[Hpn] How to avoid attachments, win friends, and influence people

Anitra Freeman anitra@speakeasy.org
Sun, 04 Jun 2000 19:41:32 -0700 (PDT)


Many people including me automatically delete without opening any email
with attachements (except for rare occasions when I have previously
arranged to accept a specific file and am expecting it to come by
attachment from a known individual.)  Increasing numbers of email lists
are configured to delete attachments.

There is more than one reason for this:

1) Other people with way too much time on their hands have entertained
themselves by creating destructive viruses that are spread through email
attachments, even without the knowledge of the person whose email
address is used to spread the virus.

2) There are still many people, especially on lists like these with
diabled and low-income members, who cannot receive or open attachments,
whose email access is limited, or who pay by the time it takes to
download the files you send to them.  Personally, I don't think it's a
friendly thing to do to make some low-income brother or sister pay even
10 cents extra because I want to send a large amusing graphic, without
asking first if they want to receive it.

Sending HTML email causes problems for the folks in category 2 also.  
Many of us aren't accessing our email through a web browser.  I usually
use a text-based email reader myself.  HTML email is wasted on me, and I
usually delete it unread.  Other folks, like the ones using Juno
accounts, may find themselves paying money for downloading a file they
can't read.

There is also more than one way around sending attachments or HTML.

1) If you want your friends to see a graphic or an HTML file in full
browser display, send a short description and the web address.

2) To avoid sending your own email as HTML by default (Outlook is
notorious for being configured this way unless you deliberately change
it) change your email settings.  The method will vary according to your
own email program.  Anyone is welcome to email me personally for help if
you have any difficulty with doing this.

3) You can easily send anything written in Word, or on a webpage, or in
any other format by cut-and-paste.  
A) Have both your email window and the window with the document you want
to send open at the same time.
B) In the window containing the document you want to send, highlight the
text you want to send.  You can do this by pressing the command key and
tapping "A" to "select all", or by placing the mouse cursor at the start
of the text you want then pressing the key (left key on a PC) down and
holding it while you drag the cursor to the end of the selection you
want.
C) From the menu, select "Edit/Copy" (the keyboard shorthcut for this is
usually "Command+C"
D) In the window containing your email document, place your cursor at
the point you want to insert the text and click the mouse.  
E) From the menu, select "Edit/Paste" (the keyboard shorthcut for this
is usually "Command+P"

I hope this will help us all decrease the digital divide for
*everyone*. Leave no one behind -- including people who have older email
programs than you do! :)

Write On! / Anitra L. Freeman / http://www.speakeasy.org/~anitra/
"Never doubt that a small group of imperfect people can improve the
world--indeed they are the only ones who ever have." Not Margaret Mead