposed other much-needed features there, relating to:

    ● Automatic relinking based on relative paths
    ● Development vs. Production connections (improved support for alternative connections – a very common use case)

    Like Access MVP Juan Soto had just pointed out yesterday (in a webinar from Michal Bar, Senior Program Manager for Microsoft Access):

    It is **CRITICAL** that you reply with comments describing WHY you feel a suggestion should be a priority, if you want it prioritized by the Access development team (especially with the now 700+ feature requests they have to decide on and prioritize).

    That was pointed out during one of the many excellent free Microsoft Access webinars available 2+ times per month

    ● I would suggest all Access users attend the Access User Groups' free monthly webinars there by Access team members and Access MVPs (and check out those they've missed on YouTube):

    ● Those webinars cover the latest tips, tutorial walkthroughs, and new features in Microsoft Access, while also, like yesterday, providing an opportunity to ask questions of or make suggestions directly to the Access team or Access MVPs.

    I appreciate your support (by voicing your comments in the linked to feature request) in helping the Access team to prioritize this and other enhancements to the new (incredible) Linked Table Manager in Access for Office 365!



    Dan Moorehead
    Founder, PowerAccess – All-in-One Toolset & Framework for Microsoft Access
    (and PowerExcel | PowerVBA for .NET | PowerGit | PowerAccess.NET | Visual3D | PowerSQL | PowerAccess2SQL)

    👉Subscribe for Early Access to PowerAccess

  • Jim Dettman commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Didn't see this in the comments (may not have read through all carefully enough), or maybe it was implied by some, but when selecting tables from multiple sources, the current version prompts for the location for each and every table, even though you may have already indicated where that data source is located. Right now, the only work around is to only select tables from one data source, update those (only getting prompted once), then do the next, and then the next, etc.

  • KVD commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Here is Alan Cossey's remark. My question follows: "Some work has in fact been done on this in Access 2016. See for more details. Is this what you mean?"

    Does this mean Access 2013 will NOT get these improvements retroactively, implying I should recommend my clients bypass Office 2013 and go to Office 206 with Access 2016 ? I am only seeking clarification.

  • Crystal commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    REMOVE YOUR VOTE. Vote for one (or both) of these instead. And please copy your comments to the other suggestions.

    This idea has been separated into 2 suggestions:

    At the request of Microsoft, I created new suggestions to separate the multiple ideas.

    Thank you

  • Daniel chen commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Much more important is to add a serverfilter
    Like we had with adp
    This would reduce records from server to only selected
    This in comparison to to today where all records from a table returned to client then filter
    Very unificeint and costly
    Please, please bring back to life server filter on accdb and accdb sql linked tables

  • Jim Dettman commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I know this is really not the place to say this, but you guys know the work around for #3 right? Just make sure when selecting, you select tables from only one data source at a time. You won't get hit then with a prompt for every table after an error regardless of where it is (which I've always considered a bug). But certainly, it would be nice to have it fixed so you don't even have to do that.

  • Chris Naylor commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Great suggestion Crystal. It is strange to find a dialog box that isn't sizable (and with sizable columns as well) at this stage of the game. This seems an almost effortless fix and very helpful for users.

  • George Hepworth commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    To those mentioning the wider dialog in the 2016 Linked table manager. How hard would it have been to make the whole thing sizable, just like so many other Windows dialogs are now? It's almost insulting, IMO, to give an inch of width and ignore the fact that even then, it may not be quite wide enough for a deeply hierarchical path.

  • George Hepworth commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Guys, with 2016, we got the ability to export a list of linked tables to Excel, right from the linked table dialog. It took me almost 30 minutes to replicate that same functionality with a query and a sub. Of course, I couldn't put mine on the Access design interface because, well, I can't get to it, so I had to put it on a custom ribbon. Fortunately, I also know how to do that.

    The point is, we get nearly useless little filigree like this, when a bit of discovery with your user base would have told you that there are other, serious problems that go unaddressed.

  • Patrick Headley commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Related to #3, make it possible to sort by data source to make it easier to relink to multiple data sources.

  • Patrick Honorez commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    option 1 is already done in 2016. Option 2 has been available for ages in ODBC linking, and you can rename the tables locally for Access linked tables.

  • Juha Kemppainen commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I would like to see Access linked table manager as in SQL Server where you can make several "pages" of linked tables so you could group certain relationships in one page and so on. Problem is that on only one page there are just too many linked tables which makes it difficult to understand. Additionally quite soon comes a limit how many tables you can link one main table. This limit should be removed.

  • Nick67 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    One of the great annoyances of the Linked Table Manager in Access 2003 is that, when you right-clicked a table to get to the Manager THE TABLE YOU CLICKED WASN'T CHECKED OFF!!! That failure was a broken UI rule and very annoying.
    Having some sorting/filtering options would be nice and DEFINITELY having an option to use the newly selected link for ALL the tables that had the same linkage as the one just replaced would be nice. Re-linking 150 tables via the Manager is so annoyingly painful, I built the VBA UI to do it via code.

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