Attachments in Proprietary Formats Considered Harmful

There are a few reasons why you should think twice before sending email attachments in proprietary formats, such as the MS-Word document format.

Before we go into this, note that first off, virtually nothing in life, is absolute. Sometimes, it is ok to go against a normal guideline in the exigencies of time or money or effort.

Second, there is very little reason to send textual content as an attachment. In other words, if you have typed in a document that has text, just include it verbatim -- don't "attach" it. (Alternatively, point to an online resource. See below on more on online resources.)

What is the Alternative?

There are open standards that provide an excellent alternative to proprietary document formats.

This page uses large parts from Manuel Chakravarty's Web space. It echoes my thoughts so well in places that I have not bothered modifying it too much.