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Combined field lengths have exceeded the maximum for the database table. Resize or delete other fields before increasing the length of this one

You want to increase the size of a field to handle larger amounts of data inside of the field but when trying to do so in the Define Fields area in ACT!, your are given a message :

Database Table Capacity: Combined field lengths have exceeded the maximum for the database table. Resize or delete other fields before increasing the length of this one.


The Act4Advisors database is an ACT! database that was customized with the ACT! software.  The underlying database engine and architecture that ACT! uses is Microsoft SQL Server.

MSSQL has limitations in size for each table structure inside of its database. The table structure size is not based on the total amount of data or records but the maximum size of all fields added to together per record, ie. An ACT! Contact.

If you add fields to an ACT! (SQL) database where the total of the size of all fields exceed the limits for the SQL table size, ACT! and SQL automatically create a new table that are linked to the original table.  This new table is now limited to the maximum size of the first.  This means, if you open a field in Table1 and try to increase its size so that the combined fields sizes exceed the table size, the above message will be displayed.

Possible Solutions:

Solution 1. Act4Advisors has a large number of fields in the database that may not be needed by the end user. If the user wants to increase the size of field A by some number “N”, he should be able to decrease the size of another field in the same table (field B) by “N”. Or, a field can be deleted that would free up the length of the deleted field.  We do recommend extreme caution when deleting or reducing field sizes because any data that resides in these fields can be either truncated or removed altogether.  Also, deleting fields will remove the field from the layout and ACT! or Act4Advisors reports, labels, envelopes and templates.  Another caution is that some fields in Act4Advisors have programs attached to them such as the Birth Dates, RMD Dates, Address fields, Account and Insurance fields among others. Changing these fields in anyway will cause Act4Advisors to stop functioning and may cause errors.

To determine which fields are located in which tables, go to the computer where the Act4Advisor database resides and run the ACT! Diagnostic report that shows the fields and their respective table.  To run the ACT! Diagnostics click on Start > Run and type ACTDIAG and then enter or OK. You can also browse to the actdiag.exe file located in the \Program Files\ACT\ACT for Windows folder and double click on it.

In ACT! Diagnostic, choose Databases and then Database List (in ACT! 2008).

Click on the Act4Advisors database so that a black arrow shows next to it. The name normally begins with Advisor, ie Advisor35

Right click on this database and choose Database Structure > Database Fields to CSV.  This file can be opened and reviewed with MS Excel.

By design, there are fields that Act4Advisors does not use.  These fields can be shorted in length or deleted.  If you would like our advice on fields, send an email to and tell them which fields you are concerned with.  Also keep in mind, some ACT! default and system fields cannot be changed at all.

Solution 2. Instead of shortening or deleting fields to make the space you need, you can simply add a new field to the database in substitution for the one that is not long enough. 

This solution can be easier than the first because it does not involve the risk of harming the database and Act4Advisors programs and templates. However, it does require that you add the new field to the layout and possibly the reports, envelopes, labels or letter templates.  If the field is not needed on these, we recommend this approach. Also, if you choose to do this method, we recommend naming your substitute field to something slightly different than the original Act4Advisors field.

To add a field to the layout, please consult your ACT! documentation or our Knowledgebase

Article Details

Last Updated
1st of May, 2008

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