Nov. 3, 2005

Outlook and Read Only Attachments

We use Outlook here at work (hey, stop snickering!) and I’ve noticed that it tends to save most of my incoming attachments as read-only files. I couldn’t figure out why it was doing this and it was mostly getting in the way of my workflow — for instance, a coworker might send me a proposal to work on, but I’d first have to change the file attributes before editing it.

Well, I came across the answer: Outlook is apparently doing that intentionally and it can’t be turned off:

If you open an e-mail message attachment in the reading pane in Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, the attachment opens as read-only.
This behavior occurs because the attachment handling function changed in Outlook 2003 to avoid data loss.
To work around this behavior, do not open the attachment in the reading pane. Instead, double-click the e-mail message, and then open the attachment.

This reminds me of the old doctor-doctor joke:

Patient: Doctor, doctor, it hurts when I move my elbow like this Outlook sets my files as read-only when I save them from the reading pane.

Doctor: Then don’t do that.

Thanks for nothing, Outlook!

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