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Attachment Manager User Guide

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This item was originally published on the OfficePower web site on
10th April 2000


Attachment Manager User Guide



Chapter 1 - Introduction and Installation

Introduction to Attachment Manager

Attachment Manager is a utility to help users of electronic mail systems other than OfficePower, particularly if you are likely to receive messages from OfficePower users.

Attachment Manager integrates with your mail client to recognise files attached to mail messages where the client does not know the name of the file. Attachment Manager will identify the correct file extension for the "unknown" file, and help you start up the appropriate "tool" or application to handle this type of file. (It can also be used to identify "unknown" files held on your PC after being copied from disk, or received by any other means.) Should the file concerned prove to be an OfficePower object, such as an OfficePower Word document, or an OfficePower datafile, Attachment Manager will invoke one of the Viewer utilities included in OfficePower for Windows, if the latter product is also installed on your PC.


Installation Instructions

  1. Ensure that Microsoft Windows 3.1 (or later) and your chosen mail client software are installed on your PC before you install Attachment Manager.

  2. Attachment Manager is supplied as a self-extracting ZIP file OPAM231Z.EXE. Create an empty temporary folder on your PC, and copy the EXE file to this folder.

  3. Select RUN from the FILE menu in Program Manager, or the Start menu in Windows 95, 98 or NT 4, and enter the command d:\tempdir\OPAM231Z, where d:\tempdir is the drive letter and name of the temporary directory. Enter the name of the temporary directory in the resulting dialogue box, click on UnZip to extract the necessary installation files, then on Close when the process is complete.

  4. Use the RUN command again, and enter the command d:\tempdir\SETUPwhere d:\tempdir is the drive letter and name of the temporary directory. Follow the instructions displayed by the Setup program.

  5. After installing Attachment Manager, you must configure its file associations. Double-click on the Attachment Manager icon in the Attachment Manager group, or, using the Run command again, browse to the directory in which Attachment Manager is installed, and select OPATTMAN.EXE. When asked if you wish to configure Attachment Manager, click Yes, and select the required associations as described in Chapter 2.


Release Information

This User Guide refers to Version 2.3.1 of Attachment Manager. You can check the version number of Attachment Manager using the Help:About Attachment Manager menu entry.


Chapter 2 - Using Attachment Manager

Do you often receive mail messages from users of email systems other than your own?

Then you must be used to receiving messages with attachments with names like ATT00001.DAT, or with no name at all, where your mail system does not tell you what type of file is hidden behind the filename or icon. Double-clicking on the attachment may let you pick a tool from amongst the applications installed on your PC - but how do you know which one to pick?

Attachment Manager helps to answer this question for you.

Once Attachment Manager is installed on your PC, double-clicking the attachment will pop up a new window, in which the probable type of the file is identified for you, and, if a suitable tool is installed on your PC, the name (and icon) of this tool is also displayed. A single click on a button, and the correct tool for this attachment is started for you.

Simple, isn't it?


Using Attachment Manager

To start Attachment Manager from a TeamWARE Office v3.x application, select an attachment with a filename extension of ".dat" and double-click on the "select tool" icon (next to the filename). For users of TeamWARE Office v5.x, just double-click the (unnamed) icon for the attachment. In addition, if you receive attachments with other file extensions not recognised by TeamWARE office, you can start Attachment Manager by selecting the entry opattman.exe from the list of tools displayed when you double-click the "select tool" icon, or use the "Select Tool" entry in the menus.

For other mail systems, follow the normal procedures for viewing an attachment in your mail client - see the section on Configuring Attachment Manager below on how to select the file extension used by your mail system.

The Attachment Manager window provides the following information:

    Filename: This is the full name of the temporary copy of the attachment on your PC.

    Probable Type: If Attachment Manager was able to identify the likely type of this file, this item tells you the type (e.g. Microsoft Word for Windows V6.0) and the normal filename extension to use for such files (e.g. *.doc). If the file is not of a type known to Attachment Manager, the item will say <Unrecognized>.

    Suggested Name: Some applications require a file to have the correct file name extension - this item suggests the name to which the file will be renamed if you choose to run the application or save the file.

    Tool: If your PC has an application installed which has registered its support for the type of file shown above, this box will show the full name of that tool (e.g. c:\winword\winword.exe), and the appropriate icon will appear below the box. If you have no such application installed, or the file type was "unrecognized", this box will say <None>.

Below and to the right of the "tool" box are two buttons which allow you to select a different tool from that initially chosen by Attachment Manager (see Selecting a Tool below for more information):

    Default Tool: Clicking on this button selects your preferred default tool. (This button is disabled if you have not specified a default tool.)

    Browse Tools (The button with three dots): Clicking on this button lets you chose an alternative tool.

At the bottom of the screen are three further buttons:

    Run Tool: Clicking on this button will run the selected tool to view the attachment. Attachment Manger will then automatically close down. (If the TOOL window shows "None", this button will be disabled.)

    Save As: This button opens a dialogue box which enables you to save a copy of the attachment, with an appropriate filename extension, without running a tool.

    Close: This button exits from Attachment Manager.

The functions available on the above five buttons can also be selected from the File menu, if preferred.


Selecting a Tool

If Attachment Manager cannot recognise the file type, or you don't have the normal tool for this file type installed on your PC, you can override the values displayed in the Probable Type and Tool boxes and try using another tool on the file. You can:

  • Click on the button to the right of the Probable Type box and select a different file type from the list displayed; the Tool box will then be updated to show the tool (if any) installed on your PC for that file type. Or:

  • Move the cursor to the Tool box and simply type in the path and filename for the tool you wish to run - the label of this box then changes to Selected Tool. Or:

  • Using the Preferences feature (see Configuring Attachment Manager below) you can specify a "default" tool - for example, you may have a "file viewer" to use on files for which you don't have a suitable application. Click on the Default Tool button to enter the name of your chosen default tool into the Tool box - the label of this box then changes to Default Tool. Or, finally:

  • Click on the Browse Tools (...) button. An additional Select Tool window opens and enables you to browse the programs installed on your PC, and select an alternative tool. When you click on the OK button in the Select Tool window, it will close and the name of your chosen tool will appear in the Tool box - the label of this box then changes to Selected Tool.

For example, if you receive a Lotus 1-2-3 for Windows file, but the spreadsheet installed on your PC is Excel, Attachment Manager will identify the file type correctly, but display <None> in the Tool box. Change the Probable Type entry to "Excel", and click on Run Tool to pass the file to Excel (which can read 1-2-3 files).

As a further example, if an unrecognised file is received, you could experiment by using Windows Notepad as the tool; just select Text File as the Probable Type, or type NOTEPAD.EXE in the Tool box, or use the Preferences facility to specify Notepad as your default tool and then simply click on the Default Tool button.


Using MDI Applications

Attachment Manager lets you chose the action it will take when the chosen tool is an application that supports MDI (the ability to open several documents, each in its own "child" window) and a copy of that application is already running.

    Use New Instance: Attachment Manager will attempt to start up a new copy of the tool.

    Use Existing Instance: Attachment Manager will attempt to pass the file to a new child window in the existing copy of the tool. This action is only available if the Tool chosen is that associated with the Probable Type; if the Tool box is labelled Default Tool or Selected Tool, Attachment Manager will always use a new copy of the tool.

    Note: To use an existing instance of an application, Attachment Manager must ensure the file has the correct filename extension. The file will be automatically renamed if you run the tool - you will be prompted if renaming the file would clash with an existing file of that name.

You specify the required action using the Preferences window, as described in the next section.


Configuring Attachment Manager

The Options menu contains a single entry, Preferences, which lets you configure Attachment Manager. (You must configure Attachment Manager before you can use it with your mail system, as described above.) The Preferences window will appear enabling you to specify the file associations to be used by Attachment Manager and other optional features.

    File Associations: Select the file extensions used by your mail system. For .DAT (as used by TeamWARE Mail 3.x) or .TMP (as used by TeamWARE Mail 5) click on the first or second checkboxes. For any other extension, enter the extension (up to three characters) in the box to the right of the third checkbox, and then click on this checkbox.

    If you are running under Windows 95, 98 or NT 4, you can additionally click on the fourth checkbox to integrate Attachment Manager with Windows Explorer. With this option selected, you can select files with "unknown" extensions in Explorer, right click and select Recognize from the context menu to open that file using Attachment Manager.

    Default Tool: This text box shows the path and filename of your chosen default tool, for example notepad.exe. To change this value, move the cursor to this box and type in the new tool name, or click on the Browse (...) button to the right of the text box. An additional Select Default Tool window opens and enables you to browse the programs installed on your PC, and select an alternative tool. When you click on the OK button in the Select Default Tool window, it will close and the name of your chosen tool will appear in the Default Tool box

    Use existing instances of MDI Applications: See Using MDI Applications above. If this box is unchecked (blank), Attachment Manager will start a new copy of the tool; if the box is checked (marked with a cross or tick), Attachment Manager will pass the file to a new child window in an existing copy of the tool. To change this value, click on the check. [By default, this option is set to "checked".]

When you have set your preferences, click on OK to apply them. You will see a message confirming that the necessary changes have been made to your PCs registry - click on OK to return to Attachment Manager.

If instead you click on the Cancel button in the Preferences window, any changes you have made to your preferences will be discarded.


On-Line Information

You can refer to an on-line copy of these instructions by selecting Read Me from the Help menu. Another entry on this menu displays the version number of Attachment Manager.

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