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Friday, August 15, 2008

Word Documents on a Network

So, have you ever noticed how weird Word behaves on a network? You open a document on your server/network, and Word creates a temp file. That's okay, Word does that. You close the document, but you see owner (~$...) files and working (~...wrl, ~...tmp, etc.) files scattered and left behind. Now, when you open documents, Word tells you that they're open by someone else - sometimes you! And even yet, sometimes, you save a document but the changes don't appear in the new .doc when you copy them off the server! No problem, you'll just delete them - except, I don't have permission to delete these files? What's going on?!

Take a deep breath (not too deep, because you'll pass out). It's a simple permissions issue. If you have permission to change the permissions on a folder on your network then you can solve this problem. If not, then you just need to talk to someone who does.

Word doesn't need Full Control to work properly on a network, although most users think that's the optimal solution. The only permissions Word needs to make these temp files go away and work right are:

  • Read
  • Write
  • List Folder Contents (not required, but obviously handy)
  • Modify!
It's that last one (Modify) that some admins don't get. If you can read and write, why do you need to modify? Well, Word apparently does. So, here's how you make this very simple (and safe) change:
  1. Right-click the folder in question
  2. Click Properties
  3. Click the Security tab
  4. Click on Users
  5. Puts checks under Allow for
    List Folder Contents
  6. If you trust everyone on your network, enable
    Read & Execute
I'd recommend against granting Full Control unless you really trust people with the folder. The reason being is that they would then have access to grant and deny permissions on your folder. Better safe than sorry.

Now, you can safely delete Word's temp file in your network share, and you can open and use Word documents normally. Ahhhh.

1 comment:

Leslie Lim said...

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