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Automatic opening of attachments.

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:30 pm
by Gary Velie
I receive email communications from the County that contain several attachments. These are created using both word and excel. These attachments are forwarded to the addressees as attachments that are in pdf. The author of the documents stated that she sends them that way so that they cannot be altered by the several addressees.
My problem is that when I receive them, there is one document that is shown by the small pdf logo. All of the remaining documents are automatically opened. I want to make copies of each individual document. The document that is shown by the pdf logo opens in a separate window and prints fine. The other documents will not print without printing the entire addressee list and all of the signature etc from the original email.

How can I change my incoming emails to not open the documents but leave them as small pdf logos?

Re: Automatic opening of attachments.

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:01 pm
by Stephen Hart
First, good for the sender for knowing to send unalterable pdfs. Sending Office documents is insecure.

Second, whether a pdf attached to Mail (and, I think, merely received by Mail) shows inline or as an icon is a setting, at least on the sending Mac. You can select the document and control click to determine how it shows up.

If you need to save the attachments, I'd use Mail's Save To feature. Hover over the thin line just above the message body. You can then put the attachments in Finder folder. They should all open normally there.

You can view attachments in Mail with QuickLook. Or you can doubleclick them to open them in the app you've designated as the default for the file type. For pdf, I recommend Preview.

Re: Automatic opening of attachments.

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:42 pm
by Gary Velie
Thank you. They opened fine when I followed your instructions. Much appreciated.

Re: Automatic opening of attachments.

Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:08 am
by Stephen Hart
By the way, files received as attachments can be retrieved, in case you lose a copy you saved.

yourusername/Library/Containers/com.apple.mail/Data/Library/Mail Downloads

Here's a Macworld article that explains Mail downloads.

(Usual apology for Macworld's idiotic autoplaying video.)

Re: Automatic opening of attachments.

Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:53 pm
by JerryFreilich
I am glad that Stephen clarified the issue of saving documents and how to open them. However, with due respect to my esteemed colleague, I must disagree on his assertion that "Office documents" are insecure. This is not true. Office documents can be password protected to open or modify through a very simple dialog box in the same way that pdf documents may be set to be secured. The security settings are in Preferences for Office documents. There are similar settings in Adobe Acrobat (which creates PDF files). See image showing the security box for a Word document (Word --> Preferences --> Security).

Re: Automatic opening of attachments.

Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:38 pm
by Stephen Hart
Office documents can be password protected to open or modify through a very simple dialog box in the same way that pdf documents may be set to be secured.
You're right. I should have been more precise.

But anyone who knows that you can password protect Word documents, or would even know to ask someone who might know that you can password protect Word documents, is not my target audience.
My point was that if you save a Word document to pdf and e-mail it, it's not alterable (without some shenanigans beyond the ordinary recipient). If you e-mail a Word document as is, any receiver can alter it and resend it.

Re: Automatic opening of attachments.

Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:10 am
by JerryFreilich
Hmm... I guess I had not thought about that. You're right that most people create a PDF document by simply "saving as PDF." In other words, they don't create it using Acrobat Pro where all those settings are right at hand. And I also guess that the default setting used in "Save as PDF" is that the document is read-only. I hadn't thought of that, but of course you're right.

As always, Stephen is the Man when it comes to help on our Forum. Thanks, always, Stephen!

Re: Automatic opening of attachments.

Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:49 am
by Stephen Hart
Jerry,
Does Word still do that thing where it appends every change to the end of the document, and retains all that until you "accept changes"? I once saw that cause some serious corporate embarrassment.

Re: Automatic opening of attachments.

Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:36 pm
by JerryFreilich
I think the answer to your question is yes. When "Track Changes" is turned on, all the edits remain in the side panel until they are "accepted" or "rejected" and the document is saved. This could easily be embarrassing if the user was unaware of how this works. It is not enough to select the "Final" version in the "Track Changes" pop-up window so that you can view the document as it will finally appear. The next time the document is opened, the view reverts to "Final Showing Changes" and all those edits and notations are revealed. Word does many things and it does many things poorly or awkwardly.... this is one of them. You will notice in the screen shot that the Preferences tab for Security has check boxes you can apply to (hopefully) help the next viewer to not commit this faux pas.

Re: Automatic opening of attachments.

Posted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:10 am
by Stephen Hart
Yeah, that's what I meant. And I think there was another issue where even without using Track Changes, Word would append edits rather than actually changing the document, until you did a Save As. Under certain circumstances, all of those appended bits would appear.
I'm pretty sure I remember that when I was using an older version of Word than my editor, I got edits from him with a bunch of stuff he'd written and then erased showing as plain text.

BTW, I'm not ranting against Word in general. If a user is working with a team using Word, it doesn't seem to me like a good idea at all to be translating back and forth just to avoid using Word. And if you use features of Word that other apps don't have, or are just used to using Word, then Word's the app to use.