Technology-Headlines

by George Heymann

Primer: Managing file attachments.

In my work as an advertising photographer, file attachments are an integral part of my everyday workflow. For many experienced computer users working with file attachments, is almost instinctual.

However, hardly a day goes by that I don’t receive a request from someone needing help either sending or saving file attachments. So I thought I’d take a minute to help those of you that may still be unsure how to manage file attachments.

Regardless of which email program you use to manage your email — whether it be a dedicated client such as Outlook or a web mail program such as Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail — the steps are basically the same.

Primer to handling file attachments: These steps will vary slightly on each client. But can be easily adapted from application to application.

Sending an attachment:

  1. Open email program of choice.
  2. Create your email: Click on the file menu and select “new message.”
  3. Attach file. From the file menu click on “attach;” then, using the pop-up dialogue box, navigate to the file you wish to attach. Then click “to attach.”
  4. Send.

Receiving a file attachment:

  1. Open email containing the attachment.
  2. Save attachment. From the file menu select “attachments;” then select the file you which to save, or select “save all.” You will be presented with a dialogue box asking you where you wish to save your files (options might include desktop, hard drive, etc.) Note the location as you will need to go there to view your attachments.
  3. Open up your document or photo viewer, depending on the type of attachment you wish to view. Navigate to the location that you saved your attachments in step 2.
  4. Open File

So how did you do, were you able to complete the steps and send or receive your file attachments? If you did then congratulations, if not don’t get frustrated. I stated that the steps would vary some from program to program.

Go back and read over the steps again for each procedure, more than once if necessary. The key to working with email file attachments or any program really is a clear understanding of what you are trying to accomplish.

Visualize the email as a lunch bag and the attachment as a sandwich that you are putting into the bag. So it’s a matter of opening the bag to accept the sandwich, in this case opening the email to accept the attachment. This is accomplished by opening the file menu and adding the attachment.

Now that bag maybe in a different drawer,  the same as attaching the file may be contained in a different part of the menu. So explore a little if the program you are using is different than the example. Don’t loose sight of what you are trying to accomplish and you’ll be fine.

Once you get into the habit of learning the concept instead of getting tied down in the step by step learning you’ll be able to apply your new found knowledge to any new program that you choose to work with.

For those of you that don’t have a document or photo viewer already installed or would prefer to replace the default application, let me make a couple of suggestions, all of which are free to download. The programs are either Open-Source, donationware or freeware.For your word-processing, spreadsheet, presentation or database needs, please consider Open Office for both PC and Mac. For additional information and download links on Open Office, see my story on Open-Source software.

For your image browsing, and photo viewing needs, take a look at Irfanview for PC and Xee for Mac OSX. Both programs are compact apps that offer fast and convenient image viewing and browsing. They can handle most common file formats with aplomb.

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