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E-Mail Attachments

be sure to check the useful links at the bottom of this article

It’s really easy to send an attachment with an email message — maybe too easy.

Most email attachments are not necessary at all. Instead of attaching a file, you can just put the content in your message. Here’s the classic “teacher” example: you are taking kids to an activity and need to mail that list of kids. Just put the list in your message! Some of us seem to think you can’t type unless you are in Word. If that’s you, then by all means go to the extra step of typing your list in Word, but then use Edit → Select All (or CMD+A), Edit→ Copy (or CMD+C) and then pasted (or CMD+V) into your email message. No need to attach a Word file.

And then there are file types and the corresponding file extensions. Let’s say you created a document with Word, or Photoshop, or CreateACard and wanted to share it. Problem is, all these applications have their own file type. Unless all your recipients have that same application on their computer, they won’t be able to open your attachment. These days, a lot of people check their mail using their smart phone. So you have to make your email attachments more user friendly. Fortunately, that’s not very hard and usually means only taking one extra step: use “Save As”.

Nearly every application enables you to save your work in a variety of formats. The most email friendly are PDF and JPG. If you are sending a picture, use JPG (PNG and GIF are also pretty safe). If you are sending anything else, use PDF. If you share much of your work with others, it’s a good idea to save it and the “Save As” in one of these two formats. Keep both files, because if you decide to edit your work later you’ll need the applications default file type (or example: .docx for Word or .psd for PhotoShop). And if you do edit the file later, be sure to save in both formats again when you are done. When you are attaching it to your email, use the PDF or JPG version of your work.

Here is the “Save As” menu in Word:

And here is part of the list you can pick from:

Useful Links:

Google Docs vs. Microsoft Word: The Death Match for Research Writing

5 Simple Tips for Mobile-Friendly Emails

Top 10 Reasons To Use PDF Instead of Word, Excel, or PowerPoint

What To Do When You Can’t Open an Email Attachment

4 Reasons Why Not to Use Attachments in Email

Attachments vs Links and How Cloud Storage Can Help

Avoid E-Mail Attachments, Especially Microsoft Word

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