Reducing the Size of Your RESUMate File

Introduction

A RESUMate database file does not have a set record limit.  However, the actual size of the file is capped at 1 gigabyte (GB), or 1,000 megabytes (MBs).  How many records it takes to reach the limit will depend on how much information is stored in each record.  (A database full of records that only contain names and e-mail addresses will have more records than a database file full of records with full resumes and extensive notes.)

If your file is approaching the 1 GB limit, you have a couple of options, which are outlined below.  The one thing you can't do is ignore a file that is approaching the limit.  If the file does reach maximum size, it can become corrupted, lose data, and may take considerable time and effort to get back to working order.

Why Is There a Size Limit?

RESUMate uses a Microsoft Access database format.  Access itself imposes the size limit because databases over a certain size become too large to be efficiently used and too prone to database corruption.  Other database formats can handle more data than Access, but doing so requires special software or services on your PC.  Access has no such requirements and can be used by anyone.

Saving Space Without Archiving Records

There are two primary ways to reduce the size of your database file without having to delete or archive any records.  (How much size reduction will depend on the specifics of your database.)  The first is the Valid Table, the second is the Memo section.  The following steps and utilities will help you maximize the amount of file size reduction from each.

1. The Valid Table

Redundant or unused items on the Valid Table increase the size of your .rdb file without ever being of any use.  The amount of space within the file taken up by each unused item depends on the number of records on which it is being used.  So, for example, an item on your Table that is only being used on 5 records does not add much size to the database file.  But an item on your table that is being used on 20,000 records does. 

Generic or very common keywords (e.g. "Microsoft Office", "Management") are often found on most of the records in a database.  Since terms like these are on so many records, they aren't very useful for searching, but they do take up a lot of space in your file.  Valid Table At-A-Glance is a utility that allows you to identify on how many records each Valid Table item is being used:

Valid Table At A Glance

NOTE: You may get a security warning from Windows when using Valid Table At A Glance.  You can safely choose to allow it to make changes to your PC.

When you run that .exe file, you will be prompted to select your .rdb file.  Once your file has been selected, you can click the "Get Count" button and the utility will find out how many times each item on your Valid Table is being used.  Once the count is complete, you can click the "Export" button to create an Excel compatible .csv file for easy viewing of the results. 

In RESUMate, click the File menu and select Database | Tools | Edit Valid Table.  In the Valid Table Editor, begin deleting unused items that have the highest count according to Valid Table At-A-Glance.  Save the changes, exit the Valid Table Editor, and run the Compact & Repair utility (File | Database | Tools | Compact & Repair).  Once Compact & Repair has complete running, your file size will be reduced. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you receive an error when trying to save the changes on the Valid Table, try deleting fewer items.  If your file is at or close to the gigabyte limit, you may only be able to delete one or two items and still be able to save your changes.  As the file size shrinks, you will be able to delete more and more items.  Repeat as necessary.

2.  Memos

HTML and RTF formatting in the memo section can increase the size of your database.  Stripping out this formatting and leaving memos as plain text can reduce the size of the file, but it also means that the memos will no longer appear as they would in MS Word.  The Remove Memo Formatting utility allows you to strip formatting from older records to reduce file size while leaving newer records with the nicer appearance that comes with HTML and RTF formatting. 

Remove Memo Formatting

NOTE: You may get a security warning from Windows when using the Memo Formatting utility.  You can safely choose to allow it to make changes to your PC.

When you run the .exe file, you will be prompted to select your .rdb file.  Once the file has been selected, it will list all of your memo titles and give you the option to remove formatting from all records, or just records that have not been edited since a certain date.  For maximum file size reduction, it is recommended that you select all memo titles.  Select a date at some point in the past (two years ago, four years ago, etc) and run the utility.  All the text will remain, but the formatting will be removed.  No data will be lost. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Remove Memo Formatting utility performs intensive operations on your database.  All users must be out of RESUMate while it is running.  There is no "Undo" command for Remove Memo Formatting, so it is strongly recommended that you back up your file before proceeding. 

Archiving Records to a Separate Database File

The simplest way to reduce the size of a RESUMate .rdb file is to archive some of the records into another .rdb file.  For example, you could remove all of the records that have not been modified in five years.

Archiving records is very straightforward.  First, you make a copy of the file.  Second, you delete the half of the records you don't need in each copy.   Here's a step-by-step guide:

IMPORTANT: Back up your database file before you begin.  There is no "undo" command for splitting your database, and if you decide to want to change what dates you're using, you'll need the original copy of the file.  Click here for backup instructions.

Step 1. - Make sure everyone else is out of RESUMate and run the Compact & Repair utility (File | Database | Tools | Compact & Repair).  This will get the file down to its smallest current size before you split it.

Step 2. - Click the File menu and select Database | Save As.  You'll be prompted for a file name.  Call it "Pre-2010 Archive.rdb" or something similar.  Simple, descriptive filenames are always the way to go.

Step 3. - Once you save the archive file, RESUMate will ask if you want to open the new file, say "Yes".  In the archive file, run a search for all records modified since 1 Jan 2010.  If you're on the Easy Search screen, it'll look something like this:

DateSearch

Step 4. - Once the search has completed, click File | Database | Tools | Block Delete and delete all of the current records from your archive database.

Step 5. - Run the Compact & Repair utility (File | Database | Tools | Compact & Repair) on your archive database.  You now have an archive database file that has all of your records from before 2010.

Step 6. - Re-open your main database by clicking File | Database | Open.  In your working database, run a search for all records not modified since Dec 31 2009.  If you're using Easy Search, it'll look like this:

SecondDateSearch

Step 7. - Once the search has completed, again click File | Database | Tools | Block Delete to remove all of the archive records from your working database.

Step 8. - Run the Compact & Repair utility (File | Database | Tools | Compact & Repair) on your working database.  Your working file now only contains your recent records while the archive database contains the older ones.

You should now have two much smaller .rdb file.  Anytime you want to search old records, just open that Archive.rdb file.

NOTE: You can change the dates you use if you think it appropriate.  The five year example here is just an example, you can do this with any date range.