Preview Documents in Microsoft Access Form
We recently added a document center to a project which allows users to attach documents such as pdf, word, txt and images to a project. In addition they will have an automatic process set up to read incoming emails and save the email attachments to a network drive. The goal is to allow the user to view new documents that have been received and save them to the correct location. Of course we will manage the process to extract information such as subject and who the document came from to allow the user to understand the general information of the document and this will be saved to a table. In addition the user needs to be able to view the document to read its contents.
We can of course launch other applications from access to view word docs in Word and pdf in Adobe Acrobat etc. However when a user only has one screen to work with this means switching from one application to another and if there are multiple document types then of course this means opening multiple applications. We therefore provided a simple solution that would launch the document in a new access form with tab layout allowing the user to easily manage the system. In the example below I am using code that will read the file from a given path, which the user will need access to on their computer. Alternatively, if the document is saved to a SQL table, we can modify the code to temporarily save the document to a local drive and launch the file from the temp location. If you use this method you would also want to include additional code to delete the temp file after viewing/closing the form.
The sample form provided should be launched passing the document path in the OpenArgs
DoCmd.OpenForm "frmDocumentReview", OpenArgs:= Me.DocumentPath
The on load code verifies that the path was passed and also if the file exists. If all is good the process continues.
Private Sub Form_Load() If IsNull(Me.OpenArgs) Then MsgBox "No document to show", , "Path not specified" Exit Sub Else If Not FSO.FileExists(Me.OpenArgs) Then MsgBox "Your computer does not have access to the named file. You need to download the file to view it." Exit Sub Else Showdocument OpenArgs End If End If End Sub
Finally the code loads the document. The Showdocument sub takes care of the different document types. Most document types use the else case. The form itself has a hidden text box called txtPath which stores the value of the OpenArgs (File name and path) this can be either a mapped drive or UNC. The web browser object stores =[txtPath] as the control source. However word documents do not work the same, and you first need to save the document as html. I used a method originally written by Crystal Long and made some minor changes.
Private Sub Showdocument(strPath As String) Dim strExt As String Dim sPathFileHTML As String Dim oWordApp As Object Dim oDoc As Object strExt = GetFileExt(strPath) Select Case strExt Case "docx" 'save word doc as HTML sPathFileHTML = CurrentProject.Path & "\temp.html" Set oWordApp = CreateObject("Word.Application") Set oDoc = oWordApp.Documents.Open(strPath) oDoc.SaveAs2 FileName:=sPathFileHTML, FileFormat:=8 'wdFormatHTML oDoc.Close False oWordApp.Quit Set oDoc = Nothing Set oWordApp = Nothing Case Else sPathFileHTML = strPath End Select 'open in browser control Me.txtPath.Value = sPathFileHTML End Sub