When I receive a document in the form of an attachment and the document has
links in it, the links are not live. They can’t be opened. What can I do? I
have Windows Live Mail. When I receive a document in the form of a simple
email, I have adjusted the Windows Live Mail security so that the links are
In this excerpt from
Answercast #83, I look at which programs are making links clickable (or not)
when opened as attachments in email.
Links in attached documents aren’t clickable
Yes, absolutely. Links in an email message itself are very, very different from links inside of an attached file.
The links in the message are handled exclusively by your mail program. As you’ve pointed out, you can configure your email program’s security to allow you to actually click on those links and have them do something.
The program that opens the file
As far as the attached document is concerned, your email program has nothing to do with that. Your email program simply delivers the document to your computer.
When you open the document, you are now opening it with a completely different program. If it’s a .doc file, it might be Microsoft Word. If it’s a .ppt file, it might be Microsoft PowerPoint.
There are so many different kinds of documents that are interchanged and could be included as attachments. Each one of them has its own program installed on your computer (if your computer supports that particular document type that will handle that document.)
Each program’s configuration
Now, links inside of that document are then handled by that program – not your email program.
So, for example, let’s say you get a .doc file in email. You double-click on the .doc file and Microsoft Word opens up.
If you see links in the document, it’s Microsoft Word that determines what happens if you click on that link. It’s the Options in Microsoft Word that will determine whether or not those links should be directly clickable, or control-clickable, or some other thing.
So, absolutely! Take a look at the settings within the program that’s being used to open those documents – because it’s not the settings that are in your email program that determines what happens there.
(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)