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There is a feature that I love in Evernote, but then it got me into trouble.

I love the fact that, if you put a PDF file inti a note, and you open this file into an PDF editor from the Evernote note, the changes you make to the file will be reflected in the attached file.

I thought it was the same for all attached files.

But I realized that it was not the case for Excel files. A couple of times, I opened XLS budgets from within Evernote notes, worked ont hem, saved them, then realized that the attached file in Evernote was not changed. 

So what are the rules there? Because it is, potentially, a great feature, but I am not sure how to integrate it in my workflow.

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34 minutes ago, fredhammersmith said:

But I realized that it was not the case for Excel files. A couple of times, I opened XLS budgets from within Evernote notes, worked ont hem, saved them, then realized that the attached file in Evernote was not changed.

I believe this should work for Excel files.  It has for me.  Is this consistent behavior or intermittent?  Some Excel files or all?  Which Windows version are you on?

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You should find your saved files in C:\Users\<USER>\AppData\Local\Evernote\Evernote\Databases\Attachments probably with filename(1), filename(2) etc.  Office apps can't handle a note-based file,  so a copy is saved out of the note into the Attachments folder so Excel can work on it.  For some reason your Excel is saving edited files under a numbered file name instead of into the original spot.  If the altered file is saved back to the original name,  the changes will be uploaded back into your database.  Under a different name,  it just gets left there.  Like @s2sailor I haven't had a problem with saving spreadsheet files back into notes.  Have a look at your Excel options to see whether there's something you can change...

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Hm, just tried this with an Excel spreadsheet and a Word doc. Seemed to work just fine. Here's what happens when you edit an attachment:

* Evernote writes the attachment in the note to disk as a temporary file, using the appropriate filename. The folder it's written to is usually something like "C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Local\Evernote\Evernote\Databases\Attachments".

* You make changes, and then save (File / Save or Ctrl+S), and then exit the editing application.

* When the save occurs, Evernote should notice that the file has changed, and loads it back in to the note database, and removes the temporary file it created to use for editing.

If something goes wrong in the handoff after saving from editing application to Evernote (the process is not 100% foolproof in Windows, though it should work most of the time), then you should be able to find the file you were editing with the changes you made intact in the location specified above.

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Well Jeff, this was what I expected, but I burned myself two times already with Excel files.

Maybe I was careless in a way I don't remember (like suspending a session without saving), but I do not think so.

When you say it is not 100% foolproof, is it because there were other reports like mine?

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7 minutes ago, fredhammersmith said:

Well Jeff, this was what I expected, but I burned myself two times already with Excel files.

Maybe I was careless in a way I don't remember (like suspending a session without saving), but I do not think so.

When you say it is not 100% foolproof, is it because there were other reports like mine?

It's based on some experience on a development team that implemented a similar facility several years ago, in a different company: I didn't do the actual implementation myself, my next-door cubicle neighbor did, so I heard plenty about it. :) I wouldn't be surprised if there have been other reports here, but I can't remember any specifically. It might involve not exiting the editing application right away; I'm just not sure.

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Just ran a quick test - created a spreadsheet in Excel 2013 and saved it to a note.  Exited Excel and double-clicked the icon in the note.  Then edited the sheet and re-saved (File > Save) from Excel.  Reopened the note and my changes were there.  Made and saved another change and left the file open - and I could open another sheet by clicking the icon,  including that latest change.  All of which seems to indicate that with Excel 2013 and Win 8.1 it doesn't matter whether you close Excel or not,  things save back into the note...

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Thanks guys for helping out there.

I will try to find some time to run some tests as well.

When they announced that Evernote and Google Drive would work together, I thought that maybe it was to develop a bulletproof way of working on documents attached to notes. Is this the goal behind this move?

I personaly prefer to use Dropbox in my workflow (sharing documents is much easier in Dropbox), but I may reconsider. I share notebooks with my assistant already, and this is working quite well.

 

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Adding my two cents.  I have a couple of spreadsheets which I update frequently to daily that are stored in EN notes.  Not often, but sometimes, when I open the spreadsheet from the note the file name that appears in Excel is File Name (1).xlsx, where the (1) has been added.  I have not been able to determine what the course of events is that causes the issue.  But per the above, I stop when I see the changed file name and to go to attachments to assess what I have.  If I were guessing I would say it might have something to with EN really not cleaning up the attachments folder when you close an attachment you have edited, the (1) being the clue????  So I try and remember to fully exit EN and empty the attachments file folder from time to time.  

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So I made different tests with Excel this morning, and it worked as intended.

So maybe it was a careless manipulation from my part that put me in trouble.

A nice touch from the folks at Evernote would be to be able to see the date/hour of the last mod of the attachment in the icon. I think it is the created time that appears right now.

It would be a visual proof that Evernote aknowledges the changes made to the attachment.

I'll report back if anything goes wrong in my future use of this feature.

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Agreed, the updated date/time would be much more helpful. I run all my files in Evernote notes, and have only ever had minor issues with loosing data. Looking in the attachments folder, I usually find what I'd been working on. Like @csihilling I've noticed the (1) appended to filenames at times. Never pinned down the exact cause, but it happens infrequent enough for it to not concern me too much. I just try be mindful of saving and closing a file before letting closing Evernote or letting Windows sleep, maybe this helps.

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