Don’t send me Word and Microsoft files

… or I will send you something in Hindustani. Here’s why you shouldn’t.

1. I don’t use Microsoft’s Office. Word and MS files are proprietary, which means the company has a lock on it. Are you going to require I buy an expensive item like MS Office just so I can read your stuff?

2. They are open to viruses. Need I say more?

3. They contain hidden information of yours, that you may not want others to see.

4. You want to communicate — but you’re not communicating because you’re doing it in a language I don’t get.


1. Plain text. Gets the job done.

2. HTML. A safe standard, that provides a lot of formatting.

3. PDF. If you need to safeguard the exact formatting.

4. RTF. Not the best, but still works, preserves most formatting.

5. Odt. An open standard being adopted around the world, used by software like, a free office package superior to your big-name commercial offerings.

You want to use Word and Microsoft products? That’s OK with me. But before you send me a document file, convert it to something I can read. You can “Save as … HTML” or “Save as … Text” and email the resulting file, rather than sending the original Word file (i.e. one with a “.doc” or “.docx” file name extension). Open the document, click on “File,” then “Save As”, and in the “Save As Type” field at the bottom of the box, choose “HTML Document” or “Web Page”. Then click “Save.” You can then attach the new HTML document to your email, instead of your original Word document. Note that versions of Word change in inconsistent ways — if you see slightly different menu item names, please try them. To convert to plain text is almost the same — instead of HTML Document, choose “Text Only” or “Text Document” as the “Save As Type”.

For more information, which I highly recommend, check out these links: – a very good place to start.

We Can Put an End to Word Attachments

Don’t Use MS Word as a document exchange fomat

Avoid E-Mail Attachments, Especially Microsoft Word

J. Randal Matheny

Be pithy.

4 thoughts on “Don’t send me Word and Microsoft files

  1. Yeah Randy, I’m trying to read between the lines here, but are you saying you don’t like Microsoft Office?

  2. Nope, this is PC country here. You say “Mac” here and people think McDonalds. 🙂

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