Note on the use of attachments

You can send and receive files, such as Word documents and images, with e-mails. These are called attachments.

When using attachments, the following issues should be taken into consideration:

  • It is not advisable to send very large files (sizes of several megabytes) by e-mail. Large attachments strain the mail systems and may exceed the space quota of the receiver’s mailbox. When transferring large files, it is usually better to place the file on one’s own home page and give the receiver the web address by e-mail than use large attachments.
  • It is advisable to find out what types of documents the receiver is able to open, as e-mail programs are usually not able to show any files except normal text documents (e.g. Word and WordPerfect documents are not included). Opening and viewing attachments has separate programs outside the e-mail program. The receiver often does not use the same programs as the sender. One useful sending format for text documents is RTF (Rich Text Format). PDF is best suited for documents containing images.
  • No attachments should be sent to mailing lists. The larger the list, the more resources are required to send and save a message with an attachment (i.e. usually a large message). It is almost impossible to find out whether an attachment will cause problems to some of the list orderers. Fortunately, the materials delivered as attachments are usually just text which can easily be copied as a part of the message.

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