Flaws in Microsoft Access

Provided by Allen Browne, July 2007, based on a posting by Peter Miller.

Grouping by Memo field yields garbage

This article describes a bug in Access 2000 and later (JET 4 and later), where a memo field is displays incorrect characters under these conditions:

The display is typically one or two strange characters, instead of the contents of the memo field.

You can download the demonstration database shown below (10kb, zipped, Access 2000 format mdb.)


TableOne consists of two fields:

TableTwo has one Number field (Long Integer), with 3 records (the numbers 1, 2, and 3.) There are no indexes in either table.

The query joins the two tables, and groups by the fields in TableOne. The inset shows how JET displays the output of FieldB incorrectly.

Screenshot of query design and output


Either of the following will work around the bug:

Other bugs

There is a similar bug where concatenated text fields yield garbage, but applies to recordsets only.

See truncation of memo fields for details of of how to avoid chopping off the contents at 255 characters.

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