Sunday, March 11, 2018

It's Easy to Send Attachments from SharePoint - Here's How.



Attaching files from SharePoint has gotten a little easier of late. I'm not quite sure when the changes happened but they're very welcome.  

The new functionality is available in the outlook client and outlook web access. It's available for most SharePoint groups right now, with SharePoint groups created via Yammer following at the end of May 2018.

Attachments in the Outlook Client

Use the following steps to attach a file via the Outlook client;

  1. Create a new Email
  2. On the Message Tab, click Attach,
  3. Below the list of recent documents, click Browse Web Locations
  4. When this expands to show a list, choose Group Files
  5. You should see your SharePoint libraries appear in a list.
There's a few reasons why you might not see all of your libraries. 
  • If this is the first time that you're using this feature, or if you're using a new installation of Outlook, it may take a while (up to 20 minutes) to fully populate the list of sites. You don't have to wait there with the list open, just come back in 20 minutes and try again.
  • If your SharePoint group was originally created from Yammer, it's not supported (yet). This is coming at the end of May 2018.
  • You may have too many groups to display. If so, you can expand the list by scrolling or by dragging the three dots at the very bottom of the menu option. 
Click on this to see a larger version.
Once you've selected your file, you'll be prompted to choose whether you want to attach it as a copy or share it as a OneDrive link. 


Bear in mind that the file will obey the security rules of the original SharePoint library, so if your library isn't available to outside parties, they won't be able to access the file.

Attachments in Outlook Web Access (OWA)

These days, I spend very little time in the outlook client (in fact, usually only when I'm troubleshooting for someone else). OWA is good enough to compete, and in many better, than the outlook client. 



Getting to cloud locations is much easier in OWA,

  1. In a new Email, click Attach
  2. Select Cloud Locations
  3. A large dialog box will appear showing you a number of different options. 
  4. Click on Group Files to see the SharePoint libraries.
  5. From there, you can click and browse your way to your attachment.



The OWA interface is quite slick but there's one significant omission for now...
While you can get to the default (Shared Documents) document library of any SharePoint site, I can't seem to find a way to get to any other libraries you've created.  

The feature is available in the outlook app however, so it's only a matter of time before it's implemented in the cloud. In the meantime, it's not a major issue because the full libraries are accessible via OneDrive in the Cloud and via SharePoint in the Cloud. 



Once you've selected a file in the outlook app, it's attached automatically as a link. This is essentially the same as choosing "Share as OneDrive Link" in the application. If your external party is unlikely to have access to the file (or if you want to protect your original file), you might want to send a copy instead.

To do this, simply click on the drop down arrow to the right of the attachment and choose "attach as a copy".



The Outlook App (iOS and Android*)

* All screen shots here are from Android... iOS may differ slightly. 

If you're using outlook on a mobile device, you have easy access to SharePoint libraries too.  You'll need to be using the official Microsoft apps though; OneDrive, SharePoint and Outlook (not the mail application that came with your phone).

Right now you can browse through your recent attachments in outlook but you don't have full access to SharePoint libraries directly from the mail app.  I'm sure that's coming soon. In the meantime, you still have full access via OneDrive. 

To access the full libraries on mobile devices;


  1. Open your OneDrive App
  2. Touch Sites (at the bottom of the screen)
  3. Choose your library
  4. Browse until you find your file.
  5. Open your file.
  6. Press the SHARE icon (it's the sideways triangle with balls).
  7. You have an option for outlook on the first share screen but if you choose this, it will paste a link to the live file in the outlook app.  This is fine if the person is an internal staff member or if they have access to that particular SharePoint library but if not...
  8. You should touch "Send Files'
  9. Then choose outlook on the next screen. This will give you an attachment. 



That's all there is to it. 





2 comments:

tag/a-weapon-to-surpass-metal-gear-crab said...

....or you could simply drag and drop them from the sharepoint site to outlook. You can even do that with multiple files at once. Not sure about older versions, but it works with SharePoint Online 2013 and Outlook 2013 in IE11


Gavin Bollard said...

I'm on Office365 and I can't drag from SHAREPOINT (on the web) to OUTLOOK (WEB) or OUTLOOK (APP). It's easy to do if you're using the old file explorer system and you have your files synched but if you don't you need to use the process outlined in this post.