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Hello I had a question regarding the drag and drop ability of Outlook 2010 into various applications. I can currently grab an attachments and drop them on the desktop no problem. If I double click on the attachment in Outlook it will open it in the respective default application. No problems there. What I think is happening is the file is saved temporarily to a temp location then opened from there. The problem is when I try and drag the attachment into another application.

Examples include text documents into Notepad++, CAD files into AutoCAD, etc. These applications normally can take a drag and drop straight from the desktop and open the file directly. Instead, from Outlook I have to drag them to the desktop, then drag the desktop files into the application(s). A multiple step process that requires the movement of windows, etc. I'd like to avoid this if possible.

I guess what I'm asking is, can I have Outlook automatically download my attachments to a permanent location and link that to the email so that when I drag and drop and I go directly to my application? Or even if I have to manually download each email's files, just open up an explorer window of that location so I can drag and drop from there?

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For web applications, Outlook File Drag is what you are looking for. https://github.com/tonyfederer/OutlookFileDrag

It works with attachments but not with built-in mail pictures. Enjoy

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  • Wow, this is really, really good. Thanks for an actual solution, now 7 years later... – ikathegreat Jun 25 '19 at 16:42
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When an application initiates a drag it specifies what's available to drag by putting available formats in a IDataObject. When a 'drop target' receives a drag drop event it can query available formats to see if it can accept the data.

It's quite complex and therefore most drop targets only accept the very basic CF_HDROP format, which it appears Outlook does not provide.

The only way around this is to either use another app that can read PST files and handles CF_HDROP in the drop source or using a tool like the one above to strip the attachments from your emails and have Explorer handle the drag and drop.

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If you want to drag the attachments from Outlook to a web app, you can install the Outlook2Web add-in into Outlook. I don't think it works with desktop apps, just web apps.

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  • yep this just might work as described – SeanClt Mar 26 '16 at 20:22
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More helpful comments: https://connect.microsoft.com/IE/feedback/details/867235/html5-fileapi-file-input-does-not-support-dragging-and-dropping-from-outlook and a Java library for receiving applications http://www.wilutions.com/outldd/example.html

Tl;dr: Outlook shouldn't provide CF_HDROP because CF_HDROP is only applicable to files that exist on the local disk. If it provided CF_HDROP, it would have to copy the file to the local disk first, which would be laggy.

Instead, other drop targets should accept what Outlook provides, which is:

  • CFSTR_FILECONTENTS
  • CFSTR_FILEDESCRIPTOR

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