Have you ever noticed that some programs always assume where you want to save a file? Or, they assume the directory from which you will open a file?
Somehow, the program’s guess never seems right…
Oh, it may be close, for people who store all their files and data in My Documents or subdirectories of My Documents. I don’t, at home or at work.
At home, I like to store my data in a folder named Data, which usually is not on the C: drive partition. In "my day job," I store almost all of my data on the department file server.
Programs are often so insensitive to this issue that they do not allow you to pick a default folder that’s different from the programmer’s choice.
Outlook 2007, just like Outlook 2003, aggravates me every time. When I select the function Save As for an email or an attachment, Outlook (at work) selects a special hidden, accessible-only-from-within-Outlook, Temporary Internet Files folder. At home, it selects My Documents.
Notice that particular point — the folder at work is hidden and is not accessible via Windows Explorer, it is a special Outlook file folder that is encrypted. That’s because the office emails are being handled by the Microsoft Exchange mailserver.
Both these hidden and My Documents defaults mean that, every time I want to save something from Outlook, I have to use the save dialog box to move to the folder where I want to save the attachment or email. I have to move the dialog box selection up through the directory structure one level at a time, or use the dialog box’s pulldown menu to jump to the "drive", then maneuver down through the file folder structure to find the location I want to use.
There’s an easy way to make jump straight to the destination — a Shortcut!
Making the Shortcut is a little less than obvious. When you use the Save As dialog box, you see folders listed first, followed by Shortcuts, followed by individual files in the directory shown.
If we make a Shortcut in the displayed folder in the Save dialog box, it will show after all the folders. Plus, it will be shown in alphabetical order or chronological order or however you have the dialog box sorted.
The initial tip is that we need to put the Shortcut(s) that we make into a Folder. That way, the show near the top of the alphabetized list.
The second tip is to name the folder with an initial Underscore ("_") character. Or, if you already have folders starting with an Underscore, add another Underscore. The point is that the Underscore characters will be sorted before other characters in the alphabetized list.
The final trick is "How do I create a shortcut, especially in a protected directory only accessible from within Outlook?"
This is easy to do.
Open Windows Explorer and move to the file folder for which you want to make a shortcut, e.g. C:\Data .
Then, open Outlook, select an email message and select File, Save As from the menu bar. This will open the Save As dialog box. Then, create the destination folder for your Shortcut(s) — either right-click in the folder & file listing window of the dialog box, and select New, Folder, or use the icon on the Save As dialog box that looks like a folder with a star or explosion at its top right corner (this is the New Folder) button. Name the folder "_Shortcuts".
Double-click on the new _Shortcuts folder to open it.
Now, right-click (assuming you don’t have your mouse set for left-handed people) on the selected folder in Windows Explorer, and drag it into the opened _Shortcuts folder.
When you release the right mouse button, you’ll get a pop-up context menu that will allow you to select "Create Shortcut."
That’s all there is to it.
Now, when you want to Save As from that offending program, use the Save As button, double-click on the _Shortcuts folder, and double-click on the shortcut you created. You’re there!