Filed Under "You Learn Something New Every Day": Posting from Word to Exchange Public Folders

One of the many things I enjoy about my work is the constant learning and discovery.  Even if it's a 'small' discovery, as this one is, it's often enough to make a difference in a workday. 

I'm always looking for more efficient ways to deal with the mountain of information our office produces and must deal with daily.  Some time ago we established a 'Red Tape Reduction' committee to identify workflow process that could use improvement.  This post addresses one of those identified processes.  Solving it resulted in the discovery of a simple process buried deep within Word that increased the efficiency in our workflow.

If you aren't running an Exchange server, with Outlook connected as the desktop email client, you can stop reading right here - this post won't be of any interest to you.  But if you are working with Outlook connected to Exchange and use Exchange Public Folders, you may find this a helpful tip.

Essentially we were looking for the most efficient way to post to an existing Word .doc to a public folder to reduce duplication of work. We knew we could drag and drop the .doc from Windows Explorer to the Outlook Public Folder (but that required Windows resizing, so both the origin and destination locations were visible to allow for the drag and drop - and that can be fiddly).  We knew we could copy and paste the .doc (or any file) from its original location to the Public Folder (but that requires a lot of clicking).  There had to be a better way.  It turns out there is - it's just buried in Word, and until today, I didn't know it existed (which is possibly negligence on my part, but let's keep that to ourselves...!)  It's called the 'Send to Exchange Folder' command - and you can add it to your Quick Access Toolbar (Word 7 and later versions) for easy access.  This command allows you to directly send the open Word document straight to the Public Folder, right from within Word - no drag and drop, no copy and paste required.

Here's how you do it:

Add ‘Send to Exchange Folder’ to QAT

  • Click the down arrow at the far left of the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) to customize it to make the change
  • Click More Commands

  • In the ‘Choose commands from’ box, click the ‘down’ triangle to change the list from ‘Popular Commands’ to ‘All Commands’
  • Scroll down the (alphabetical) list of commands
  • Click once on ‘Send to Exchange Folder’ to select it
  • Click the ‘Add’ button (you’ll see the ‘Send to Exchange’ folder appear in the right side box, as shown below)
  • Click ‘OK’ 

That’s it – you’re done.  You’ll now see the ‘Send to Exchange Folder’ on your QAT. 

This is a one-time customization that should remain available to you at all times, now that it has been placed on the QAT. 

To use this ‘Send to Exchange Folder’ function

 Just do the following, with your Word document (In this case, the Pickup and Delivery Form) open: 

  • Click the ‘Send to Exchange’ icon on your QAT
  •  In the dialog box that opens – expand the ‘Public Folders’ (by clicking the + to its left)
  • Expand ‘All Public Folders’ (by clicking the + to its left)
  • Click to Select the Public Folder you wish to send the .doc to
  • Click ‘OK’ 
That’s it!  Word sends the document off to the chosen Public Folder as simply at that, as you can see from the screenshot below.  The document is posted there immediately, with minimal work on your part to get it there!

Live and learn!