An Explanation Of Apple Mac E-Mail Usage

Attach Files (Documents/Photos) To An E-Mail Message

Assuming you have followed the last two sections, are connected to the internet and have opened the e-mail application called Mail; I will now show you how to Attach A File to an e-mail.

Remember: An e-mail must have the TO, SUBJECT and MESSAGE edit boxes filled in before it can be classed an e-mail. These are the three main components that make up an e-mail, just the same as a Letter for posting must consist of a Letter, a Stamp and an Envelope. And just the same as a Letter can have something enclosed inside the envelope, such as a Photograph or a Cheque, so can an e-mail. One external file, such as a photograph file, enclosed inside an e-mail is known as an Attachment and two or more external files are known as Attachments.

Although a photograph file for example could be inserted into an e-mail, as a signature or background for example, most of the time it is easier to just insert the photograph file as an Attachment (as an external file). That way people can separate the photograph file from the message. In other words; They can read the message and then save the attached photograph file, as a separate file, onto their computer for example.

To attach a file to an e-mail you first need to create an e-mail. You do this in the same way as the last (Create An E-Mail) section - Click on the NEW MESSAGE button (Fig 1.0) and then fill in the TO, SUBJECT and MESSAGE edit boxes (Fig 1.1).

Fig 1.0  Click on the NEW MESSAGE button to open the New Message window

Fig 1.1  Fill in the TO, SUBJECT and MESSAGE edit boxes to continue

At this point DO NOT CLICK ON THE SEND BUTTON because all it will do is send out the e-mail (e-mail message) only simply because no file has been attached to the e-mail yet! To attach an actual file continue by clicking on the ATTACH (Paper Clip) button (Fig 1.2 below). This will bring up the File Selector file requester (Fig 1.3) whereby you navigate it to the file you want attaching and then select that file. From there you click on the CHOOSE FILE button.

Fig 1.2  Click on the ATTACH FILE (Paper Clip) button to bring up the File Selector file requester

Fig 1.3  Navigate the file requester to the file you want attaching, select that file and then click on CHOOSE FILE.

In the above example I have navigated the File Selector file requester to the PICTURES folder (by clicking on the PICTURES link to the left of the file requester), selected the file called john.jpg and then clicked on the CHOOSE FILE button. After clicking on the CHOOSE FILE button the file requester closes and the selected file is then physically attached to the e-mail. All I need to do from here is send the e-mail, which now has the file attached to it, by clicking on the SEND button.

Fig 1.4  Click on the SEND button to send the attached file (attachment) alongside this e-mail

You will know when a file has been successfully attached to your e-mail because a thumbnail icon (small preview icon) of it will appear at the bottom of your e-mail message within the E-MAIL MESSAGE edit box. So in this example I have attached a photo file, called john.jpg, and the Mail e-mail application has then placed a thumbnail icon (photo preview) of it just underneath my e-mail message.

Fig 1.5  Clicking on the SEND button will send out the written e-mail message together with the attached photo file

Depending on the type of file you are attaching to your e-mail, the thumbnail icon (preview icon) may be of a photo or document. For example. If you attached a Microsoft Excel 2011 document you will see a thumbnail icon that represents the Microsoft Excel document logo (below) whereas if you attach a very large photo file you will see a small thumbnail icon (as just exampled above) that represents a portion (smaller preview/scale) of the very large photo.

Fig 1.6  Clicking on the SEND button will send the written e-mail message together with the attached document file

Thumbnails are used so that your e-mail message is not bloated with photos and/or extra documentation. This just means as a composer of an e-mail message any files you attach to your e-mail message are seen as thumbnails within the E-MAIL MESSAGE edit box only, for the reason just stated, whereby the original/actual attached files are still sent out with your e-mail message when you click on the SEND button. Furthermore, when the recipient receives your e-mail, with attachments (attached files), they too will only see thumbnails until they actually download (save) an attach file onto their computer or preview an attached file from within their e-mail application.

Getting back to the original e-mail with the photo attachment called john.jpg; I have now sent it out, by clicking on the SEND button (Fig 1.4 above). If I need proof that it was sent, or even not sent, all I need to do is click on the SENT mailbox (folder) on the left-side of the Mail application window. This is something you should get in the habit of doing; Always check the SENT mailbox, especially when sending very important e-mails.

Fig 1.7  Always check the SENT mailbox (folder) to clarify important e-mail, with attachments, has been sent.

If you want to attach more than one file, perhaps with different file types, you can do so by following the above attach procedure again. In this next example I attached the Microsoft Excel document called Shopping_List.xlsx before the photo file called john.jpg, both of which are thumbnailed underneath the e-mail message.

Fig 1.8  You can attach two, or more, files that have completely different file types if you wish

If you need to remove an attachment (attached file) from an e-mail, for whatever reason(s), simply select its thumbnail (preview icon) and then press the DELETE keyboard key (or CMD and BACKSPACE keyboard keys together). Note well - You will not get any "Are You Sure You Want To Delete?" file requester appearing asking you to confirm the removal. The attached file (attachment) will be removed from the e-mail straight away, without warning. All is not lost though. If you make a mistake and remove the wrong attachment simply press the CMD and Z (Undo) keyboard keys together to bring back that accidentally removed attachment (attached file).

Fig 1.9  Click on an attached file's thumbnail (preview icon) and press DELETE to remove it from the e-mail

If you need to remove all attachments currently in your e-mail, click on the MESSAGE menu and select its REMOVE ATTACHMENTS menu-item (below). Note: This will remove all attachments, not just those that are highlighted in blue (selected); as in Fig 1.9 above. Hence why you should select individual attachments (as in Fig 1.9 above) if you only want certain attachments removed.

Fig 1.10  Click on the MESSAGE menu and select REMOVE ATTACHMENTS to remove all attachments in your e-mail

If you want to change the thumbnail (preview icon) of an attached photo file into a document icon, so that the photo file (attachment) appears as a document icon and therefore a document Download Link, right click on the thumbnail (preview icon) to bring up its Options (Context) menu and then select (left click on) the VIEW AS ICON menu-item. This option is good for those recipients who complain of not being able to download your attached photo file when they receive your e-mail.

Fig 1.11  Right click on a thumbnail (preview icon) and then select its VIEW AS ICON menu-item

Fig 1.12  The result of changing a photo file's thumbnail (preview icon) into a document icon

The above is the result of changing an attached photo file's thumbnail (preview icon) into a document icon. To change the document icon back into a thumbnail (preview icon) simply right click on it to bring up its Options (Context) menu, but this time select the VIEW IN PLACE menu-item.

NOTE - This will only work for photo files. An attached document file cannot have its document icon changed into a thumbnail (image/photo preview icon). In other words, you cannot have a document icon that displays a photo within the attached document file for example.

Fig 1.13  Right click on a document icon and then select its VIEW IN PLACE menu-item

So just to clarify: You create an e-mail, attach one or more files to it and then click on the SEND button. Your isp's computer (mail server) then verifies/authorises the e-mail account details sent to it by the Mail e-mail application (i.e the e-mail account details). If all goes well the e-mail itself is then sent from your Mail's OUTBOX mailbox to the OUTBOX mailbox that resides on your isp's computer (mail server). Your isp's computer (mail server), after verifying the e-mail further (for Viruses and Spam/Junk content for example), then forwards the e-mail to the recipient's (Denise Cedar's) isp's computer (mail server). It in turn puts the e-mail into the recipient's (Denise Cedar's) e-mail account INBOX. When the recipient (Denise Cedar) then checks their e-mail using their Mail Client (e-mail application) they should find your e-mail inside its INBOX.


File Size Matters! - With regards to the size of each attached file (attachment) it is always a good idea to calculate the combined file sizes, as many e-mail accounts are restricted on how much data they can send/receive at any one time. Not only that; It's always courteous to send only a few files at a time due to the storage capacity of someones INBOX.

If my friend's INBOX has a capacity of 10 Megabytes for example and I send her 7 Photos of 1 Megabyte each, that only leaves 3 Megabytes for her other friends and/or herself to use. And how would I know the storage capacity of my friend's INBOX? Answer. I wouldn't know. The only way I would know is when I send her an e-mail and I get an error message stating: "Could not send e-mail", "Recipient's INBOX is full" or error messages to this affect.

File Type - If you need to preview an attached file, perhaps because you have forgotten what is inside it, you can double click on it and it should open; usually by the program that made it or by a program associated with its file name extension (file type). For example. If you double click on an attached photograph file (i.e. john.jpg) the Mac Photo Viewer application, called Preview, might be the application to open that file, if it's the default application associated with the .jpg file extension (file type). On the other hand, if you have a Microsoft Office 2011 file attached (i.e. Shopping_List.xlsx) the recipient might not have any application on their computer to open that type of file.