#305 Linking to Network Locations

Most of the time creating links to other things and places is pretty simple. The one exception is when you want to link to something on a network.

Linking to Network Locations

The biggest thing to remember when you are linking to network locations is NOT to use the drive letters. Why? Because the location of your H:\ drive is often not the same as my H:\ drive.  Mapping network locations with drive letters is helpful for getting ourselves to the right place but not for getting others there too.

If you want to link to a network location you should use the full Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path.  The UNC path will give you an exact location of a folder or file and takes the following format:


For example,


These UNC addresses are not case-sensitive and don’t forget they need to have permissions to access the place you’re linking them to or all of this is irrelevant.


Amazingly, Microsoft has never given us a good way to get the full UNC path information we need. Enter PathCopyCopy – an add-on for Windows Explorer that will.

With PathCopyCopy, right-clicking will give you a number of new choices including two that are relevant for us here today.

First, the “Copy Long UNC Path” option automatically includes all the details you need including the server name, etc. which works just fine if the person receiving it knows to manually copy and paste it into Windows Explorer…and that’s a significantly big “IF”!

The best option is to use the “Copy Internet Path” option which will allow you to provide a click-able link and looks something like this:


Notice the slashes are leaning the opposite direction and the text “file:” has been automatically added to the front. These changes are what makes this link work in a web browser, as well as most other places too.

Have you ever run into this problem? Give this a try and I’d love to hear how it goes.

Here are a few previous link-related tips you might also be interested in:


#261 Highlighting Documents

Do you ever highlight documents as you read them? I am a big highlighter when I’m really trying to focus on learning and retaining information from documents that I’m reading. It makes reviewing easier for me and calls out the important parts for others.

Did you know you that Word and a number of other programs have a highlighter built right in?

Microsoft Word

In Word 2007/2010 you can simply select the text you want to highlight then press [CTRL] + [ALT] + H This is a toggle, so simply repeat the same steps to remove the highlight.

In older versions of Word you can find the highlighter button on the Formatting toolbar …or make your own highlighting shortcut.

PDF Viewers:

Most PDF viewers also have this highlighting ability. In Adobe Reader X just look for the highlighter on the toolbar

PowerPoint & more

For applying this to your PowerPoint presentations, here are seven ideas for emphasizing text in PowerPoint…and it even works in email too!

Speed Up Your Email with Shortcuts

I’m willing to bet that most of us send repeatedly send lots of email messages to the same few people — sometimes to the same person several times a day! Repeatedly specifying the same address is inefficient, even with the AutoComplete feature. If you send a fair amount of email to the same people this week’s tip is just for you.

This week we’ll see how to create a shortcut that opens a blank, pre-addressed e-mail message in whatever email software you use. (Notes, Outlook, etc.)

How It’s Done:

Create a desktop email shortcut

1. Right-click on your desktop, choose New, and then Shortcut.

2. In the Create Shortcut dialog, type mailto:emailaddress.

( No spaces between the mailto: part and the email address. )

2. Click Next and enter a descriptive name for your email shortcut.

3. Click Finish and depending on what you use for email you’ll get icon similar to one of these:

Now double click your shortcut and voila! you’ve got a pre-addressed email that’s all ready to go.

More options for this trick:

You can even specify multiple recipients, a subject line and more. You can find a full list of mailto: options here. Be sure to click this link below to try it out! 😎

Click this link to see it in action!


#9 iNotes

Access Notes e-mail and calendar via your web browser

Have you ever been at someone else’s desk and wished that you could access something out of your own email? Or maybe you’re traveling without a laptop and need to check your calendar? This week’s tip will show you how you can do that from any computer on the AEP network.

iNotes is a web browser version of Lotus Notes that gives you access to your email, calendar and other Notes documents without requiring you to use the Lotus Notes software.

Getting started using iNotes is as easy as setting a password from within your Lotus Notes client software and knowing where to point your web browser.

Setting your iNotes password:

iNotes, Notes browser and Sametime use the same password so if you’ve already got a password for one of those you can skip this step.

    1. From anywhere inside your Lotus Notes mailbox, go to the Actions menu and selectChange Notes Browser Password.
    2. Enter a new password. Click OK.
    3. Enter the new password again. Click OK.
    4. Click OK again.
    NOTE: It can take up to 2 hours to replicate across the notes servers for this to be ready for your use. You will not be notified when the Notes Browser password takes affect, so you will need to either wait 2 hours to log in, or try logging in at any time up to 2 hours until you are successful. Your Notes Browser password does not expire.

Accessing iNotes:

Once you’ve established your iNotes password you’re ready to start using iNotes:

    1. Open Internet explorer.
    2. Type aepmail into the address line.
    3. Press the Enter key or click Go.
    4. You should see a login page as shown below. Enter your user id and the iNotes password you set in the steps above then click the Loginbutton.

    5. Upon login navigate using the tabs across the top of the page as shown.

Customizing your Welcome Page:

When you first open your mailbox, via the browser, you can select a layout for your Welcome page. Don’t worry if you’re not sure what to choose you can always change it later via the “Edit Layout …” button.

    1. To customize you’re welcome page select a page layout style and then tell Notes what to display in each panel. You have your choice of New mail, Today’s schedule, To Do list, Web Page, and Quick Links.
    2. When you’re finished click the Save & Closebutton.

To learn more:

    » There are a couple of items in the Tech Notes & Tips database.

    » And lots of helpful information under the help link located in the top right-hand corner of any page within iNotes.

    » Search the web for iNotes tips.


#8 Linkification (2 of 2)

Creating links to different types of items in Lotus Notes.

Last week we saw how to create hotspot links in Lotus Notes. This week we’ll dig into several different ways you can use these types of links.

Linking to shared network folders/documents:

The most common items you will probably want to link to are documents and folders stored on shared network drives. The format for this type of link is as follows:


Remember, that the recipient must have access to the linked item or they will see something like this:

Also, the odds that your link will work are better if you use the full UNC path instead of a mapped drive letter such as H: If you use a drive letter, the recipient may not have an H: drive or has an H: drive different from yours.

For example, here are two links to the same publicly accessible folder:

T:\TrngPublic\Instructor Resource Materials

\\Hqwhslfs002\tspo\TrngPublic\Instructor Resource Materials

Go ahead and try it out. Which one works for you? (Sorry those will only work for AEP folks)

Unless you have a T: drive exactly the way I do the first one didn’t work. However the second one should work for everyone.

Now, this is great stuff – but here is where Microsoft makes things difficult. Windows does not allow us to copy the full UNC path of a file or a folder. So how in the world can we link to the full path if I don’t know what it is?

Fortunately, there is a nice, simple utility that you can install to make this SUPER easy.

Path Copy adds an option to your right-click menu that copies the path of a file or directory by simply right-clicking it in the Windows Explorer, as shown below.

To install Path Copy, download the file from here. Then right-click the file you just downloaded and choose install. That’s all it takes, just a few seconds and you’re all set.

After installing, Path Copy, all you need to do is locate the file or folder you want to link to in Windows Explorer. Right-click on the file or folder and choose Copy Path > Copy Long UNC Path. Then you can paste the correct link into an email or any other type of document.


Mailto — A mailto URL opens an e-mail application (such as Notes mail) and enables the user to send e-mail to the person specified in the link.



» Email with a subject:


» Email with cc:, bcc: and subject:


These links can be included in emails, most documents and web pages.

Link to NetMeeting:

A callto: link opens NetMeeting and calls the specified computer. The important thing to remember is that the computer you are calling must have Net Meeting open in order to receive your call.

The format looks like this:


where address-to-be-called is the IP address or computer name of the PC to be called.

» Using a host PC Name ( callto:pcname+type=host )


» Using an IP address: ( callto:IPaddress+type=ip )


A previous edition’s NetMeeting tip tells you how
to find out what your PC Name and IP address are.

#7 Linkification (1 of 2)

Creating links in Lotus Notes.

Do you ever need to point someone in the right direction to help them find information? Whether it’s in one of our seemingly infinite number of Lotus Notes databases or in a shared network folder sending them a link can make finding things very simple.

This week we’ll briefly look at how to create links in Lotus Notes documents and emails. As you’ll see there are a couple of different ways to create links within Lotus Notes.

Linking to a Lotus Notes Database:

  1. Open the database you want to link to
  2. From the Edit menu select Copy As Link > Database Link
    You can also choose Document Link if you want to link to a particular document in the dB or View Link to link to a specific view of the dB.
  3. Place the cursor where you would like to insert the link and paste it via the menu Edit > Paste or by pressing Ctrl+V on your keyboard.
  4. An icon appears that links back to the database when clicked on by the recipient of the email.

Try it out:

» Database Link to F&H Training Resource Database > Link
» Document Link to “Instructor Skills Training” document > Link
» View Link to Technical Training by Title view > Link

Drag & Drop Linking:

If you don’t like all that maneuvering through menus, copying and pasting there is an even quicker way to get those links into a Lotus Notes document. You can do it by dragging and dropping the tab into the document where you would like the link to be.

Click here to see how this works.

Creating Links (aka Hotspots) in Lotus Notes:

You can use a link hotspot to link to documents, views, folders, databases, or various types of URLs. To create a link hotspot you must be in a rich-text field (a field that allows text, objects, file attachments, and pictures)

  1. With your document or email in edit mode, select any text that you want to act as a link; i.e. “Click Here”
  2. From the Create menu select Hotspot Link Hotspot.
  3. Click the Hotspot Info tab in the “Hotspot Resource Link” properties box, as shown below.
  4. Enter the link in the Value field; for example http://www.aep.com
I always think it’s a good idea to underline your link and make the text blue (as shown above) so that the link is easy to distinguish from other regular text in your document.

Next week we’ll take a look at how you can link to different types of URLs that can be included in Lotus Notes emails and documents such as:

» Internet/Intranet sites
» Shared network folders
» Email addresses
» NetMeeting

Continue on to part two…