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How to Send Files Via E-mail

There are several ways to send information by way of e-mail messages. Some involve text while others involve graphics and attachments. Consideration should be made as to the capabilities of the receiver of the e-mail. Some service providers limit the size of messages and attachments; others are pretty much unlimited. For example, Hotmail accounts currently are limited to attachments of 1 megabyte or less. If you have several pictures that you want to send that total more than 1 megabyte you would have to send them in separate messages.

Most files can be compressed to a much smaller size before being sent. The Zip format is the industry standard compression method and can often squeeze a file down to a tiny fraction of its original size. WinZip is the most popular program for managing zip files. You can download a copy of this shareware program from:

Some files, such as JPEG picture files are already compressed and will not get any smaller with WinZip. Legacy backup family files are also compressed.

In-line Text

The easiest way to send information to another person via e-mail is to include the information right in the body of the message. In text-only e-mail message you can only include unformatted text.

Most reports in Legacy can be sent to a text file. At the conclusion of generating a text format report file, Legacy offers to open the file in your default text editor. From here it is easy to select all the text (Ctrl-A) and copy it to the clipboard (Ctrl-C), and then paste it into the body of your e-mail message (Ctrl-V).

In-line Graphics

Note: If you capture a screen using PrintScreen or Alt-PrintScreen, you cannot immediately paste into an HTML or Rich Text formatted e-mail message. Straight bitmaps cannot be pasted like that. If, however, you have Microsoft Word, you can open it, paste the screen onto a page, click the graphic and press Ctrl-C to copy it to the clipboard again. Now you can paste it into an HTML formatted e-mail, right in the body of the message. This does not work with WordPerfect. Microsoft Word does something in their copy and paste procedure that makes it possible.


One of the most common ways of including separate files with an e-mail message is to send them as attachments. Attachments ride along with the main message and can be separately viewed and/or saved by the person receiving the message.

How to Send Attachments

Examples of how to send an attachment using some commonly used e-mail programs can be found within the online Help in the Legacy program. Click on Help > Search For Help on... and select the Index tab from the popup Help Topic screen. Next type "attachments" (without the quotation marks) and click the Display button. Scroll about half-way down the page where you can click on the green links for:

America Online (AOL)
Netscape Communicator
Outlook Express

Sometimes attaching a message to a file is as simple as "drag and drop" or "cut and paste" onto the body of the message. This all depends on what your e-mail program will allow.

Remember to watch file sizes and to use compression tools like WinZip to reduce the size of files. This will speed the time in which it takes to send and receive (download) the message as well as reduce the chances of your message being rejected because it exceeds the size allowed by the recipient's mail server.

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