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Email Lesson 6

Email Attachments

Using your email client's attachment feature, you can attach and send different file types along with your email messages. When sending an email attachment, your email program changes (encodes) your file so it can be sent across the Internet.

To send an email attachment:

  • Enter a message into an email message window.
  • Click the Attachment button.
  • A dialog box opens (depends on email client). Browse until you locate the file you want to attach.
  • Select the file.
  • Click OK or Insert or Choose (depends on email client).
  • The dialog box closes. Look for the file icon or name in your email client's attachment area. The file should be attached.
  • Click Send. You might get a message such as, "Encoding Attachment," meaning the attachment is being sent.

Attach with Care

When sending email attachments, keep the following in mind:

1. Be aware of the programs your intended recipient uses. In order to open an attachment, you must have a program that can open that file type. If you are both using the same operating system, the same word-processing program, and a newer or commonly used email client, you shouldn't have any problems.
2. Include a note that briefly describes the attached file. This alerts the recipient that an attachment is included.
3. The file name should describe the attachment. This, along with your note that describes the attached file, is common courtesy. Your recipient will feel more comfortable opening the attachment.
4. If necessary, choose Text-Only. Although some newer word processing programs are able to open other word processors' files, some information and formatting can be lost in translation. For example, if you created a document using Microsoft Word and you know your intended recipients use Claris Works, they aren't going to be able to read your document. Save yourself a headache and send the document as text-only.
5. If necessary, choose RTF (rich text formatted). RTF is a standard file format almost all wordprocessors can read. RTF includes basic formatting information, such as changes in font, font size, and font style.
6. Double-check it. Make sure you have actually attached the file before you click Send. It's embarrassing to have to resend the message.

Most word processors have a Save as option that allows you to save your file in a variety of different formats,
including RTF. For more information on Save As, see our self-paced Office 2000 course.

Opening Email Attachments

To open an email attachment:

1. Check your email.
2. Double-click a message header to open a new message. Read the message.
3. Double-click the email attachment header to open the file.

Open with Caution
Viruses are often transmitted through email attachments. Therefore, when opening email attachments, do the following to safeguard your computer.

Strongly Recommended:

  • Right-click the email attachment header and chose Save As. Choose a destination.
  • Right-click the file to scan with Anti-virus software. (Read your Anti-virus software's Help file for more information.)
  • Double-click the file to open it.
  • AND
  • Don't open email attachments that come from a suspicious source or from people you don't know.
  • Don't open email attachments if the subject lines seems strange (misspelled words, puns, etc.) or is unexpected.
  • Don't open email attachments unless you know what it is, even if it appears to come from a friend.
  • Regularly visit your Anti-virus software company's website. They list recent threats to your computer's safety. Stay informed and update your Anti-virus software regularly.