Mail app attachments

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by Willster, Jan 25, 2021.

  1. Willster

    Willster
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    Does the iPad Mail app send Windows friendly attachments? I know there is an option to do this in OS X so I keep this ticked. As there is no option I can see on the iPad I was just wondering if it does it as a matter of course?
     
  2. giradman

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    Hi Willster - what do you mean by 'Windows friendly attachments'? Do you mean files compatible w/ Windows programs, such as .doc/.docx? When I open a 'new message' on my iPad Pro (such as the pic below) and press/hold until the attachment options appear; 'Insert photo....' will open your Photos app where an image(s) can be selected which should be easily read in Windows; and 'Add Doc.....' allows selection of an app on the iPad.

    So, please explain more specifically what problems you may be having sending iPad email attachments to those w/ a Windows computer. Dave :)

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  3. Willster

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    “Windows Friendly Attachment” is a term used by Apple on their desktop computers in the Mail application. It purports to send attachments in a form easily opened by windows users. I use this option when sending emails from my iMac. I just wondered if iPads do this automatically as there is no option in the app.

    I’m not having any issues at the moment but once some years ago a windows user struggled opening and saving some simple JPG files I’d attached to an email.
     
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  4. giradman

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    Thanks for the information - I was curious about the first sentence above and opened Mail on my MBPro - started an email and selected attachment - hit the 'Options' button (first pic below) and the 'Windows Friendly Attachment' appeared, as shown and described. Then did some searching and found the description shown in the second pic (Source); not sure if iPadOS does this automatically in its Mail app?

    Opened settings on my iPad and selected 'Mail' - could not find an option for managing attachments to Windows users - BUT from my first post, one can easily change file extensions w/i apps that hopefully would be compatible w/ opening in Windows - I've sent attachments to relatives & friends over the years and have not had that as a complaint; my wife has corresponded w/ many in her volunteer groups on her iMac, and the only issue was documents w/ the .doc or .docx extension. Dave :)
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  5. Willster

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    I never send anything other than JPG’s or PDF files as attachments as most folks should be able to open these two formats without issue. Even so, it seems, some windows users can still have problems hence the WFA option.
     
  6. twerppoet

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    This is all from memory, so I could be mistaken about some details or even the correct answer.

    There used to be several differences between how MacOS and Windows handled mail attachements. There also used to be differences in how different file types were identified. Both caused problems when sending email back and forth between platforms. This has been mostly resolved over the years and incompatible email clients and file types are very rare. The era of isolated computer platforms is long gone.

    These days saying that an attachment is Windows compatible probably means making sure it has an extension that Windows recognizes. In the past extensions in MacOS were not important. File type was also stored in the header, and Macs would recognize and open files without an extension.

    Making an attachment Windows compatible probably mostly meant making sure it had a compatible and correct extension. It's been a long time since I've seen a Mac file without an extension (provided you've set up the Finder to display them). iOS has always honored extensions. Both of these have probably been true since Mac OSX, is based on Unix. Like Windows, Unix expects file extensions.

    The Windows compatible option is probably just a legacy feature. Though I could easily be wrong.

    The incompatibly of file types is also, mostly, a thing of the past. If you find you have a attachment you can't open it probably means you lack the right software. There are only a very few file types that have compatible software on only one platform.
     
  7. Willster

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    The company I used to work for would regularly send out proprietary attachments like word files to customers. Even if customers used word, very often the formatting was way off. I tried to explain to them why this happened and why the shouldn’t do it but it fell on deaf ears for several years. Eventually though, due to the number of complaints they finally accepted my advice and sent out PDF files in future and the complaints stopped.
     
  8. twerppoet

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    Yep. I agree. The only reason to send Word or other proprietary formats is if you expect the receiver to be able to edit the file. Otherwise PDF for documents is best. Well, if you want a text mostly book length document ePUB works well, if you can expect your customers to have a ebook reader or app.
     
  9. Aerofly

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    The majority of people who use PDF files regularly, either on windows, iOS or Mac will probably be using some form of PDF editor/reader (app or otherwise). That’s one good reason for using PDF’s as mail attachments.

    I use PDF’s a lot on my iPad and use PDF Expert for editing as it will do almost anything with a PDF.
     
  10. Willster

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    The company I worked for were quite often emailing forms at the time. These were intended to be filled in by the recipient, signed and then posted back. Due to different versions of word and operating systems, what the company sent out and what the customers received could look wildly different, hence the complaints. Especially if a character or font the sender used wasn’t available on the recipients machine. I tried to explain this at the time but the biggest problem was that the IT guys refused to use or support anything other than MS products. Eventually though they had to capitulate. We eventually ended up with the whole Adobe CS site license but that’s a another story!
     

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