Link to a file on network drive - Outlook 2003

Posted on 2005-04-12
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
In outlook 2003, can I set an attachment **link** in an email (without using UNC paths)?  ie T:\Folder\info.xls

This is just to send links to shared documents round in an internal office environment, where the documents will be on a common network drive.  

I was pretty sure that there used to be an Insert.. File.. Insert button dropdown.. Insert as Hyperlink option on other versions of Outlook, but I'm not seeing it in 2k3.

I don't want to send the entire document as an attachment, otherwise there'll be lots of copies of it, just a link to the one central copy instead. Creating a shortcut to the attachment seems to work, but is a bit awkward to use as it needs to be saved out of the email to be used...
Question by:Danny Child
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LVL 23

Author Comment

by:Danny Child
ID: 13762084
Turns out that the Insert as Shortcut option may have been removed in 2k3 for "security reasons"


another way?
LVL 23

Author Comment

by:Danny Child
ID: 13762268
found a way to do it, but it's a bit horrible:

Click in the main body of the email.. Insert menu.. Hyperlink.. change to the file: type from the dropdown, and then enter the full filename and path.  No need for quotes, and it copes ok with spaces in the filename and path.  

The only awkward bit is entering of the full filename and path manually, though the Run command lets you find a full path *fairly* easily, and I'm sure there's an old version of TweakUI that had a Copy File Name To Clipboard option.
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 13762285
Two workarounds:

1) create a shortcut on the desktop and drag and drop a copy of it into the message


2) manually add the following :   \\fileserver\folder\folder\file
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LVL 21

Accepted Solution

JBlond earned 1000 total points
ID: 13762292
I don't think that it's a good idea to use 'hard coded' links (with fixed drive letters and so on)

For this purpose we use PathCopy (http://home.worldonline.dk/ninotech/freeutil.htm) in our network. I deployed the tool in our network und preconfigured it, so that every employee here can use it out of the box. Now everytime they right-click on a folder or file which is stored on a network drive they can choose the (configured) option 'Copy network path'. This copies the path of the file or folder into the clipboard. They paste this into the mail. Voilá...

Hope that helps...

LVL 21

Expert Comment

ID: 13762323
An addition to my post: the option copies the path in UNC format enclosed in quotation marks into the clipboard.
LVL 21

Expert Comment

ID: 13762342
Just saw, you don't want UNC paths... :)
No problem. You can configure to tool for hard coded links, too!
LVL 23

Author Comment

by:Danny Child
ID: 13768154
meintsi - the shortcut fix won't work as outlook 2k3 blocks .lnk files by default now.  UNC paths can be difficult for non-techies to work with, as they don't relate to the T: (or whatever) drive that they're used to...  I want to use email links by example to stop the flood of attachments, and want it to be as transparent as possible to all staff.

JBlond - looks like a very interesting app.  I'll give it a spin!

Dug out my notes on tweakui - and it's the w95 version that had the Send To links
"send to mail, command line, capture full path and filename"
google around for SENDTOX.INF if you want it...
works on all the recent OS's that I've tried it on, but PathCopy looks like it's moved this up a notch...
LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 13769776
It does?  We recently upgraded to Exchange2003 running Outlook 2003 clients ( installed on new servers) and did nothing special.  A very plain setup.

We pass document shortcuts internally here all the time at work, usually from engineering to sales via email.
Must be our imaginations.

Good Luck
LVL 23

Author Comment

by:Danny Child
ID: 13774075
meintsi - the error generated by default behaviour in Outlook when copying a desktop shortcut in is as follows:

On sending, a popup dialog is shown:
This item contains attachment sthat are potentially unsafe.  Recipients using Microsoft Outlook may not be able to open these attachments.  Do you wish to continue?
<Yes> <No> <Cancel>

and on receiving the message, the status bar at the top reads:
Outlook blocked access to the followign potentially unsafe attachments:  <filename>
and the link is not visible.

If you are not seeing this, then perhap your email guys have removed .lnk files from the blocked lists....
our security policies here are pretty draconian!

more info:

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