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When viewing an Outlook attachment, I want the message I was working on to open.

Posted on 2013-12-13
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Last Modified: 2016-01-03
After I open an Excel or Word attachment in Outlook, Windows wants to show me another Excel or Word document in stead of reverting to the Outlook message I am trying to edit.  How do I make it so the original message comes back instead of bringing up an unrelated Excel or Word documents first?  I know I can just click on the icon but Windows didn't use to have this time killing flaw.
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Question by:TAOSA-Admin
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Expert Comment

by:Lionel MM
ID: 39718717
Not quite sure I know what you mean: are you saying you open up an email, that email as an attachment; you then open the attachment (Word or Excel attachment) and you then close the attachment and instead of Word and Excel closing they remain open and you have to tab over to the email with the attachments? If this is what you mean then I did some testing with Outlook 2007 and it would not let me open word attachments--it made me save them to disk first. It also would not let me preview the file. What version of Outlook are you using?
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Author Comment

by:TAOSA-Admin
ID: 39718729
Outlook 2007, SP3 part of MS Office Pro Plus.  

I open an attachment and if there is another of the same type (Word, Excel) running in the background, it pops to the foreground when I close an attachment of the same type.  It's like Windows wants to put up everything Word or Excel since a Word or Excel document/file was just open.  

I'm sorry you can't open attachments.  No idea what that's all about.
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Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 39718884
TAOSA-Admin--

Are you sure the attachment is opening in Outlook rather than in Work or Excel?
If the attachment is opening in a different program than Outlook, you should be able to click the Outlook icon on the Taskbar to get back to the Outlook message.
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Accepted Solution

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Qlemo earned 500 total points
ID: 39719916
That's no feature of Windows, but of Office. If you open an attachment, it opens in the existing instance of the corresponding Office application.
I don't know whether you can do that in 2007, but 2010 allows for switching off DDE, e.g. for Excel in Options » Advanced » General » Ignore other applications that use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE).
If after doing that you get an error, you'll have to change registry entries (default open action for Excel sheets, Word docs aso.). The accepted answer in http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/c42f825d-b7e8-48c8-b5af-30563b839f09/windows-7-cannot-run-multiple-instances-of-excel-using-ignore-other-applications-that-use-dde can give you an idea of that.
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Author Comment

by:TAOSA-Admin
ID: 39719962
That did the trick for Excel but Word doesn't have the same DDE option to select/deselect.
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