No worry e-mail attachments

Have you ever tried to send a Word file as an attachment to an e-mail message, only to have the recipient tell you they can't open it? HotSend can solve such problems for your Windows correspondents, although it doesn't do much for Mac users.

HotSend is a handy utility that's available free of charge from http://www.hotsend.com. The software lets you send a text, graphics, presentation file or Web page to anyone for viewing, as a document or an executable file. The recipient doesn't have to download anything else, since the message arrives with HotSend's Microviewer.

After you download HotSend, it adds a button to each application's menu bar. (You can follow the site's directions for deleting buttons that aren't wanted.)When you're ready to send a document, just click the HotSend button and the program prepares the file for delivery. Then HotSend uses your existing e-mail system to send the file as an attachment to a message, with a note telling the recipient how to eyeball it. The process takes a few minutes, but it's simpler than minimising the application you're in, opening e-mail, and attaching the file manually.

When I tested HotSend, it downloaded simply and easily. It came with a sample e-mail message with attachment for testing, which is a great way to make sure that all is working well.

In addition to sending viewable documents, you get some degree of file manipulation capability. For example, rather than cutting and pasting an Excel chart or graph into Word, you can just HotSend it. Not only do the colours stay true, but the recipient can zoom in, enlarge or rotate the file.

A minor downside is that sending .exe files using HotSend takes quite a bit longer than doing it the old-fashioned way. Sending plain documents with HotSend greatly speeds things up.

A bigger problem is the lack of Macintosh compatibility. Windows to Mac file conversion (and vice versa) is a major issue, and HotSend can't help.

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