The topic of sending attachments by e-mail needs greater awareness. It is easy to attach a file to an e-mail. Almost too easy! E-mail programs allow you to attach almost anything, regardless of the size and format without giving the sender any sort of guidance.
Most that forward attachments or send photos along are doing so with good intentions not purposefully wanting to cause any problems for the other side. That said, though, one has to take a moment and think before attaching files to an e-mail and clicking Send. To simply attach files without taking the time to consider the person on the other side is self-serving not to mention reflecting your overall lack of tech savvy.
Here are things to think about before you arbitrarily attach any file to an e-mail and send it on its way:
- What is the file’s size? If you don’t know, find out. If you don’t know how to find out, learn. For example in Windows, you can view the file’s size in Windows Explorer. ? This will allow you to see a Size column reflecting each file’s size.
- Files megs in size (that’s millions of bytes!)?can have a hard time going through the pipeline. Just because you can physically instruct a computer to attach a file of that size doesn’t mean you should. You could also instruct your computer to reformat/erase your hard drive but you don’t do you?
- Only attach files in a format that you know the other side has the software to view – because you asked first! For example, not everyone has MS Publisher, Excel or PowerPoint (extremely large files). If the other side does not have Excel and you send an Excel file to them, they most likely cannot open it.
SIDEBAR: If you find that you consistently have overly large files that you need to send to others, you may want to check out a couple sites like: HighTail.com and DropBox.com. These services provide accounts on their servers for you to upload large attachments and notify folks by e-mail to come and download them. Cool!
- When it comes to graphics and photos (right off your digital camera), just assume the files are gargantuan. Because they are! Whether the files are for business or personal matters, here again you need to compress either the file’s size with one of the many compression utilities available or cut the physical dimensions of the graphic or photo.
Learn how to resize photos to no larger than 100 pixels in width. 100 pixels is large enough for most uses – especially if you are just sharing photos with friends or family. Better yet, start a Blog and post your photo slideshows there and just send a link!
To send an attachment without notice that someone didn’t ask for or in a format they don’t have the software to open is the epitome of lack of courtesy for those you are e-mailing. No matter how important you think that attachment is – you need to consider the above issues. Don’t attach that file without first knowing its size, format and notifying the person on the other side that it is on its way.
Just a little common courtesy can go a long way to you being perceived as a person who is a pleasure to communicate with and who also understands the technology in which they are participating.