April 13, 2007 - Email Attachment Topics:
1) Blocked Attachments:
As you know you can attach a variety of files to an email. Most files will attach nicely; JPG pictures, Word DOCs, Excel XLS spreadsheets, PowerPoint PPT files, and more work very well. Some types of files cannot be attached because of the potential that they may contain viruses or may be associated with junk email. Filenames ending with the following extensions will be automatically deleted: BAT, COM, EML, EXE, GIF, JPEG, JS, SCR, VBS, and WSH.
2) Attachment Filenames:
Work to keep attachment filenames simple. 8-letters or less in a filename is ideal; however, you can have filenames up to 32-characters or so. Try to keep the filename alpha-numeric. It is important that you do not attach files with spaces in the filename. Attachment filenames with odd characters or spaces may not work for the recipient.
3) Attachment Size:
There is a acceptable limit to the size of an attachment. Our system has a maximum size of about 20-megabytes. We suggest that attachment sizes not exceed 1-megabyte (1 MB); or 1000-kilobytes (1000 KB). Large attachments may work for you; however, your recipient(s) may be unable to receive large attachments, or may be on a dial-up connection at home, which makes large attachments impractical. To determine the file-size for any file you intend to attach, right-click on the filename, choose Properties, and look for Size. 50 KB is no big deal; 250 KB is kind of big; 1 MB is real big; more than 1-megabyte should be carefully considered.
4) Sending Attachments to a Group:
It is critically important that attachments sent to groups of people are sent with care. If you send a message to a large group such as HSFACULTY, which has 107 recipients, and let's say it includes a 1-megabyte attachment, it becomes 107-megabytes in attachments. That's a lot, and may fail all together. As a rule, please do not send attachments to groups.
5) Compressing Attachments:
Occasionally we send newsletters, documents or other publications with lots of pictures. Pictures usually make documents very large. A one page document with a few pictures may grow the file-size to a few megabytes, which is too large for email. More recent versions of Microsoft Word can compress the pictures in your document. Open your document, right-click one of the pictures, choose Format Picture, choose the Picture tab, choose the Compress button, select the item "All Pictures In Document", select Web/Screen, select Compress Pictures, and press OK. The next time your save your document it will be smaller; however, look just as good. You'll be doing your recipients a huge favor.
6) While on the topic of Newsletters:
We recommend that mass-mailed newsletters created in Microsoft Word, Publisher, or other word processor be converted to PDF. PDF is Portable Document Format, and is read using Adobe Reader or Foxit Reader. Your recipients may not have the same version of Word or Publisher as you; however, PDF files open reliably and predictably on any computer. Adobe Reader or Foxit Reader would be required; both are freely available to anyone, including your recipients. Most all district computers can already read any PDF file. PDF files are also very efficient; a 1-megabyte Word Document may compress to a fraction of that as a PDF file.
7) Sending Lists in Attachments:
Occasionally we send Word Documents, such as a list of students, to a group of colleagues. Rather than sending a Word Document attachment with a list, copy the content of the Word Document and paste it into the body of them email message. Avoiding the use of an attachment will reduce the size of the email significantly, make it more compatible with more recipients, and it will make reading the list much simpler for the recipient. Besides all the extra clicks and time spent by the recipient, not all recipients have the same version of Microsoft Word; they may not be able to open it. If the message or list can be conveyed in the body of a plain email, please do so.