Collaborating on documents through email can be a big headache.  Sending the document back and forth to people after each edit fills mailboxes, and leaves everyone with multiple copies of the same document.

If you are struggling with this, I think you might like using Microsoft’s shared attachments feature.  It works with Outlook and Sharepoint. The Exchange Server for the email accounts of the sender and recipients, and the SharePoint site, must be on the same domain.  So if you have a McCombs SharePoint site, you will only be able to do this using your McCombs email account in Outlook, and you will only be able to send shared attachments to other McCombs people.

Here’s how it works.  You send a shared attachment through Outlook, which will create a document workspace on SharePoint and correctly permission the document to be edited by everyone in the To or CC line.  When the recipients receive the email, the document will be attached, but there will also be a link to the SharePoint Workspace where the document is stored.  The sender and recipients of the email will be able to edit the document in SharePoint, and will not need to send the document back and forth through email.

You must have Full Control permissions to your SharePoint site to use this feature.  Students have Full Control permissions for personal My Sites.  If you have a departmental team site, please consult your Site Manager.

Before you begin, you need to add the SharePoint site as a Local Intranet.  You will only need to do this once.  Here’s how:

  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. Go to the Tools menu and select Internet Options.
  3. Click on the Security tab.
  4. In the Internet section, click Local intranet.
  5. Click the Sites button.
  6. Click the Advanced button.
  7. Type the URL of your SharePoint site and click Add.  For McCombs students, this is your MySite.  Your URL is https://students.mccombs.utexas.edu/ and for McCombs Faculty and Staff, it is your departmental site at https://community.mccombs.utexas.edu.
  8. Click OK until all of the dialog boxes have closed.

Once your SharePoint site is a Local Intranet, you can send a shared attachment.  To do this:

  1. Open a new email message.
  2. Add recipients to the To and CC fields.
  3. Attach the document or documents.  (Click on the paperclip button on the toolbar or on the Insert tab of the ribbon, browse to the file you want to attach, and click the Insert button.)
  4. Click on the Attachment Options button.  See below for pictures.
  5. In the pane that opens on the left side of the email, select Shared Attachments.
  6. In the Create Document Workspace Below at: box, type or paste the URL of your SharePoint site.  For McCombs students, this will be your My Site, which is https://students.mccombs.utexas.edu/personal/msb______.   For McCombs faculty and staff, this will be your departmental SharePoint site.  If the URL ends in /default.aspx, delete that part.
  7. Check the Show when attaching files box at the bottom of the pane.
  8. Click the Send button.
  9. You will receive an email with a link to the workspace you created.

Attachment Options Buttons:

Outlook 2007

Outlook 2003

Tune in next week to find out how to delete a workspace on SharePoint when you are finished using it.