Master e-mail attachments
Question : I received
a Word document as an e-mail attachment.
I opened the document, edited it, and
saved it. Then I closed Word. Now I
can't find the document. It doesn't
appear on Word's list of recently used
files, and it's not in any directory
that I can see. What happened?
Answer : The first
thing you need to do before working with
a document you receive as a file
attachment is to save the file to a
local disk, such as your
hard drive. Then you can work on it,
edit it, and save it.
If you open a document you
receive as an attachment, edit it, and
expect to see those changes reflected in
the copy of the file stored in the
e-mail message, you'll be disappointed.
That's because Windows stores a copy of
the attachment in a temporary
Internet files directory on your
hard drive, and any changes you make to
the file without first saving it to a
normal directory or folder will be
stored in the copy of the file in that
You can see that temporary
Internet files directory by opening the
Windows Control Panel and
the Internet Options icon. In the
resulting Internet Properties dialog
box, locate the section labeled
Temporary Internet Files, and click the
Settings button. From the Settings
dialog box, click the View Files button.
A window called Temporary Internet Files
will open, and there you'll see lots of
files that are stored temporarily as you
work with e-mail and the Internet.
You may be able to locate your
edited copy of the e-mail attachment in
that folder. In the future, however,
saving the file first to a conventional
folder on your hard drive will save you
the headache of wondering what happened
to your changes.