Monday, November 24, 2008

Saving Word Files from E-mail

Some students have evidently been having problems with saving Word files they've opened in Outlook Web Access.

When a Word file is sent as an attachment, and you open it in Outlook Web Access, it opens Microsoft Word on your computer. But there's a problem -- the file is saved in a temporary folder. Thus, any changes to the file are saved to this temporary file and not in the copy in the e-mail.

If you open the file again from the e-mail message, you won't find your changes.

The temporary file also may be hard to find; it's in an obscure folder on your computer and may even have a completely different name.  It's possible -- though not easy -- to find this, and the folder may well be deleted by the time you go looking.

The solution is to plan ahead.  There are two things you can do to save your work.

  • Save the attachment instead of opening it.  When you click on the attachment, you are given the options to Save or Open. Always choose "Save" and save the file to your hard drive.  Then click on it to open.  Now your changes will be kept.
  • Use "save as" instead of "save." If you have opened the attachment, that's fine.  But don't just save the file.  Select "Save as" from the Office Button (at the top left of the screen).  Select a location and name and save the file there. Your changes are now on your hard drive.  You can do this the first time you save the file, or the last, but you must do it at some point or your work will be lost.

Remember -- unless you take either of these steps, any changes you save are only temporary.