SNP file format

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Snapshot File
Filename extension .snp
Developed by Microsoft
Type of format Access report output, multi-page, precise
Container for EMF (contained pages)
Contained by CAB (compression wrapper)

The SNP file format is used by Microsoft Access to store Report Snapshots in a single file which can be viewed and printed by the Microsoft Snapshot Viewer, available as a no-additional-charge download from Microsoft (runs on Windows only). This allows report output to be exported and viewed on Windows computers which do not have Microsoft Access installed.

File format

SNP files are based on the Microsoft Compound File Binary Format (CFBF),[1] which is also the basis for the Advanced Authoring Format (AAF). CFBF is a reasonably simple container format which can store multiple files, directories and so on.[2] For SNP files, Microsoft Access uses CFBF to store each page as a separate Enhanced Metafile (EMF)-like format containing all of the graphics commands required to reproduce the page.[3] Since CFBF files are not compressed, Microsoft's CAB format is used to reduce the size of the CFBF, resulting in a compact file format which may be only a few kilobytes in size for each page of text and simple graphics - lines, boxes, etc.

End of support

In Access 2010, snapshot format for reports will not be available.

As an alternative, you can export your reports to PDF/XPS and Excel formats instead. This is native functionality that doesn’t require a download.


  1. "Advanced Authoring Format Low-Level Container Specification" (PDF). Microsoft Structured Storage version 3 specification (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-05-07. Retrieved 2006-05-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Microsoft Compound Document File Format" (PDF). CFBF description. Retrieved 2006-05-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Is Microsoft Access Snapshot considered EMF?" (HTML). MSDN Forum discussion of SNP file format. Retrieved 2008-09-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links