Some useful advice, hints and tips.

The advice I am offering here is rather miscellaneous and random in order. I'm offering it so that you can interact smoothly with other internet users and avoid distraction by attaching and forwarding inappropriate file formats, links and other material which irritates, confuses and frustrates others.

File formats

Over the years I have come to observe an issue which still recurs with almost monotonous but frustrating regularity. It is the sending of e-mail file attachments which recipients of e-mails simply can't open! If this was a rare issue I wouldn't bother to devote a spot to it. However this still recurs with numerous instances of frustration being expressed by groups of people ranging from highly competent and respected bodies to individuals, charities to churches, cricket clubs to hotels.

There are only a few file formats which a sender can be sure a recipient will be able to open. These are:-


Amazingly few. Of these .pdf and .doc files may need additional software to be downloaded by the recipient before they can read the files but there are free packages of software available which can be downloaded and installed.

Generally two other types of file will open:-


These are multimedia files but there are some (hidden) variations (codecs) which may cause difficulty opening some files if the codecs aren't installed.

These files can be opened on Microsoft operating systems, Linux, Mac and other operating systems. On Microsoft operating systems it is usually necessary to install additional but free software to read .pdf files and programs such as Foxit Reader and Adobe Reader will do this (check the options as you install either).

Some instances of the problems and why they occur:-

Microsoft have produced a number of office suites and they have included an extra (but not free) program named Publisher. As new Microsoft Office suites have been brought out the earlier ones can't open the later ones.

All the later Microsoft Office versions can be set by default to save documents in formats which earlier versions of Office can open.

LibreOffice is another case where the default setting needs to be changed. As standard it saves in OpenOffice format but the default can be changed to be compatible with earlier versions of Microsoft and other Office programs.

Update on LibreOffice

LibreOffice versions 4 x onwards can now open Microsoft Publisher files although if they are modified in LibreOffice they will need to be saved in LibreOffice format. This is a huge step forward in attachment circulation.