Sending Email Attachments

"I know so much more about other people and the world because of e-mail"

 - ESL Student


Purpose of Lesson:
  • You should understand what an email attachment is, what kinds of files can be sent as attachments, and how to send these files via e-mail. Youl should also understand about the threats of email viruses and spam.

I. What are attachments?

As we have studied, information in text form is generally transferred on the Internet by HTTP orHyperText Transfer Protocol. However, another method called MIME, or Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension, allows the transfer of other types of "non-text" files on the Internet including pictures, graphics, sound, video, and formatted-text documents, like those created in a word processing program. Basically, the files are encoded by the e-mail program and then decoded when received.

II. How can I send and receive attachments?

Of course, you must have something to send before you begin. In this class, you should be able to create or find these kinds of attachments:

  1. Formatted Documents in MS Word;
  2. Pictures or Graphics
  3. Barry's Clip Art Server

    1. .gif, Graphics Interchange Format:
      • Best for graphics or pictures with uniform blocks of color (only supports 256 colors)
    2. .jpeg or .jpg, Joint Photographic Experts Group
      • Best for scanned photos with many shades of color (supports millions of colors); also file size can be greatly reduced.
  4. Sound Files
When you send an attachment, you should tell the recepient: (1) that you are sending an attachment, (2) the type of attachment (e.g., document, graphic, sound file, etc.), (3) the program you used to create the file (e.g., MS Word for documents, PhotoShop for graphics, Excell for spreadsheets, etc.), and (4) the file name.
I'm sending you a document attachment called "test.doc" created in MSWord for Windows.

Sending Attachments

Here are some basic steps for sending attachments using Hotmail, but remember that these steps might differ depending on the computer system and e-mail program you are using:
  1. From the Compose window, press "Attachments."
  2. In the Attachments window, click the "Browse" button.
  3. The "File Upload" dialog box will open.
    1. Select the file that you want to attach from your computer.
    2. Press the "Open" button.
  4. The file will appear in the "Attach File" field.
  5. Press the "Attach to Message" button. The filename and size appear in the "Message Attachments" box.
  6. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to attach as many files as you want.
  7. Press the "Done" button when you are finished.
  8. You will be taken back to the Compose page. You should see the name of the file(s) that you have attached just above the message window.

Receiving Attachments

Just like sending attachments, receiving attachments may depend on the computer system and e-mail program that you are using. With Hotmail, if the sender and receiver of the message are both using Hotmail, graphics will automatically appear in the body of the message.

 When you receive a message, any attachments will be listed near the bottom of the window. Be sure to scan your message to make sure it doe not contain any viruses. After the scanning is complete, you can download the attachment.

 Sometimes the computer may not recognize the program that was used to create a file you have received. Let's say the sender used WordPerfect to create a document, but you only have MS Word on your computer. After you press the Download button in Hotmail, you might be asked to select an application to open it in or save the document. Press the "Pick App" button, and then open a program that will most likely be able to view the file (e.g., a word processing program to open up a document, PhotoShop to open up graphics, etc.). Again, the sender should the receiver what kind of file he or she is sending.

III. How can I send and receive sound file and voice e-mail?

There are two options for working with sound files: (a) find sound files created by others or (b) create you own.

Sending Previously Created Sound Files:

Try visiting Free Sound Effects for sounds the you can send to others. The process for sending a sound file is basically the same as other attachments. Try sending the sound effect below.

  1. On a Macintosh computer, click and hold the mouse button,choose "Save link as . . ." and then save the file one your computer.
  2. On a Windows machine, click on the right button of your mouse, select "Save Link As . . .," and save the file on your computer.

[ Test Sound File ]

Creating Your Own Sound Files:

Now you will learn how to create voice e-mail and send these sound file attachments to others. To do this, I will introduce you to one free software product that you can use to do this.

I. Download the software program PureVoice. ("Download" in this situation means that you will obtain a file or program off the Internet and put it on your computer or disk.)

II. Click on the link "QUALCOMM: v2.0 for ALL Macintosh Models." The program will download onto the desktop of your computer. For our class, we may use this program again, so be sure to save a copy of the "PureVoice Installer" on your Zip Disk. Remember that since we are using computers on the university network, all software programs you add will be deleted at the end of the day.

  1. click on the "PureVoice Installer" installer
  2. press "Continue" on the picture that appears
  3. press "Continue" again at the next screen
  4. click "Agree"
  5. select the Hard Disk and install the program there

III. Now you have installed the program on your computer. Follow these steps to record on Macintosh computers in our lab:

  1. click on the toolbar found in the bottom left-hand corner of your screen
  2. click and how the picture that looks like a CD
  3. select External Mic

IV. Now you can create a sound file with PureVoice.

  1. open the PureVoice application by clicking on the PureVoice icon found in the PureVoice folder;
  2. click on the round record button to start the recording. Your mic is on top of your computer monitor;
  3. stop the recording by pressing the square stop button;
  4. listen to the sound by pressing the play triangular play button;
  5. save your file from the File menu. Name your file and save it on your computer.

Okay, you can now send your voice to another person following the instructions for other attachments.

V. To receive and open the voice e-mail, follow these steps if you are using Hotmail:

  1. open your e-mail account and go to your inbox in Hotmail. You may need to click the Check New Hotmail link
  2. open the message with the voice e-mail attachment;
  3. click on the Scan with McFee link. If you try to download without McFee, you computer will try to open the file, but might not know what kind of file it is;
  4. click and hold your mouse button on download link and select Save link as . . .;
  5. save the voice e-mail file on your computer or disk;
  6. with the PureVoice program on your computer, click on the voice e-mail file and it should open and play;

[ Practice Quiz Questions ]


Copyright © 1998 - 2005 by Randall S. Davis, All rights reserved.