From the KnowledgeBase

E-mail: How to send an attachment; guidelines and instructions
How to send a file to another person via e-mail


Is it now common for digital documents to be sent via e-mail messages. For a number of situations, this is the best way to move information around electronically.

Sending an attachment is easy.

  • Compose your e-mail message
  • Click the Attach button (represented by a paper clip icon)
  • Browse to the file you wish to send, select it and (depending upon your software) choose Open, or Insert

Some Considerations When Sending Attachments
As a courtesy, people often indicate in the body of the e-mail message that a file is attached. If the recipient does not receive the attachment they can always request another copy. Another consideration when sharing files is making sure that your recipient has the right tools to receive and make use of the file. If you send a very large file to someone who does not have ample mail quota (free disk space), they may be unable to receive it. If you send a Microsoft Word file to someone who has no application capable of opening the file, they will be unable to view it.

Guidelines for Attachments
Using e-mail attachments to share information is the right technique when you need to share a file with just a few people. The size of the file that you are attaching can be as large as 25MB. If you need to send a larger file, there are several other techniques that may be more appropriate.

If you need to share a file with a large number of people, or if you need to share a very large file, you may want to consider the solution: E-mail: How to transfer large files and attachments.

Some Considerations When Receiving Attachments
Numerous computer viruses are sent via e-mail attachments. The best defense against receiving an "infected" document or file is using anti-virus software on your computer with current virus definitions. You can usually download the latest definitions from your software manufacturer's web site or you can contact them directly. Make sure to scan files that are sent to you before opening them. Some antivirus programs can automatically scan files as they are downloaded to your computer.

OIT recommends using Symantec AntiVirus (SAV). This software has an automatic protection feature and scans files as they are downloaded to your computer. OIT has negotiated a campus wide site license with Symantec for their product to provide the University community a pro-active means of battling computer viruses. There is no charge to the individual for the software, and the license is not platform-specific. Antivirus software best services you and your computer when working invisibly in the background as you work. To download the software please see:

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Last Updated:
July 22, 2008

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