Downloading PDF From outlook.com Changes Name Of File

Dell / Inspiron one 2320
December 9, 2018 at 07:54:08
Specs: Windows 7, 3.3 GHz / 4001 MB
I have no idea what forum to post this in, so I'm putting it here. It's sort of an Office forum question, but not really. Here goes...

This is what I am dealing with. Note: This is not a one-time occurrence, it happens every time. Trust me, I tested it on multiple machines, just to be sure.

1 - I created an Excel workbook in Office 2013 on a Windows 7 PC
2 - I saved it as My_Workbook.xlsx. (just an example name)
3 - I then printed that workbook to a pdf creation utility (I tried 2 different programs on 2 different Windows 7 machines). Both programs ask the user for a filename to save the pdf as.
4 - I saved the pdf that the "Print to pdf" program created as My_PDF_Workbook.pdf. (just an example name)
4a - (I also Saved the workbook as a pdf directly from using Excel - Save As...pdf, just as a test)
5 - I then emailed the pdf to my gmail account.

Here's the part that's OK:

If I open the pdf from Outlook 2013 on my PC or from gmail.com in my browser or from the gmail app on my phone, it opens the pdf as My_PDF_Workbook.pdf, as expected. If I save the file, it saves it as My_PDF_Workbook.pdf as expected. That's all good.

Here's the part that's not OK:

If I open the pdf via outlook.com (on a PC or a Chromebook) it opens the file as My_Workbook.xlsx - document.pdf. Note that the original xlsx file name is visible. If I then download the pdf, outlook.com saves it as document.pdf:

file:///C:/Users/username/Downloads/document.pdf

I don't understand why, or even how, Outlook.com knows (and retains) the original .xlsx file name and shows it in the file name when it's opened. I also don't understand why it saves the pdf under the name of document.pdf. Subsequent saves of this pdf (or other pdf's) saves them as document (1).pdf, then document (2).pdf, etc. This forces me to rename the file so I know which one is which or forward them, etc.

My biggest concern is that if I were to send the original pdf to someone else that uses outlook.com, they are going to see the name of the original Excel file. I don't want that to happen. That forces me to rename the file before I send it to someone. (If I didn't I have a Chromebook, I wouldn't be using outlook.com and I never would have know that this was happening. That's scary.)

Can anyone explain why outlook.com does this? Further, can anyone explain how outlook.com knows the name of the original .xlsx file even after it has been printed to or saved as a pdf?

Thanks!

message edited by DerbyDad03


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#1
December 9, 2018 at 11:59:32
There is Meta data stored within the Excel sheet and the original file name may be part of it.

Here a a couple of links:

https://smallbusiness.chron.com/rem...

https://professor-excel.com/metadat...

MIKE

http://www.skeptic.com/


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#2
December 9, 2018 at 12:03:58
Here is a VB program to extract the meta data

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us...

MIKE

http://www.skeptic.com/


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#3
December 9, 2018 at 12:41:17
Thanks for that, but it doesn't explain why only outlook.com displays that meta data. gmail doesn't and Outlook 2013 doesn't.

It also doesn't explain why it displays the meta data in the file name when the file is first opened but doesn't save it when the file is saved.

It also doesn't explain why the pdf file name that the original file was saved under is lost.

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#4
December 13, 2018 at 11:17:24
If I may ask, what were the programs you used to make the PDF? Also what is your PDF viewer on PC, phone and Chromebook?

I will test your problem tomorrow when I can use Outlook.com to download the PDF (as I don't use it at home).

message edited by Mrrrr


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#5
December 13, 2018 at 19:53:47
I "printed" the Excel worksheet to PDF Creator on one machine and CutePDF on another. I also saved the file as a pdf directly from Excel by choosing Save As...filetype: pdf on both machines.

I seem to have narrowed it to down to a combination of the Chrome browser and outlook.com. I just tested it using outlook.com on IE on a PC and it doesn't display the original Excel file name at at any point. It only seems to happen on the Chrome browser, but it happens on both the Chromebook and on a Windows 7 PC.

I have not tried to use outlook.com on my Android phone. In actual practice, the only place I use outlook.com on a regular basis is on my Chromebook. On my PC I use Outlook as part of Office 2013 and the "problem" does not exist in that environment. I only used outlook.com on my PC to test this issue.

So, assuming that I am correct that the issue is related to running outlook.com in the Chrome browser, my original question and concern still remains:

Question: Why is the original Excel filename retained?
Concern: Anyone using outlook.com via the Chrome browser will see the original filename (I think)

If you can test and verify this, I'd appreciate it.

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#6
December 13, 2018 at 20:37:55
I'm not entirely sure of the scenario, but it sounds like some program is showing the PDF metadata where you expected to see the filename, and it's causing confusion. Does that sound right?

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way


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#7
December 13, 2018 at 22:46:48
I created an excel file with the same name as in your example (My_Workbook.xlsx), then saved the PDF with the name you chose (My_PDF_Workbook.pdf), then sent it to myself (not on gmail account, but microsoft account). Downloaded it from Firefox and Chrome from Outlook.com and everything was OK - downloaded the file as My_PDF_Workbook.pdf on both browsers.

Created a new e-mail and sent to my gmail account. As my gmail account isn't linked to Outlook.com I can't really test downloading the PDF file from my gmail account on Outlook.com on Chrome.
However, I tested downloading from Chrome and my gmail account and works well - saved My_PDF_Workbook.pdf. So I am guessing it's not the gmail account.

So this still doesn't answer your question, nor does it narrow it down more - it seems to me the problem is on outlook.com on gmail account on Chrome (I tried using Microsoft account on outlook.com and it saves the file correctly), because this is how it works for me:
- on outlook.com and Chrome --- OK
- on gmail account on Chrome --- OK
- on outlook.com, gmail account and Chrome --- CAN'T TEST, so I am assuming this is the problem and has the 3 variables.

message edited by Mrrrr


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#8
December 14, 2018 at 04:10:52
Thanks for trying what you could.

I can test sending it to a non-gmail account later. I haven't tried that before. Maybe it is all three.

I know that it does happen whether the sender is a gmail or a non-gmail account. I'll test non gmail on the reception end later.

message edited by DerbyDad03


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#9
December 14, 2018 at 04:13:10
R2.3,

Yes, it appears to be showing meta data, but the question still remains: Why?

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#10
December 14, 2018 at 05:30:11
What I also notice now that I look in the PDF metadata is this:

When saving with PDFCreator
- the file is saved with the exact same name my excel file had (My_Workbook.xlsx became My_Workbook.pdf) - because my PDFCreator is set to print to desktop with the same name as the file being printed
- under document properties, the document producer appears to be PDFCreator
- within the PDF metadata the name My_Workbook (without extension) appears as the document title in various places, but there is NO MENTION anywhere of Excel or xlsx
- within the PDF metadata, PDFCreator appears in various places as document producer
- there is no info about the originating file which could have been xls or xlsm instead of xlsx

When saving directly from Excel using Save As or Publish (same result in both cases)
- the file is saved with the name I choose, so it's My_PDF_Document.pdf
- under document properties, the document producer appears to be Microsoft® Excel® 2013
- within the PDF metadata, the PDF name My_PDF_Document (without extension) DOESN'T APPEAR as document title anywhere
- within the PDF metadata, Excel appears in various places as document producer / software
- however there is still no info about the originating file which could have been xls or xlsm etc. instead of xlsx

1. I'm wondering what is shown in your PDF metadata, if Excel or the extension xlsx is mentioned anywhere when you save with PDFCreator
2. Also in Excel when you go to File - Info, what is written under Properties and Show All Properties? Is there somewhere the title of the excel file and the extension?

In my case for 2 there's only the Size, the Author and Related Dates (last modified, created, last printed).

Edit:
I am using PDF-XChange Viewer Freeware as my default PDF viewing application, but when opening in browser the PDF opens with Adobe.

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#11
December 14, 2018 at 07:24:19
DerbyDad03: Why?
Ambiguous question.

Why does Outlook's PDF viewer show metadata (presumably the title field, specifically)? Because it wants to. There's no strict standard on how a PDF viewer has to present a PDF.

Why does the PDF printer save the metadata it does? Because it wants to. It's probably operating on the assumption that more is better. I expect the paid versions have greater control over what metadata is generated, but it's not something I've ever looked into. I know Adobe's paid PDF printer has a checkbox controlling metadata generation, at least.

What can you do about it? CutePDF, at least the free version, doesn't give the user any metadata control. I guess options just aren't cute enough. PDFCreator's online documentation implies it has some control over generated metadata, but I'm not sure which version it's talking about. Either way, there are free PDF metadata editors out there for you to try.

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#12
December 14, 2018 at 10:04:28
DerbyDad03

A web page you might find of interest in regards to metadata:

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com...

also click on the embedded link to read about Dsofile: The Untold Story

The pages are a bit old (2006 & 2009)

MIKE

http://www.skeptic.com/


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#13
December 14, 2018 at 11:05:17
R2.3:

Unfortunately, my corporate PC (where this all started) is locked down as far as installing any software. so I doubt any of the metadata editors will help in that situation.

I will take a look at metadata settings within PDFCreator 2.1. As far as my corporate PC, it's hit-or-miss as to what settings are locked down within any given application. Some applications are locked down tight, some are wide open, some are 50-50ish.

Funny situation: They wanted to save toner, so they defaulted all of our MS Office programs to print in grayscale, forcing us to manually choose Color whenever we wanted to print in color. We couldn't change & save the default option within MS Office. However, they missed (?) the fact that we could go into the Printer Properties via the Windows control panel and set the default to Color. MS Office picked up the control panel setting and we were back to printing in color by default. :-)

Shhhh! Don't tell them.

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#14
December 14, 2018 at 13:42:01
Since all this started with an Excel workbook, you are aware that some of the metadata is available from within excel itself:

Select File
Select Prepare
Select Properties

You should get:
Author, Title, Subject, Keywords, Category, Status, Comments
along with the document Location with filename & extension

Also if you

Select File
Select Prepare
Select Inspect Document

Selecting Inspect at the bottom of window will bring up some more data, and it allows you to REMOVE the information before saving.

Not sure any of this will help with getting outlook.com to play nice.

MIKE

http://www.skeptic.com/


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#15
December 16, 2018 at 11:41:07
Well, there's online PDF metadata editors, as well as portable editors. Push comes to shove, you could also use notepad to edit the data out. Modern PDFs are just XML files.

mmcconaghy's suggestion might be the way to go. I suspect that's what the PDF printers are using for their metadata. Play your cards right, and you might also be able to automate the metadata scrub. Application.WorkbookBeforePrint comes to mind, for instance.

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