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Why does a docx file in an email attachment download as an ashx file?

Posted on 2011-03-10
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My daugher has some sort of web-based email from school--I believe it's the "cloud" version of Outlook.  Whatever.
When she has an attachment that she had been sent that was a Word 2007 document--that attachment gets saved to the Windows 7 machine's Download directory as an .ashx file.

Double-clicking opens it up in Visual Studio in binary form, and I see the first two bytes are "PK"...which I remember from back in the day as a zip header.  So I renamed the extension to .zip and it opened fine in Winzip showing a bunch of .xml files.  The word doc's contents are in the xml files but it's in that raw xml without any stylesheet affecting it.

I just want a damn Word document not some run-around from Microsoft because it's "the cloud" or some bs about security.  

How can I open this thing in Word 2007 where it was created and not have to be a friggin' programmer to get my daughter to do her homework?
Thanks,
James
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Question by:prairie1
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Author Comment

by:prairie1
ID: 35105374
Ok...I opened it by forcing word to open it, chosing "All FIle Types" in the file-open dialog and it opens.
So I'll revise the question:
Why?
Why the hassle?  Why double-clicking Microsoft's own OS can't figure out it's own doc format done by it's own applications?
Thanks,
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Expert Comment

by:boopalank
ID: 35105888
Hi!
Since Microsoft is using different platforms on microsoft applications, we need to chose "All File Types' in the file opening dialog and it will open.  Since it is a microsoft document, it can be easily managed within Microsoft Operating system.

If you do that all the files can be opened without any problem.
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Ingeborg Hawighorst (Microsoft MVP / EE MVE) earned 1000 total points
ID: 35105946
Hello, this sounds rather annoying. Try to rename the file with a  .docx extension. It should open fine.

The problem lies with the web server, which is serving up the file with the wrong Mime type. The web admins of the site need to get their act together. Until they do, there's probably not much you can do at your end, other than renaming the file.
You may also see different results with different browsers. Google Chrome delivers Word files from some sites as zip files, Firefox delivers them as Word docs.

In short: there are many components involved in the mix, and not much you can do, other than to complain to the site serving the file. It's them, not you, who is at fault.

Cheers, teylyn
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Author Closing Comment

by:prairie1
ID: 35108040
Thanks very much!
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