Article ID: 198504 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q198504
Moderate: Requires basic macro, coding, and interoperability skills.
This article applies only to a Microsoft Access database (.mdb).
For a Microsoft Access 2002 version of this article, see 291556
When you save a table after you add a new field or change the properties of an existing field, you receive the message:
This message is followed by:
Too many fields defined.
You receive these messages even though you have 255 or fewer fields defined in the table.
Errors were encountered during save. Data types were not changed.
NOTE: You also receive this message if you add or modify fields in a report that is based on a table that has too many fields.
The internal column count that Microsoft Access uses to track the number of fields in the table has reached 255, even though you may have fewer than 255 fields in the table. This can happen because Access does not change the internal column count when you delete a field. Access also creates a new field (increasing the internal column count by 1) for every field whose properties you modify.
To free the internal column count for deleted fields or for fields whose properties you modify, do one of the following:
Microsoft provides programming examples for illustration only, without warranty either expressed or implied. This includes, but is not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. This article assumes that you are familiar with the programming language that is being demonstrated and with the tools that are used to create and to debug procedures. Microsoft support engineers can help explain the functionality of a particular procedure, but they will not modify these examples to provide added functionality or construct procedures to meet your specific requirements. NOTE: The sample code in this article uses Microsoft Data Access Objects. For this code to run properly, you must reference the Microsoft DAO 3.6 Object Library. To do so, click References on the Tools menu in the Visual Basic Editor, and make sure that the Microsoft DAO 3.6 Object Library check box is selected.
In Access, you can define up to 255 fields in a table. If you create 255 fields and then delete 10, Access does not release the fields from the internal column count. Also, for every field whose properties you modify, Access creates a new field and does not release the original field from the internal column count.
Steps to Reproduce Behavior
For more information about database specifications, click Microsoft Access Help on the Help menu, type Microsoft Access specifications in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topics returned.