Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
There's a simple reason why a computer or an email program, out of the box, can't read every possible file format.
I use Windows XP. This week, I discovered people receiving OE emails with my WP attachments, but they are unable to open the attachments unless they have WP or Word on their PCs. Why can't they just simply click on the attachment and have it open?
In this excerpt from Answercast #58, I look at the reasons why email attachments can't always be opened by recipients.
Well, it's kind of an asked and answered question. They can't click on the attachment and have it open because they don't have software on their machine that understands the attachment.
WP (I assume you mean WordPerfect) is a word processing program that saves information in a particular format: in a WP file.
Word is the same way. It's a word processing program that saves information in a particular way in a word processing file, a .doc (or a .docx with most recent versions of Microsoft Word.)
If the receiver doesn't have a program that knows how to understand .doc or .docx files or WordPerfect files (or whatever files you're sending), then they just can't open it. It requires software to be able to interpret the contents of those files. Your mail program does not come with the knowledge of every possible file type in the universe.
That's why we end up buying software applications.
We buy word processing programs so that we can create and understand word processing documents.
We buy spreadsheet programs so that we can create and understand spreadsheet files and so on.
So, there are a couple of different solutions that I'll go down for you.
One is use a more common file format. A file format that is more likely to be on more of your recipients' machines.
Now, I can't guarantee any file format will actually be on all of their machines, at least not something that you're interested in using.
A more common file format could be Microsoft Word (a .doc file). WP (like I said, I'm assuming it's WordPerfect) is not as popular as it once was. Not many people have it. I wouldn't necessarily assume that anybody I would send a WP document to would have it. So instead, I would use your program to save it as a .doc file or .docx file to begin with.
That's one approach.
Another even more common file format that's useful for distributing documents (that are not meant to be edited by the people who are receiving them) is PDF.
There a couple of ways you can do that.
Many programs will actually allow you to save your document in PDF format. If you do that, then you can email that PDF document to your recipients. It's likely that they will be able to read them because PDFs are so common that PDF readers are typically, eventually installed by most computer users.
Windows doesn't actually come with a PDF reader, but PDF files are so common that it's not long before, just in the natural course of events, someone will end up wanting it to be able to read a PDF document so they will go out and get Adobe Reader or FoxIt or something like that.
So, use .doc, maybe a PDF is another really good approach to sending documents that have a very high likelihood of other people being able to open them.
If you insist on using a specific file format that you care about, the only solution is to make sure to insist that your recipients have some kind of a program that can read that file.
The mail program is not enough.
In the case of a document file, it's possible that a free program like Open Office or Libre Office may be able to open these documents. You could simply insist that rather than purchasing a piece of software your recipients might need to go download and install the free Open Office package and then they'd be able to read these attachments.
I'm not sure if they understand WP documents. Don't get me wrong. I'm not committing to that, but that's the direction you need to look in.
It really is a simple fact of the matter that a computer out of the box, an
email program out of the box, simply can't read every possible file format. Your
recipients do need to have the software that understands what it is you're
sending them in order for them to be able to read it at all.
Next from Answercast 58 - My power options include an active or passive CPU setting. Which do I want?
Comments on this entry are closed.
If you have a question, start by using the search box up at the top of the page - there's a very good chance that your question has already been answered on Ask Leo!.
If you don't find your answer, head out to http://askleo.com/ask to ask your question.