Best way to send formatted mail with attachments from ipad / iPhone

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by ipad.subu, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. ipad.subu
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    ipad.subu iPF Novice

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    Hi

    In my work I need to send e mail with a covering letter and an attachment - the attachment being a word processed document where 99% is standard and 1% may or may not be changed

    The e mail which needs to be changed with the name ...address erc, could be web mail or using an exchange / mail client from a mail account

    The attachment needs to be formatted but NEED not be M$ word, it can be any reasonably formatted document ( good enough)

    The important question us can I achieve all this with an ipad or iPhone ?

    Forget the typing difficulty, its very little typing here and the predictive text is superb in iPhone and I have crossed that but is the rest of it possible, ie the e mail , the attachment etc using an iPhone ?

    I not know how to store these word or word processed documents on iphone , if stored on google drive , hiw to make minor changes when needed and e mail them with a covering letter ( covering letter needs change every time for the name of recipient etc )

    Any ideas ?

    Or should I have an unchanged attachment all the time ?

    Thanks in advance

    Free ideas welcome

    If not paid ones are ok


    Best regards

    Subu
  2. ipad.subu
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    ipad.subu iPF Novice

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    Hi

    In my work I need to send e mail (from google, yahoo etc mail) with a covering letter and an attachment - the attachment being a word processed document

    Attachment : 99% is standard and 1% may or may not be changed

    Covering letter : 80% standard : 20 % always changed (name etc)

    Both need decent formatting

    Is this possible from iPhone ? if so What's the best app / best solution

    When I use web mail on iPhone and say "attach", iPhone opens my camera roll !! how can I make it pick up something else ?

    TIA
  3. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Last first.

    You can only attache pictures from the camera roll when in the Mail app. Most of the time when you want to email an attachment you do it from the originating app. In your case, that could be troublesome.


    About attachments.

    There are several Office compatible apps for the iPad. They aren't always 100% compatible, but they should be good enough for what you are doing. Several of them support storing or sharing your document via a cloud service. Here are the more popular apps.

    Apple's iWorks suite (Pages, Numbers, Keynote)
    Documents to Go
    QuickOffice (Google now owns this and it works with Google Drive)
    Office HD
    Polaris Office

    You can use one of these to keep a modifiable copy of your attachment on the iPad.

    However; I recommend not sending the attachment directly from the iPad. Instead use a cloud service like DropBox, Box, or Google Drive to store the document, and send the share link. Here are my reasons.

    1, Fast. Because you're not trying to send the attachment, the email leaves and arrives faster.

    2, Convenient. The recipient gets to choose when and where to download, instead of maybe ending up with a large document on their mobile device when that's not where they want it.

    3. Repeatable. You can send the exact same document over and over again to multiple people with little effort.

    Personally, I would use Box for this. It's version and public/privacy controls make it a great business solution for document storage, sharing, and collaboration.


    Two approaches to the cover letter.

    1, You can keep a note or notes with the right text and formatting, then copy and paste it into Mail. The Notes app isn't very good at this, since it will lose even the basic formating (B, I, U). However, just about anything you do with the RTF formatting in Evernote will paste into Mail nicely. You'd have to experiment a bit to see what does and does not work. There are other editors that might work as well or better. You are looking for RTF editors, of which there are only a few.

    So, you would open your note, select and copy it all, got to Mail, paste it, edit it, then go to your cloud service to generate a share link, then copy and paste that back into Mail.

    Alternately, you could go to the app that contains the document, start to email it from there, then go to the note and copy, back to the attachment app and paste the note, edit, send. This way you could send the actual attachment if that's what you really want.

    2, You can use an HTML editor sort of app to create a formatted email with links to the shared attachment.

    There are a few apps like this, but the one I have is Blog Docs. This is a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) style HTML editor, designed mostly for making blog posts. However it can create and send HTML formatted emails. More importantly you can create and use a template for them.

    Once the basic document was created, you would simply open the Blog Docs app, create and/or edit the email as needed, add the appropriate share links for the document, and then send the email directly from the app.

    Getting sued to how Blog Docs work may take a bit of experimentation. It's a little quirky, and the interface is not always obvious.


    Last words.

    Hold in mind I'm making this up as I go from what I know can be done. That does not mean there are not better ways to do it. There almost certainly are. But at least you know it is possible, if not conveniently found in one do-it-all app.

    Well, I guess I ended up typing a load after all. It's good for me, so I won't complain. ;)

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
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  4. therealriley
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    therealriley iPad Junkie

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    Well as difficult as it is to improve on that excellent tutorial i thought i would mention i use smart office 2. This allows you to store various documents and email them as attachments. You can open the document in question using the 'open in' box. Edit the document as necessary then email the attached file. If you need to send the same body of text in the email you could just copy and paste the text into the document. It uses the default mail app, and opens a new mail window within SO2. You can then save as a draft and edit it later or send from whichever email address you need (as long as they are pre set up via the mail app).

    It works, but how suited to your needs im not so sure.
    Still its a great app to have
  5. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Thanks.

    I always forget to list Smart Office 2. I don't know why.
  6. ipad.subu
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    ipad.subu iPF Novice

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    That was an Amazing and detailed reply !!!!!

    Thanks a ton ....

    My need : I wish to send the actual attachment itself with a formatted covering letter

    Attachment : I understand that I should store it in box dot com ....I already love box dot com !!! So that's easy. I have a copy there. I will try and keep an un altered attachment or same attachment always principle

    Cover letter : I should have a formatted covering letter some place ...say Evernote..... I got you till there

    But then ( meaning after that point ) i lost you

    How do I send this formatted covering letter plus the attachment (to be sent out from say box dot com ) ?

    If I use file forward (to an e mail ) from box dot com or box app , all I seem to get is a PLAIN text letter / mail from box dot com , with a lot of box dot com advert around it !!!! And it don't want to do that when I send mail to professional contacts

    I'm sure I must have missed something ....so any additional help is appreciated



    Thanks

    Regards

    Subu
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  7. ipad.subu
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    ipad.subu iPF Novice

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    Thanks for that simple but effective reply

    Is there a free version or ?


    Regards

    Subu
  8. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    If you need to send the actual attachment, not just a share link, then you'll have to store the document on the iPad, not box.com. You'll have to send the email from that app. Since you sometimes need an edited version, this would be easiest done with one of the listed Office compatible apps. You can still keep an un-ediited copy on Box.com to download, in case you accidentally lose it on the iPad, make a bad edit, or just want to start with a fresh template.

    You copy the text from the formatted note and paste it into the body of the email. This works fairly well with most of Evernote's RTF formatting. Every thing I've tried pasted correctly. Hold in mind this is text only (color, size, B, I, U, alignment, tables, lists, and a few other tricks). If you need images or a different font you'll have to go with an HTML style editor instead.

    As I said, to send the actual attachment, you must have the attachment on the iPad. I like sending share links myself, which is why I emphasized Box and DropBox so much. But if you don't want to do it that way, then don't.

    So, in summary:

    • You go to the document in whatever app you use to edit or store it (locally on the iPad).
    • In that app you select and start to email the document.
    • While the email is open, you close that app and go to Evernote, select the note, select all the text in that note, and copy it.
    • Go back to document app, tap and hold in the email's body to get the paste option, and paste the text. If the attachment shows in the email (some do and some don't) be sure to paste the text before the attachment icon.
    • Add your recipient's address, subject, and whatever. Tap Send.
  9. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Here is a rather silly example of me sending a PDF version of a spreadsheet from Numbers with some formatted text from Evernote pasted in front of it.
    .
    image-2760016781.jpg
    .
    .
    It should give you a rough idea of what you can do.


    Edit: Oh fudge. I just realized I've used a combination of RTF features from the computer version of Evernote and the iPad version. For whatever reason they are not exactly the same.

    For example, you can't change text size or color on the iPad, but the Mac version will.

    At any rate, that should not affect things overall. Editing you do on the computer in Evernote still syncs and shows correctly on the iPad, and still pastes just the same. It just means you may have to switch back and forth a few times if all the features you want are not on one or the other app. Since you'll likely only do the overall editing once (or seldom) it won't matter much.

    By the way, once the text is pasted in the email body, you can edit each text component without affecting it's properties, as long as you are careful not to delete the entire bit of text you are changing.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  10. ipad.subu
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    ipad.subu iPF Novice

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    Amazing stuff - notes - help text

    This and the earlier post need to be added to a sticky somewhere

    Just amazing

    So .... I have to use an office app

    Which *one* office app would you choose , the cheapest one within existing ones , that would do the job. Repeat do the job .... Though the interface etcetera may be a little difficult


    Regards
  11. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    The only one I use is Pages (plus Numbers and Keynote). It's great for creating documents on the iPad, and does a pretty good job of importing/exporting Word (.doc and .docx) files. However it is ill suited for passing the same document back and forth between itself and Word, or other Office compatible apps, multiple times. If you need to be able to edit the same document on both the computer and iPad you'll probably be better off with one of the other apps.

    If you do decide to use Pages, and there is no need for the recipient to edit the attachments, I recommend sending the file as a PDF (one of Pages' export options). That pretty much guarantees the recipient will see exactly what you see on the iPad.

    The other Office apps listed here are popular with a fair number of other members. I can't recommend one above the other based on personal experience, and the only side by side comparisons I've seen are too old to be meaningful. If your edits are simple ones, just about any of the apps recommended here (by myself or TheRealRiley) will work.

    However; I would consider buying the best based on your possible needs, rather than worrying about the price. Any amount of money you pay will become a waste if you find out later you needed a more capable app, and end up buying it also. Once you have an Office editing app on your iPad you are likely to find more uses for it than what you currently plan.
  12. ipad.subu
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    ipad.subu iPF Novice

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    Terrific again . I'm a lady planning on this

    This will also help those who read my docs on iPhone , ipad

    Good idea again

    By the best ...hmm...

    Probably I'll have to do that !


    Thanks
    Regards
    Subu
  13. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    You're welcome. Please let us know how it goes, what apps you end up using, and how well they work for you.
  14. ipad.subu
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    ipad.subu iPF Novice

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    Correction ... I'm already planning on this !!!!


    Regards
    Subu
  15. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Just got and played with the Textilus app. You still have to do the copy paste workarounds for what you want, but the editing UI is better, and you can choose HTML or RTF formatting for a wider range of possibilities.

    Seems to work best if you start to email the document in Textilus, then copy and paste from the body of that email to the one with the attachment.
  16. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    I am unable to find the app you are talking about using the information provided. Do you have the developer's name?

    Watch the off topic links. They are against the forum's rules. http://www.ipadforums.net/new-membe...e/2171-forum-rules-everybody-please-read.html
  17. Elizellen
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    Elizellen iPad Fan

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    LOL!

    I can't get the image of "Emily" from "Little Britain" out of my mind!!

    [​IMG]

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    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013

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