Flaws in Microsoft Access

Provided by Allen Browne, January 2004. Updated April 2010.

Failures caused by Name AutoCorrect

This feature was introduced in Access 2000. It tries to help users who rename a table field, so that queries, forms and reports automatically recognise the new field name. Microsoft has addressed some of the problems with this feature, but is it still buggy, incomplete, and a performance problem.

The workaround is to turn the feature off:

You must remember to do this every time you create a database, preferably before creating any other objects.

(Note: this is not the same as AutoCorrect for spelling, which has none of these problems.)

Known issues with Name AutoCorrect

A scan of the knowledgebase reveals why we urge you to turn this feature off immediately.

It causes problems with queries:

It causes problems with forms:

It causes problems with reports:

It does not work at all with macros and code.

It fails with converted databases, imported objects, and messes up design-time licences:

It is a serious performance problem:

It causes Access to crash, therefore corrupting databases:

Turning off Name AutoCorrect means that the Access 2003 promise of tracing dependencies is unfulfilled, but that doesn't always work either according to this article: Incorrect Object Dependencies Information Appears for Database Objects in a Read-Only Database.

If you have existing databases where this feature is on, consider creating a new (blank) database, turning it off, and then importing all objects from your existing one (File | Get External | Import).

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