Marshall Adult Education




Tech Tip:   Sending Photos as Attachments


A while ago, I received a message from my ISP (Internet Service Provider) which said my mailbox had reached its limits.  It was full.  I could receive no more emails until I deleted some of my emails from my Inbox. 


How could that happen?  My ISP provides me with 52 megabytes of space to store my emails.  How could it be filled up?


The average text only email without any attachments takes about 3 to 10 KBHTML emails (which contain graphics) could reach 50 KB.  To put it in perspective, my Inbox holds 52,000 KB (that’s 52MB).  So, what’s going on? 


First of all, you need to know that for POP3 accounts provided through your ISP - most of us have POP3 accounts (see this Tech Tip for more on different types of email accounts – Email Accounts), the emails we receive are stored on the Mail Server at our ISP.  Of course, they are also stored on our computer - until we delete them.   


OK, the first thing I had to do is try to figure out what emails I received that are filling up my Inbox.  Outlook Express and many other email programs allow you to show a column in your inbox that shows the size of each email.


Here’s how to show that column in Outlook Express.  Click on the View menu.  Now click on Columns.  You will see a list of all the columns that you can select to show in your Inbox.  Click on the box next to Size.  (There are other columns that you may want to add).


AHA!  When I look in my Inbox, there is now a column for Size.  I looked at the size of the different emails…and there it is – or should I say, there they are!  A dear friend of mine sent me several emails with an attachment of a photo in each one.  The photos, unfortunately, were very hi-res photos.  That means the size of each photo was huge – about 15 megabyte for each one.  By the time I received the 4th email, my inbox was full.  And so that prompted that message from my ISP saying my Inbox was full – I had to delete some emails


OK – so I saved the 3 huge photos to my desktop that I just received and then quickly deleted the 3 emails and emptied the Deleted Items Folder.  I was now able to receive my emails once again.


How can you make a large photo smaller in size?

If you have photos to attach to an email, be sure they are not huge in size.  If they are, reduce the size of the photo.  A simple way to reduce the size of a photo is to use a freeware program call PixResizer.   You can download it here for free.


With this program, you can also do batch resizing.  That means you can reduce an entire folder of photos all at the same time. 


Another thing this program does is you can convert photos from one format to another format.  For example, you can convert a bitmap to a JPEG – or vice versa.  Or you can convert a TIFF to a JPEG.  Keep in mind that you always want to send JPEG images.  They are most common and easiest to open.


What’s a good size to send?

It takes about 3 minutes to download 1 megabyte with a 56K modem.  (A lot of people use dialup these days).  Do the math – that’s 90 seconds to download 500 KB.  Or 45 seconds to download 250 KB.  22 seconds to download 125 KB.  Or 45 minutes to download 15 MB.  Get the picture?  With this in mind, you should try to keep your attachments under 100 KB


If you are sending attachments to your high speed (broadband) friends who have cable modems, you don’t have to worry so much about the size of your attachments.  Here is a website that shows the download speeds of various types of connections.


One last thing – Here’s a website that you can test the speed of your internet connection.  There are actually 2 tests on this webpage. One downloads a small 30 KB graphic and one downloads a large 470 KB graphic.  At the end of the large graphic test, you will see how fast you do the download compared with different connection speeds.  Give it a try.




Lyon County Government Center  •  607 W. Main St.  •  Marshall, MN 56258  •  (507) 537-7046

E-Mail:    Marshall Adult Education