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  1. #1
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    Pasting cells into e-mail (XP/Excel 2000)

    We were informed today that the way we've been pasting selections from Excel spreadsheets into Outlook e-mail messages was insecure...so I'll describe what happens, and then make my plea for an alternate suggestion.

    The issue:
    (pardon me if this has already been discussed, but I couldn't find it anywhere)

    I compose my message (I'm using Outlook 2003, but this has also reportedly been observed in Outlook 2000), and I want to paste in a block of cells from a spreadsheet (in this case it's a schedule for a project, not that that's important). I select the cells in Excel 2000 and copy them, then use Paste Special to paste them into my message as a Microsoft Excel Worksheet. The cells are placed in the message and are formatted similarly to how they are in the spreadsheet, and everything's groovy.

    I send my message. However, as it turns out, a savvy recipient can recover the entire workbook--including all formatting, notes, etc.--by doing the following:

    --Right-click the selection in the e-mail message and choose Copy.
    --Open a new spreadsheet, right-click a cell, and choose Paste Special.
    --Paste the selection as a Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object. The cells appear in the spreadsheet.
    --Double-click the selection.

    A new window opens within Excel, and my entire workbook is there...even though all I did was copy a few cells and paste them into an e-mail.

    Obviously, this sucks. It hasn't really affected us, as we don't tend to put sensitive information into these spreadsheets, but I can imagine that the scenario might be drastically different for other people.

    So that's the issue...here's my question: what's the easiest way to SAFELY copy a selection into an e-mail while retaining the basic look of the original selection (column widths, row heights, general formatting)?

    Here are the two workarounds that were suggested:
    1. Don't use Paste Special when pasting into the e-mail message--just use Paste. This removes gridlines but retains some of the other formatting...not really what we're hoping for.

    2. Paste the selection into the e-mail message as a Picture (we're not sure if there's a difference between Metafile and Bitmap). The problem with this is that the recipient can't recover the text in a useable format...just as a picture. Also, some recipients get a very fuzzy or blurry graphic that's difficult or impossible to read.

    Any suggestions that don't add a bunch of extra steps? I've tried pasting the selection into a new spreadsheet first, then copying from there and pasting into an e-mail--and that appears to work (though you can open the whole workbook as before, at least it's empty aside from the selection)...the problem is that I can't figure out how to get all of my formatting, column widths, and row heights to easily migrate from the original sheet to the new one, so extensive re-formatting would be necessary before copying and pasting into the e-mail message.

    Haven't found any other potential workarounds. This isn't a critical issue for us--I'm just curious to know if anyone else has seen it and found a way to address it.

    Thanks!

    Tom

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    Re: Pasting cells into e-mail (XP/Excel 2000)

    I prefer Paste Special | Text, and then manual alignment of the columns. HTML and RTF tables can get distorted if not jumbled by text wrapping and font differences.
    -John ... I float in liquid gardens
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    Re: Pasting cells into e-mail (XP/Excel 2000)

    <font color=red>...my entire workbook is there...even though all I did was copy a few cells...</font color=red> Is there a reason why you can't Paste Special your selection into a blank workbook and save that? Then copy and Paste Special from this (otherwise meaningless) "special" workbook. All the "exploit" should capture is the rest of the "special" workbook - which should be entirely blank. HTH
    Gre

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    Re: Pasting cells into e-mail (XP/Excel 2000)

    <hr>Is there a reason why you can't Paste Special your selection into a blank workbook and save that? Then copy and Paste Special from this (otherwise meaningless) "special" workbook. All the "exploit" should capture is the rest of the "special" workbook - which should be entirely blank. HTH<hr>
    As I mentioned (read the end of my initial post...sorry it's so long), I did try this. The problem is that it screws up all my formatting, column widths, row heights. I'll admit that I'm a relative novice with Excel, and if there's a way to paste cells while retaining those attributes, I simply haven't found it. However, that would solve my problem, so if someone can point me in that direction I'd be grateful.

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    Re: Pasting cells into e-mail (XP/Excel 2000)

    Have you tried a two stage Paste Special: one of them is Values; the other is Formats? (You can use the Paint Brush icon for the Formats.) It seems to work for me on Excel 2K.
    Gre

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    Re: Pasting cells into e-mail (XP/Excel 2000)

    Several years ago, I became aware of this problem when a colleague posted a chart of class grades and a savvy student recovered the whole gradebook!

    Now what I do is paste the spreadsheet into Word, and copy the word table to e-mail. This way preserves some of the formatting, but it's not an OLE. It is an extra step, but not a lot of extra steps. It's easier than pasting text and reformatting if you have lots of data.

    CS

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    Re: Pasting cells into e-mail (XP/Excel 2000)

    I have used on occasion a copy of the excel data (suitably formatted) then pasteSpecial picture into word. I can add all my data tables and charts and they look like what I want and then send it.

    The only problem (for the recipient) is that since they are pictures , they can not copy/paste any of the data into a meaningful form or change the formatting of the chart. In general, this is what I prefer anyway.

    Steve

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    Re: Pasting cells into e-mail (XP/Excel 2000)

    <hr>Have you tried a two stage Paste Special: one of them is Values; the other is Formats? (You can use the Paint Brush icon for the Formats.) It seems to work for me on Excel 2K.<hr>
    Tried that, didn't work for me...BUT you caused me to re-visit that Paste Special dialog, and I tried something new that did (finally) work:

    --In new sheet, right-click a cell and choose Paste Special
    --Click the Column widths option and click OK
    --Repeat Paste Special but leave All selected

    ...and that worked just as I wanted it. So thanks for making me go back and look at that again!

    Tom

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    Re: Pasting cells into e-mail (XP/Excel 2000)

    The safest way do do this is the following:

    1- Select the cells you want in the email. Hold down the Shift key and click on the Edit menu. With the Shift key held down, you should have a new menu command "Copy Picture." Click on that command. Click OK in the Copy Picture dialog box.

    2- Open your favorite paint program. Paste the picture of the cells into the paint program. Save it as a .JPG (or your favorite picture format) file.

    3- Go to your email program and insert the file into the email.
    Legare Coleman

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