Successfully attaching photos to email

Reader Dennis Ducklow sends along this perennial email-related head-scratcher. In between bouts of scratching he writes:

I’m a photographer and need to email photos to other people, many of whom are Windows users. When I do this with Mail, most Windows users can see the pictures but cannot save the attachments. They complain that my photos are embedded in the email and they cannot save them. Is there something I can do to ensure that Windows users can download my photos as a separate attachment?

This one crops up at just about every users group meeting and family holiday dinner I attend, so it’s time to unsheathe the sword and slay it—regardless of how temporarily. There are two things you can try—the first may work and the second is guaranteed.

The first is to send messages that have photos attached as plain text rather than rich text. To do so, create a new message and choose Format -> Make Plain Text. To make plain text the default (which we old-timers love because we like our email messages unadorned by fancy fonts and formatting), choose Preferences from the Mail menu, click the Composing tab, and from the Message Format pop-up menu, choose Plain Text. From this day forward your messages will be sent as plain text by default. Should you wish to send the occasional rich text missive, choose Format -> Make Rich Text.

If this solution brings no joy (and it doesn’t always) here’s the surefire way: Compress your images into a .zip archive and attach that archive. To do so, select your image (or multiple images) in the Finder and choose File -> Compress X (where X is either the name of a single file or the number of selected files). A .zip archive of your image(s) will result. Drag that file to your email message and send. Your Windows pals will receive the file as an attachment and will need only expand the file to view its contents.

  
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