Quick Tip: Back up your Access objects

Making a major change to an object can cause a situation where you have to re-create a table, report, or query from scratch. This tip can help you avoid this pain.

If you’re going to make a major change to an object because your business rules and user needs have changed, here’s a tip that can help you avoid having to re-create a table, report, or query from scratch.

The problem:
Both novice Access users and developers often make the same mistake when they’re working on a project: They modify an object without backing it up.

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The fix:
  • Before you modify your existing table, form, query, or report in Access 97, right-click it and select Save As/Export from the shortcut menu. Select the Within The Current Database As option. When you do, Access will suggest a default name of “Copy of [object name].”
  • In Access 2000, click File | Save As. The resulting dialog box will suggest the same default name and will offer you the option to save it as a table, form, or report.
  • At this point, you can either accept the default name or modify it. If you want all your copies to appear together in a sorted list, accept this name. But if you want your old and new objects to appear together when sorted by name, move the phrase “Copy of” to the end of the original object name. If you want all your old objects to move to the bottom of the list, delete “Copy of” and replace it with a string such as “ZZZ.”