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:

Symptoms:
If you open an e-mail message attachment in the reading pane in Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, the attachment opens as read-only.
Cause:
This behavior occurs because the attachment handling function changed in Outlook 2003 to avoid data loss.
Workaround:
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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