What to do when you see "Package" instead of "Bitmap Image" in your database tables

When you use Datasheet view to add GIF, JPEG, and other common types of image files to an OLE Object field in an Access table, you see the word "Package" instead of the expected "Bitmap Image."

"Package" appears in the field because the OLE Object field only supports Windows Bitmap (.bmp) and Device Independent Bitmap (.dib) files. If you want to store additional types of graphic files in an OLE Object field and have Access render them properly, you must install additional software, and that software must provide the components (called OLE servers) needed to display the additional image types.

Previous versions of Microsoft Office provided a program called Microsoft Photo Editor, which in turn provided the OLE server needed to render GIF and JPEG files. The Office 2003 System replaced Photo Editor with Microsoft Picture Manager, which does not provide the needed OLE server for those types of files.

You can use either of the following techniques to work around this issue:

  • Store your images outside of your database and use Visual BasicĀ® for Applications (VBA) code to display them. For more information, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article How to display images from a folder in a form, a report, or a data access page.

  • Convert your GIF or JPEG images to Windows Bitmap (.bmp) files. Although BMP files are usually larger than GIF or JPEG files, they can help reduce the size of your database, because Access doesn't create additional Device Independent Bitmap (.dib) files to support them. For information about why Access creates DIB files when you use GIF or JPEG images, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article Why OLE Objects Cause Databases to Grow.

More information

See these articles for more information about using images with Access:

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