Don Edrington - Computer Columnist for The Californian and San Diego's North County Times

Senior Computer Tutor
Don Edrington

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Multiple Photos Attached to an Email

John Walters wrote to say he often receives emails with multiple photos attached and asked if there is a way to download them to his hard drive en masse, rather than one at a time. Well, this can be done with certain email programs.

If multiple pictures are attached to a Windows Mail or Outlook Express message, you can right-click inside the "Attached" field and choose "Save All." A dialog box will appear that lists all the pictures, along with a suggested storage folder. Click "Save All" to accept the defaults, or click "Browse" to choose a different folder. The photos will instantly move to the designated location.

Multiple pictures in a Gmail message will be displayed as thumbnails, along with a prompt to "Download All Attachments." Clicking this prompt will combine all the pictures into a compressed "zip" file with a name based on the message's Subject Line. Double-clicking the "zip" icon will restore the images to their original status.

I couldn't find this type of multiple-file-downloading in any other email programs. If you are aware of any that do, please let us know.

Attaching Multiple Photos to an Outgoing Email.

You can attach multiple pictures to an outgoing message by clicking your "paper clip" icon and browsing to the desired images, but there's an easier way. Instead of launching your email program, hold down CTRL while you click on the target pictures. Then right-click into the selection to display a "Send To" menu. Choose "Mail Recipient" and your email program will open with the pictures already attached to an outgoing message.

Be aware, however, that attaching numerous photos to an email may exceed the size limits allowed by various email services.

Outlook Express and Windows Live Mail

Regarding Outlook Express and Windows Live Mail, most Windows users have one program or the other. The former came with XP and earlier Windows versions, while the latter is always included with Vista. No matter what other email service you might be using (including AOL Mail) Outlook Express and Windows Live Mail can also be used. To set up an OE or WLM account you will need to call your ISP tech support center.

With Outlook Express and Windows Live Mail all messages are saved on your own hard drive, whereas Web mail services (such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, and AOL Mail) hold your messages on their servers. The advantage of having mail stored in cyber space is that it can be accessed from any PC with an Internet connection; but many users like the ease with which Outlook Express and Windows Mail folders can be managed on their own hard drives.

We use both protocols; we receive incoming mail at various Gmail addresses, which in turn forward copies to our Windows Live Mail account.

An issue with Outlook Express and Windows Mail, however, is copying messages to a new computer. Well, both programs generate messages with the extension EML, and the messages can be dragged from their Inbox (and other folders) into Desktop folders you create. The Desktop folders can then be copied onto a USB flash memory drive, from which they can be copied onto the new PC.

They can then be dragged into the appropriate folders of the new PC's Windows Mail program. However, this is unnecessary. No matter where an EML file is located on your PC, double-clicking it will cause it to open in Windows Live Mail and allow you to use Reply and Forward just as if the message were in its original Inbox.

Manipulating the actual EML messages is infinitely easier than trying to deal with Outlook Express DBX files.

In any case, moving an Outlook Express "Address Book" to a Windows Mail "Contact List," is NOT so easy. This is why we keep our contacts in a spreadsheet file, which can be used with all our email programs.

© Donald Ray Edrington – All Rights Reserved

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