[QW13] How to email a perfect file

by | Jul 17, 2021

[ Quick Win posts – QWs – are brief items to help non-overwhelm your day. Enjoy! ]



Once upon a time, the world had typewriters.

You typed a page, gave it to a client, and it did not morph into something different.

Then, God created the people … who created computers.

And life has never been the same.

[QW13] How to email a perfect file

One of the strangest things in our tech and text world is the weirdness of emailing a file to a client, and it’s screwed up on their end.

What happened?

The printer attached to their computer took over.

Formatting that made the document look good on your screen went bye-bye.

Make sure this doesn’t happen again

Save the file as a PDF before attaching it to the email.

Your recipient’s copy will look exactly like the one on your computer (where you formatted it to look best with your printer’s setup. See how this works? 😎 ).

If your client plans to edit the document, you’ll also attach the copy from your word processor. Here’s an example from my world:

When I hand a client their Website Usability Audit report, I email it as a PDF.

If this were something they might want to update later – for example, verbiage for their website – I would also provide the MSWord® file.* I would warn them it may look a little ‘off,’ and I would explain why. 

I always attach the PDF first. Hopefully, they’ll open it first and see my hard work in its best light.

Here is my article with step-by-step instructions for saving your file as a PDF

* Note: Since clients may not have the full Adobe Acrobat program for editing, I make sure they have the Word copy.

So, there we go!
I remember the day someone told me it was the printer causing the problem with documents.

A big, “Well, DUH!” moment for me.
It’s obvious once you’re told, but before then? Mmmm. Not so much.
It’s a game-changer.

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Hope to talk with you soon,

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  1. Norman Phelps

    Another great post Kathie. I’ve never thought much about sending formatted documents until now. I just realized why people and organizations request documents in PDF format. Makes perfect sense. Thanks again for passing along your experience and wisdom.

    • Kathie York

      Hi, Norman,

      Yes, it’s why I post this info, periodically.

      It’s one of those things we don’t think about, and it can cause allll sorts of problems.

      I’m pleased someone set me straight, and like to pay it forward.

      As always, thanks for stopping by and adding your insight.


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Kathie York, CSQE
Queen of Non-Overwhelm
Goals Accountability Instructor

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