How to attach an open file to an email on a Mac h/t @davidious

Well this has been mildly revolutionary for me, having been unable to do this for the last three years that I’ve owned a Mac – I now know how to attach an open file to an email directly without going up and down through file hierarchies to find it. There’s some background below on why I always thought this was easier on a PC but today I learned where I’ve been going wrong.

I bet this is one of those things that everyone else knows but me 😉

How to attach an open (saved) file directly to a new email message
Arrange your windows so that the New Email and File windows are visible together. On the file you’re working on there’ll be an icon in the middle of the title bar, eg it will look like this for Word  Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 11.19.36 and you can just drag the blue icon with ‘a’ on it into your email attachment area. I’ve tried this successfully in Thunderbird and Gmail (remember that you must have saved the file somewhere before you try and drag / drop it or it won’t work).

Hooray! Thanks to @davidious for telling me this.

On a PC
If you’ve a file open (eg if you’re working on it) that you’ve saved then you can get hold of its location by starting the File / Save As… process. A file manager / windows explorer window will open showing you where your file is located in its folder hierarchy. You can copy that address and when you want to attach an email in your programme can paste it into the address bar of the new instance of the file manager that opens. It’s a work of seconds. Couldn’t be easier. Since I’d never found a satisfactory way to replicate this on a Mac (even after asking several Mac using friends and colleagues and on Twitter) I assumed it wasn’t possible. My sad efforts at finding a Mac-based solution are here on my other blog.

Obviously now I will have to try this icon thing on the PC too as that’ll speed things up there as well. It will also be the first time I’ve thought that doing something on a Mac is simpler than on a PC 😉

Possibly there will be some dreadful spam advertisement below, sorry about that.