21 March, 2014

“Link to a Document” opens Read only documents

General note:
If you find a different solution, please report it as a comment to this post. Be sure to double-verify it: undo your solution and verify that the problem comes back, then redo it and verify that the problem goes away.

Today we are going to discuss a content type “Link to a Document”.

Basically these are summary points:-
1.     How to use and add this content type?
2.     Why this content open read only documents?

Let’s start with – How to use and add this content type?

By default only one content type is a part of any document library i.e. New Document – How to check this?

1)    Open your SharePoint document library
2)    Click on new
3)    You will see the content type named as “New Document”

Now I want another content type listed over there as “Link to a Document” – How to enable this?

a)     Open your SharePoint document library
b)    Top section ->Ribbon
c)     Library
d)    Library settings
e)     Advanced settings
f)      Enable this option – ‘Allow management of content types’
g)     Click OK
h)    You will again come back to the library settings page
i)       Scroll down to the same page
j)       There you go  - you will see a new section named as “content types”
k)     Click this options – “Add from existing site content types”
l)       You will see several content types under “Available site content types” gallery
m)  Scroll down to the list and select “Link to a document”
n)    Click Add
o)    Hit OK

By this way, we have successfully added the “Link to a document” content type (CT).

Now how to use this content type?
1.     Open your document library where we have enabled this content type
2.     Top Ribbon ->Library Tools
3.     New Document
4.     Select ‘Link to a document’
5.     You will see two fields Document Name and Document URL



6.     Enter the name as per your requirements and enter the document URL (How to get document URL? – Go to the document library where the document resides ->Right on that document for which you want to create a link ->Copy shortcut)

By this way – a link to document will be successfully created!

Now the times arrive to discuss issues w.r.t. this functionality.

Why the document which has been created by “Link to a document” content type opens only in “Read only” mode?

Not understanding the exact behavior – let’s try to reproduce it J

Let us create one hyperlink / link to a document in my document library – here is the screenshot


Click on it and you will get these options – Open, Save and Cancel.
Where is the edit option?

If you click on open ->document will open without any problems ->but if do any changes and try to save it then it will ask you to save locally

Is this I want? NO – I want that this document should be saved directly to SP and not locally!

Let’s try to understand this / check what is under the hood – How is this functionality working?

When we use the content type “Link to a document” then it will not be an office compatible component that we can use with word, excel or PowerPoint. It is simply an aspx page and it’s not possible to edit these pages in office version.

I have created a document share for this document library where I placed the “linked to document” content type.

Default visibility will show you that it’s an excel compatible as we have linked the excel document to it.

But if you create a network share for the same document library then it will reveal the real facts, like above.

From the screenshot, you will understand that it’s showing as aspx page and not an office document. ASPX page are not office compatible so it’s quite obvious it will give you the prompt of open, save and cancel.

I think the above explanation; most importantly the screenshot will clear the queries/doubts you have regarding this functionality.

Let me know in case of any, I would be more than happy to address your queries/issues, Thank you.

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Your feedback is always appreciated. I will try to reply to your queries as soon as possible- Amol Ghuge