Email Attachments

At our March 14th General MacinTech meeting, there was a discussion about Email and Filei attachments. Here's a snippet from an email Del sent out after that meeting and some info I have posted elsewhere that our members might find helpful

On Mar 13, 2007, at 10:51 PM, Delmar Knudson wrote:

Well, I think the parts played by everyone at the monthly meeting tonight were much appreciated. A special thanks to Rick for his Widget Presentation. Dan, Zim, and others were also instrumental in getting the equipment and the program up and running. I hope the short question/answer period at the end was of use to some of you.

I do a fair amount of teaching of my brother in Missouri on his computer (purposely, nearly identical to mine). I have tried short movies (went too fast for the student, and took up an enormous amount of Bytes in the eMails). So, most often I do a few pictures of little dialogue windows and such on my computer (usually using [ Shift/Control//4 ] so the picture is on the clipboard) and easy to deposit in the email.

As a followup, here are a few articles I've written and posted on one of my own websites that may be helpful in the context of the items mentioned by Del above and at last nights meeting.

1) Taking Screen Shots in OSi X

That page describes the various options on capturing screen images for use in Email or other app's and includes a table of the various key combinations you can use built into OS X. Much of that content is also available from the OS X help menu. It includes a brief discussion on Grab and SnapZProX

2) Linking to Files on your iDiski

If you have a dot.mac account, you can link to files on your iDisk and link can be put in the email message. In that fashion you can bypass limits on email systems and speed up correspondence by simply putting a link in your email message rather than the whole attachment. The reader clicks to get the attachment if they need it (great if copying multiple users who might not all need or want the item). It's a great way to link to a tutorial movie you might have created or perhaps to a step by step web page tutorial you might created in iWeb or some other authoring tool.

3) Compressing/Zipping/Archiving files and folders before sending

Think of this like wrapping your package before dropping it in the mail box. Zipping is cross platform and is great way to protect the attachment so it gets there OK. There are times when the attachment can get corrupted as described in this related article:

While that article discussed DXF and DWG file formats, the same rules apply to numerous other file types. The Mac OS X help files also have information on how to create archives of files and folders.

If you have Stuffit Deluxe and are using the DropZip utility this article is worth reading to make sure you're not making a MacBinary file type which a Windows user can't open:

Generally you shouldn't need to compress things like TIF, PDFi, JPEGi, or PSDi files but other file types can benefit from being 'wrapped' first. If the Mac OS Type and Creator code has been damaged, which can cause an item not open correctly for mac folks, then compressing the item is the easiest way to try and correct that problem.

4) Sending a PDF as an attachment

Don't forget you can also send PDF's as attachments and those are cross platform. Apple has a feature called "PDF Workflow" that let's you use the Print command to send a PDF file as an email attachment from *any* application. This is a very easy way to use any application to make a PDF File and automatically make the email attachment for your (requires APple This article on my site explains a bit more about PDF Services, now to set it up, and includes to sample workflows and the Mac OS X help files also have some good general information:

I have other articles but they require being registered on the site to view them but those should provide a fairly broad overview that some folks may find helpful. If you want to see the related articles on the PDF workflow in action you can view any of the following pages but you'll need to signup for a free account first- these articles have demo movies:

Email Part of a Drawing as PDF

Methods to email all of a drawing as PDF

And as an added bonus for folks who have read this far Smile here is a description and download link for several PDF Workflows I've setup that you might find helpful. If you don't know how to install PDF Workflow items read the article noted above in (4):

Send to iPhoto 150 DPI Tiff
Hard cuts the interface to send a 150 DIP TIF file from any App to iPhoto. Allows you to add a name prefix to the file which is appended to the default (cryptic) name the OS X process automatically assigns. The prefix is helpful if you're using Smart Albums in iPhoto set to key off a name and put stuff in the appropriate album. I've set a default of PowerCADD_ in this script, open the workflow in Automator to change it if desired or just type over that default name. I've hard cut this one to keep it simple; if you need more control, see iPhoto Advanced below. This one might be a default workflow that as provided as part of the OS X Tiger install, I'm not sure. I do recall using one that hard cut the export to JPEG which just didn't make sense to me due to it's lossey file compression so I change it as part of trying to learn more about Automator. That lead to various other variations below.

Send to iPhoto Advanced
Let's you pick the file format, DPI, compression, etc., before sendign the item to iPhoto. Remember to pick a format iPhoto can understand Smile

Send to Disk Advanced
Same as iPhoto Advanced only you can send the file to any location on your hard drive in a variety of file formats. You can also choose to rename the file in various forms (helpful 'cos the default OS X process gives the files cryptic names). Since raster files don't have anything in the document body that can be indexed or searched, the last step allows you enter a spotlight comment before writing the file to disk.

Email PDF Basic
Created a new message with the PDF attached. Fill in the stuff in Mail and send it. This one might be a default workflow that as provided as part of the OS X Tiger install -- I'm not sure as I've had it lurking on my system for a very very long time and used it to test and learn about Automator.

Email PDF Advanced
Let's you fill in the basic email content, including accessing content, before switching to with the PDF as an attachment.

The above workflows (download link at bottom of this page) are one's I use on a regular basis that others might find helpful.


HUC_PDFWorkflows.zip13.45 KB