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If you're installing Access ELF right now, make a note of this:

You may need to open this Help topic again, if something goes wrong with the installation!

This is the SETUP topic of the ACCELF.CHM Help file.

To read this page, locate ACCELF.CHM using Windows Explorer, and double-click its listing.
ACCELF.CHM will be found in Winnt\System32 (2000) or under Windows\System (98).
You can also type ACCELF.CHM into the Start/Run... box of Windows or at the c:\ Command Prompt.

If you are upgrading from a previous Access ELF version,
please read these Uninstall instructions now.

Access ELF 2002 is installed by running the setup program found on the diskettes or downloaded from our server. The installation program is called ACCELFXP.EXE (because Access 2002 was released with Office XP). [Note that Access 2002 is also referred to as Access version 10.0]

As an add-in to Microsoft Access, Access ELF follows the typical installation procedure. To begin, you must have the Add-in Manager available. The Add-in Manager is a choice on the Add-ins submenu of the Tools drop-down menu. (Note: "Add-ins" only appears on this menu once you have loaded a database.)

Here are the steps to follow:

1) Run the ACCELFXP.EXE program to copy the files to your hard drive.
These files will be placed by default in the parent directory of Microsoft Access. (The parent directory is the one immediately above the "home" directory.) For Access 10.0, the home directory is usually C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office10. So the add-in will be copied into C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office. For details, see technical note.

2) Open any database, for instance the Northwind database.

3) From the Tools drop-down menu, click Add-ins.

4) From the Add-ins submenu, click Add-in Manager.
(If Access ELF already appears in the list of Add-ins, STOP and read the instructions for upgrading your installation of Access ELF below)

5) Click the "Add New" button and use the Open File dialog to navigate to the Access parent directory. (Again, this will usually be C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office).

6) Highlight elf32.mda and click Open. "Access ELF 2002 for Microsoft Access 10.0" should now appear in the Add-in window with a check mark indicating that it is installed. Click Close.

You're ready to use Access ELF with your own databases! "Access ELF" should now appear in the same list as "Add-in Manager", on the Add-ins submenu accessible from the Tools drop-down. When you start Access ELF from this menu, a vertical toolbar will appear on the right side of your screen. To ask questions about your database, you'll need to click the A and run an Analysis, which creates the natural language interface for this particular database. See the Analyze topic for more details.

Note: Starting with Access 2000, add-ins are no longer centrally located in the MS Access directory when they're installed. Instead, they're moved into a directory which holds your private tools, under the Profiles subdirectory of the operating system (Winnt or Windows). This means that once you've installed elf32.mda, the copy located in your Access (parent) directory is redundant. But you may want to leave it there anyway, as a backup.

Things that can go wrong with the installation:

a) You don't see "Add-in Manager" on the list of Add-ins available from the Add-ins submenu.

What to do:
In this case, you'll need to install the Add-in Manager. On current versions of Access, Add-in Manager is always clickable, even before it's installed -- installing is usually as simple as clicking the "Install from CD" button. If you need to rerun the Access installation, select "Advanced Wizards" in order to make sure that the Add-in Manager is installed.

If you are upgrading from a previous version of Access ELF, read this section carefully.

b) When you select elf32.mda from the Open dialog (accessed from the Add New button of Add-in Manager), you see an error message titled Add-In Manager, reading "There was an error copying the add-in to the Microsoft Access directory. The add-in was not added to the Microsoft Access directory."

What to do:
This error message indicates that there was a copy of the Access ELF library already present in your add-ins directory. Your first step should be to Uninstall this library using the Uninstall button on the Add-In Manager window. Then you'll need to find this directory and delete this copy of elf32.mda prior to reinstalling with the Add-In Manager. The location of the add-in directory depends on which version of Windows you have. For instance, under Windows 2000, if your user name is John Smith, it may be Documents and Settings\John Smith\Application Data\Microsoft\AddIns. Under Windows 98, it's probably Windows\Application Data\Microsoft\AddIns.

Note: This directory is Hidden, so it won't appear unless you specify "View hidden files and folders" as one of the display options in Windows Explorer. To change this setting, select Tools / Folder Options / View tab and click the "View hidden files and folders" radio button.

Once you have uninstalled and then deleted the prior version of the Access ELF library, you should continue the installation at step 2 in the instructions above (Open any database, for instance the Northwind database).

If you have difficulties following this procedure, you may want to uninstall the older version completely before beginning the new installation.

To completely uninstall Access ELF:
1) Use Add-In Manager to uninstall Access ELF (click Uninstall).
2) Use Control Panel / Add/Remove software to remove Access ELF from your system.
3) Use Windows Explorer to find and delete all remaining copies of elf32.mda on your hard drive. Any remaining copy will probably be the copy placed by Add-In manager into your AddIn subdirectory. ("View hidden files" must be set as described above for this step to work properly.)

Once you have uninstalled completely, you can begin the installation all over again from Step 1 above.

We apologize for the complexity of this upgrade process, but to the best of our knowledge there is no way to force Microsoft's Add-In Manager to overwrite an obsolete add-in with its more current version.

c) When you select Access ELF from the Add-ins list, Access displays an error message.

What to do:
If you try to use Access ELF in a database that has pre-existing errors in its code modules, or invalid references, you may see error messages. In this case, exit and reopen the database. Try to determine the source of the error before restarting Access ELF. First, press F11 to display the database window. (If you're unable to display the database window, you may be using a protected application; you'll need to get help from a database administrator.) In the database window, click the Module tab, then click the Design button to open any module. If there aren't any modules, click New. To check for compilation errors in your database, click Run/Compile All Modules. If an error is highlighted, fix or comment out the offending code.

The other possible source of errors is a "broken reference". To check for this, select References from the Tools drop-down menu. (Note: References appears on the Tools drop-down menu only if you first open, or select an already-open, module window.) In the References window you will see a scrollable list of Available References. The References included in your database are shown at the top with their check-box checked off. If the word "MISSING:" appears in front of any item, you have a broken link which can be interfering with other components. Uncheck its check box and close the References window.

Special considerations

The release of Microsoft Access 2002 is unusual in that the file format has not changed significantly between Access 2000 and Access 2002. In the past, each time a new version of Access was released, file formats were drastically revamped, making it impossible to use the newest edition of Access ELF with earlier versions of Access. This was because Microsoft Access could read databases created by earlier versions of itself, but could not modify these databases without writing them back in the new format. Consequently, Access ELF 2000 could not be used with Access 97 files, Access ELF 97 could not be used with Access 3.0 files etc.

Because Access 2002 fully supports reading and writing of MDBs in the older (2000) format, it is possible to use Access ELF 2002 (Access ELF XP) from within Microsoft Access 2000. If you are installing Access ELF 2002 while operating Microsoft Access 2000, you may want to read these installation notes released with the previous (Access ELF 2000) edition.

Last Updated: August, 2009