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Try following this link to a folder in my OneDrive — it's set to "Anyone with the link can view".

Times when Microsoft Word's grammar checker has been abysmally wrong

You'll notice that you can see the absolute path of this folder: Mr. L. Sawczak > Teaching > _Templates > ENG2D > Materials > Grammar > pics > word

This only seems to apply to my organization-managed account. Here's a folder from a personal account that does not reveal the absolute path.

Google Drive neve does this. Here's a Google Drive link:

Screenshots of snippets from Plato's Gorgias

All you see now is the folder name plato.

Is there some motivation for the difference from a security standpoint? Personally, I think Google Drive's makes more sense. After all, I could keep a file in a folder called Letters to people I dislike and send you the link to that, not realizing that its location is revealed in the URL once opened.

Incidentally, Microsoft has been asked about this, but in typical Microsoft style they say that not revealing structure is not yet a feature.

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  • We can't possibly answer why Microsoft chose to design their system this way.
    – Sergej
    Sep 4, 2023 at 0:05
  • @Sergej I'm asking about the practice in general; my wording might have been unclear. Sep 4, 2023 at 0:29

1 Answer 1

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Actually, the first link is to Sharepoint. Sharepoint is a file system service that has a very different original purpose and design from personal drives. File structures in Sharepoint are exposed.

The difference is that personal file storage is more likely to have details that people would not want to share. Corporate file structures are more public (at least within the org) so the requirement to "hide" the file structure is not so strong.

My practice, when using Sharepoint, is to create a "Public" folder at the top of the file structure and add things I share publicly from there. So, \Public\Luke\, etc.

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  • Ah, that's very interesting. I guess OneDrive is "implemented" as SharePoint when it's an organizational account, since the interface is the same (until you dig deeper into settings), and as far as I can tell, there's no other way to generate a link. Your logic makes sense and suggests that it's a more reasonable decision than expected: who cares if you see the structure if it's meant to be primarily internal. (Or not only "who cares", but even desirable... who hasn't told a colleague at some point, "You can find it in the Z drive under Work / Staff Folders / my name / Arcana / ...") Sep 4, 2023 at 12:35
  • That's the general idea,
    – schroeder
    Sep 4, 2023 at 12:37

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