Opening attachment in Word via email

  Cara2 14:09 26 Nov 09

Asking on behalf of a friend:

She is using Hotmail and her operating system is Vista.

Having prepared a document in Word (office 2007, but might be a trial version), she emails a copy to herself as an attachment. However, having received it,she is unable to open and read it.

Any thoughts please.


  Technotiger 14:27 26 Nov 09

When she received the email with attachment, did she *save it as* before trying to open it?

  Cara2 15:01 26 Nov 09

Right, she just 'saved' it. The document appears to be saved as a word document.

We have looked at 'save as' - and she is now going to download some add-on so she can save as a pdf - the option is not there at the moment. Is that usual?

  Cara2 15:02 26 Nov 09

Oh, if it helps, I can do what she is trying to do without any problem.

  Technotiger 15:17 26 Nov 09

I have not got Office 2007, so I can't offer any detailed assistance in that respect, but I would expect her to be able to read the attached word .doc - if not readable in Word 2007, can she open it in an earlier version of Word? Failing that, PDF might work.

  skeletal 15:33 26 Nov 09

Office 2007 has the facility to save a file as a “proper” pdf i.e. one where all cross references and hyperlinks are kept intact, unlike every free pdf software I’ve tried. However, due to some legal battle, you can only get that as an extra download from Microsoft; I expect this is what she it getting.

However, although this may be a way around the problem, it is treating the symptom, not the cause.

You should easily be able to save/send/open all Office documents so something is clearly not working properly.

I’m not sure if there are any restrictions on her version; sometimes software will allow you to use the application, but not save the result for example. This would be worth checking.

Also, I expect when she saves, it will be a “.docx” document (the default that Word 2007 uses), unless she specifically tells it to save in 2003 format. If she has Office 2003 installed as well as 2007, she may click on the file and the association could still be to Word 2003. Word 2003 will start up but it will not like opening the docx version (unless she has yet another add-in, this time for Office 2003, which allows you to open, but not necessarily edit parts of, Office 2003 files).

What happens if she sends a docx file to you, assuming you have Office 2007 of course!

Finally, I have come across documents that have become corrupt. We never know how it happens, but it is Word after all, it will happily corrupt documents for fun sometimes! Get her to try a brand new document just in case.


  Cara2 15:53 26 Nov 09

Thanks for replies.

Firstly, my friend was able to send me a document - from what I can recall, it took an age to open but I think I was able to view the document.

It opened in a different way to the way my documents open - mine open right away.

Secondly this problem is with all her documents prepared in word and I think she has ocassionally used works word processor with the same problem.

Her laptop is new. Microsoft Office was pre-installed, although I suspect it is a trial version. Could that be anything to do with it?

Another question - word did not give the option to save as a pdf, although she has the appropriate software installed. Is that usual? This is why she is downloading the microsoft add-on.

So many questions! Hope I am making sense?

  Technotiger 16:11 26 Nov 09

Yes, it looks as if the add-on is needed. It is not unusual for PDF docs do take a little while to open, so I guess your received it as a PDF.

  Terry Brown 16:21 26 Nov 09

This is a link from microsft that will enable office 2007 files to be opened in Office 2003.
click here

Hope it helps

  Cara2 17:03 26 Nov 09

Thanks Terry, but my friend does not have office 2003 on her comp!

  skeletal 17:17 26 Nov 09

Ah! Vital info “but my friend does not have office 2003 on her comp”

So switching problems (between the two versions) will not be the problem on her machine, but could be on yours. Do you have both versions?

You say a document took an age to open. Normal behaviour is that it takes fractions of a second to seconds. But, where both versions of Word are installed together, they can “switch” depending on whether the document is docx or doc and which version of Word you have last used. This switching takes ages.

New installs of Office 2007 don’t have pdf writer installed, as per my previous post, you have to get it from M$:

click here

“although she has the appropriate software installed”. What “appropriate software”? Re: my previous post, if she has any other type of pdf writer, it will not work in the same way as the M$ version. If she has the M$ download from the above link then, in Word, go to the round button/save and chose “pdf or XPS”.

She may have the full adobe suite at £500 or whatever, but very few people pay this much so I’m assuming she doesn’t have it. This is the only other software the does pdfs “properly” (that I’ve found anyway).


click here

Describes some of the effects of Office trials running out. Has any of this happened?

Failing all this, if you/your friend emails me (yellow envelope next to my name) we can arrange for you to send me an example document and we can see how it behaves on my machine.


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