Tuesday, April 29, 2008

B: A Micro.. Bitch

Just a quick gripe about Microsoft.

Last night I open a file from e-mail (Outlook) hit save as, changed the name and started working on it. I forgot to change the save destination, so when I closed the file, I realized it was gone. It did not show up in my recent documents under Start or in the drop down in Word because I had changed the file name using Save As in Word. Worse still, when I re-opened the original and hit save as to find the default directory, it showed it as being in C:Docs and settings/user/local setting/temporary internet files/olkao/file name, but when I went looking for it, that folder doesn't exist or wasn't visible to me. This means Microsoft has programmed Outlook to default to saving files in a directory that not all users can access. I couldn't even find the file by trying to open it from Word even though I knew exactly where it ought to be because Word couldn't find the folder in the open mode even though word could tell me where the file was when I hit save as. Search couldn't find the file, or even that OLKAO folder. Worse still, when I look in the save as directory, there are a half dozen other files that I have lost over the last 2 years that I also can't get to, if for no other reason than to delete.

I ended up going into the Program files for Word and drilling down through the temp files directory and found a link through the recent documents in there to the saved document. For whatever reason, this list of recent documents was not the same list that was present in the other recent documents directories (start or docs and settings).

Long story short, Outlook ought to know that if people open a word or excel document from e-mail and then change the file name and try to save it, that they intend to re-open it and therefore it ought to be saved in a file directory that can actually be accessed by all users. It ought to differentiate between this action and other temporary internet file type activities. This is a simple problem with a really common occurrence that ought to be super easy for users to fix, but isn't. The default save location in this instance ought to be changeable in tools and should default to someplace logical like an outlook folder in My Documents. In fact why don't they make is so that all auto-recover files, temporary document files and anything opened from an e-mail server that you ever intentionally save is duplicated to a temporary folder in My Documents if another directory isn't specified? Auto-recover files can be just as tough to locate when working over a Network, and so it seems to me that those ought to be saved in a local easy to access directory as well.

People in my office do this same thing all of the time, and quite a few of them don't know enough to know where to look and so they assume the file is just lost. Microsoft, please fix this. If I intentionally save something, please default to saving it someplace where I can actually access it. Hiding my files from me in an inaccessible directory is really bad programming.

Bad Microsoft....Bad!

1 comment:

scotty said...

"is really bad programming"... yup.