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Copying an Excel file within a note


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I copied an excel document, changed the name of the new file then edited and clicked save to save the edit directly within Evernote. When I checked the note the original file name had been overwritten with the new file name and the contents of the old file was exactly the same as the new file. In essence I have lost the old file.

This is an ongoing issue the net result being Excel files are vunerable when copied within Evernote.

Has anyone else had this problem?

Is this something Evernote are aware of?



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  • Level 5*

Hi.  I'm not sure I follow that.  To copy and change an Excel file,  you presumably had to open it within Excel and then save it under a new name.  The way Evernote works (AFAIK) is that if you open an attachment,  a copy of the file is placed on the "Attachments" folder using the file name you'd expect.  This is because Excel (like any other sensible Windows executable) can't work with the code that's stored as part of the Evernote database.


You then make your changes to that 'temporary' file,  and save back to the same filename and Evernote detects the changed updated date and imports it back into the database to show with the note.


If you change the filename with a Save As,  Evernote has no idea that this is the same file,  so won't do anything with it.  If you change the file name in Evernote,  or in the Attachments folder that might make a big difference.


The place to look for your original data is in the Attachments folder.  If there's no other file,  then the problem is that you're changing the name in the wrong way - always use Save As if you need to make a copy.  I do that to my desktop and then drag/ drop the file into another note when it's ready.  I'm not aware of files "being vulnerable when copied".

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Hi, thanks for the reply. Let me try and explain


I right click Excel 1 then copy and paste into the same note.

Now I have two files, both called Excel 1, so I right click the newer version and and rename Excel 2.

Then open Excel 2, edit and save.

When I look at the note both files are Excel 2. The contents of the original file have been overwritten with the contents of Excel 2

Hope this explains.


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  • Level 5*

OK, looks like when you do this, Evernote isn't actually creating a new Excel file on disk. Since there's no new file, it's showing two attachments, but in the Evernote client, they just point to the original file. If you export the .enex at this point, Evernote will actually write things out as if it's one attachment, pointing to your original file. The rename operation doesn't do much; it just gives a different name to the name shown on the file in Evernote, but it still points to the original file. This behavior probably holds for more than just Excel files, though I didn't test that.


It's certainly confusing that it's showing a second attachment; I'm not sure what the designed behavior is.


I'd suggest that if you want to do something like this, then you should actually make a copy of the file yourself, in the file system, and attach that.

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