Copying Office 2007 Files When Open?
February 22nd, 2008
I've got a little technical problem, if anyone out there knows the solution please let me know. Here's the situation: when I give my students tests in MS Word or PowerPoint, I usually have them open the app they're being tested on, carry out a set of tasks, and then save the document as their exam work. For safety's sake, I ask them not to close the document window until I have successfully copied it and determined that they saved the document correctly. Maybe I'm being paranoid, but I'd rather not take even the smallest risk of losing an hour's work by a student. Using Office 2000, this was not a problem. The students saved their documents on the server's shared folder and waited with the file open while I copied it from that folder to my computer's hard disk. But after we put in Office 2007, that became no longer possible: every time I try to copy a .pptx or .docx file that is still in use by the student, it gives me an error message and won't let me copy it until the file has been closed. I am guessing that this is because of the new XML format, which uses a package file with many components. I came up with a kludgy workaround: I can zip-archive the open document, then copy the archive, then un-zip it on my computer. It works, but it takes several steps, and is not something I'd like to repeat 20 times every class period. It also suggests that there is really no technical problem in making a copy of an open file (else why would archiving work?), it's just for some reason Office 2007 won't let you. Any ideas for a better work-around?