Creating a link to a file on a Windows server


We run Macs on our Windows domain and I am trying to get the correct format to be able to email a URL type link to a file on the windows server so that the user can just click the link and the document opens in Word or Excel on the Mac.

I have tried the following:

This will only open the "sharename" folder where you can see all the files in the folder but it will not automatically open the document.doc file.

So are there other ways to get the link to automatically open the actual file this way?

No responses yet? Does this mean it can't be done or no one can figure it out yet.

Sure would be nice for some feedback on this.

I don't think this is possible without the recipient having the server share already mounted/mapped on their machine.

Try this:

1) Have a user mount the Windows share on their computer (in other words, authenticate and connect to and be able to browse smb://Server/sharename/)
2) Send them the link to the file
3) Have them then click the link and see if the file opens

Then, try this:

1) Have a user NOT have the Windows share mounted
2) Send them the link
3) Have them then click the link and see if the file opens

I'm thinking the former will work and open the link; the latter will not. If this works, then a workaround would be to have the Windows share auto-mount when the user logs in to their computer so that the share is available for use all the time. You can do this through Open Directory (and maybe Active Directory, depending on your server/network setup).

I do NOT think there is a way, via a single link, for a computer to mount a previously unmounted share AND open a file from that link. The reason is that mounting a share typically requires authentication, which "breaks" the process flow. If the share is already mounted, the link should work.

Let us know if that works and if so, we can work on figuring out some workarounds so that Windows shares will be auto-mounted at login and you won't experience this problem again.
Thanks very much for the reply.

I mounted the server share via SMB:

When I try to "go to this address" option for smb://servername/sharedfolder/test.doc

It opens up the //servername/sharedfolder in a separate window for viewing and you can open the test.doc then.

I get the same results when the share is unmounted.

I am close but can't figure out why it will not just open the document from the link?

Feedback is much appreciated.
smb://servername/sharedfolder/test.doc not an "address."

smb://servername/sharedfolder an address.

smb://servername/sharedfolder/test.doc an item or file located at the address "smb://servername/sharedfolder".

Try this:

1) Make an alias of the item "test.doc" located at address "smb://servername/sharedfolder"
2) Have the remote user mount the address "smb://servername/sharedfolder"
3) Send them the alias you made
4) Have them double-click the alias you sent them and see if it opens

Sending them an alias of the file and having them double-click the alias may also work without the user having to mount the Windows share first as well.
When I create an alias for the file from the Mac the filename is test.doc alias

When I email the link from a windows machine the alias does not work on the mac. It shows as test.doc%20alias and I tried renaming it test.doc alias but it does not have an application to open it with. Finder can't open it either.

I can copy the alais from the server to the Mac and it will open the document fine.

But once the alias goes from windows to the Mac via email it no longer works.
Yep, that sounds about right -- Windows (or rather, the fact that it's emailed from a Windows machine via Outlook or some email program) seems to be stripping the file of various resource forks and application associations that are required for proper operation on the Mac side. I don't know of many workarounds for this -- one may be something akin to this:

1) Make an alias of the file on a Mac
2) Zip the file on the Mac (right/control click > "Compress...")
3) Copy the zipped file to a Windows machine
4) Email the zip to the recipient
5) On the recipient's Mac, save and unzip the file
6) Double-click the resulting unzipped alias file

Not exactly elegant by any stretch of the imagination, though.

But once the alias goes from windows to the Mac via email it no longer works.

Yep, Windows machines have a bad habit of doing this to files with extended resource information, like aliases and various files created on a Mac.
This worked but not practical.

The creator of 99.9% of the files going to the server will be Windows users.

So this means someone would have create the alias and zip it from a Mac for every file, each time one gets created.

Can you create a link to a file on a windows server where it opens directly into a Mac application such as word etc?

Just curious to see if it is my environment.
That means that resource forks and information are being stripped from the file on the Windows side, most likely when it's emailed.

I'm not sure, off the top of my head, what a good workaround would be. You may have just encountered one of those situations where Macs and Windows PCs are simply "incompatible" with what you want to do.

Can you create a link to a file on a windows server where it opens directly into a Mac application such as word etc?
This, I do not know. The only thing I can think of would be true "web links" (like "") which would be handled gracefully by each respective operating system's browser... this would require setting up a web server in addition to the Windows shares. Ick.