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Help with linking to files in a container field

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I'm new to the forums...please direct me to a more suitable forum if appropriate.

A user has been seeing abnormally large database sizes (upwards of a GB) since they started using container fields so I did some testing based on the user's process:


Am running FP 11 on Windows XP

Started with a 44 KB test file with only 3 fields, one of which is a container field.

I go to insert > object > create from file > browse

I select a pdf that is 298 KB, and click the boxes for "link" and "display as icon" then click OK (the file is on a Novell file server if that matters)

Close the database and it is now 1,516 KB

If I am only inserting a link, why is the file so much larger after this one operation? Inserting a link to a .doc file doesn't increase the size so dramatically, but still larger than expected based on .doc file size.


If I use insert > file, select my pdf, and check "store only a reference to the file", the file size is still 44 KB. From a size perspective, this is obviously more desirable. Is this a suitable alternative to using insert object (since I only want to link to a file in either case, rather than embedding the file within the database)?


We are moving from Novell to Active Directory servers, and the AD servers will have different server names. I've searched the forum for a way to mass modify the path for the linked objects from question 1, but I can't come up with the path. The calculation field that I created to display the path as text shows only "?". Any ideas on how to mass modify the paths? If I use insert > file using "store reference", my calculation field shows the path as file:filename (even though it is on a Novell server).

Thanks for any and all help.


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Insert > Object is a Windows-only feature for linking and embedding OLE objects in container fields - see:


If you only want to link to a file, you should use Insert > File > Store only a reference.

A container field holding a file inserted as reference holds both the relative and the absolute path to the file. Make sure your calculation field is tall enough to display all the information, as the various items are return-separated.

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Hi. Thanks for the info.

Making the calculation field bigger helped with the path to the file inserted as a link and stored as a reference, as I can now see the full path.

However, for inserted objects, the calculation field still just displays "?". I tried exporting the calculation field contents, and again, just get "?".

Any other ideas on how I can mass-convert the container fields to point to the new path?


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I am not sure it can be automated (I am not on Windows, so I can't verify it).

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