Tip o’ the Week #77 – Saving docs straight to SharePoint

clip_image002Here’s a simple tip inspired by Luke Debono, who was asking how he could save directly from within an Office application to our departmental SharePoint site, using Office 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010.

clip_image003Now, if you open a document from a SharePoint site then you might get to view/edit it in a browser, or perhaps open and edit within an Office application. On the backstage/File menu, you’ll see a few clues that the document is on a SharePoint site – like the location, or (depending on whether the functionality is enabled on the SharePoint) the ability to check the document out & in, see previous versions etc.

clip_image005If you’re writing a new document and want to publish it directly to SharePoint, you can do so directly from within Word, Excel & PowerPoint – go to the File menu and select the Save and Send option, at which point you’ll be able to save it straight to the SharePoint of your choice, maybe even one of the more recently used sites…

URL or UNC? U B the judge

If you’re working outside of Office applications but still want to save your stuff straight into SharePoint (your MySite for example?), then it’s still possible. SharePoint is clearly accessible via a URL (eg http://sharepoint etc), but you might not know it’s also available via the old-fashioned “UNC”…

clip_image006universal naming convention
A naming convention for files that provides a machine-independent way to locate the file. A UNC name usually includes a reference to a shared folder and file accessible over a network rather than a folder and file specified by a drive letter and path.

UNCs were used in the old LAN Manager and NT days, to connect to file servers. They took the form of \\server_name\share_name, characterised by the phrase “whack whack” – as in “connect to “whack whack server_name whack share_name”…

In this instance, you can generally convert the SharePoint URL into a UNC by ditching the http:// piece and substituting forward slashes to back-slashes. If you’re in the File dialog of any application, you can type a UNC into the “File Name” box and hit Save or Enter, then the File dialog will be re-pointed to that location… allowing you to save your file (under a chosen name) into that location.

Once you’ve pointed the File dialog to browse into your SharePoint, you could even add it to Favo(u)rites to make it easy to get there in future… bearing in mind if you jump straight to \\sharepointemea\00sites\sitename then you’ll see all the other SharePoint folders that go to make up the site.

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