A client recently attempted to send me a large photo file – I’d requested something larger than the relatively small (320px wide) version she’d originally sent me.
But when I opened her email with the new file, it was exactly the same (small) size.
I realized what was probably going on, as I’d seen this happen before. It was due to Apple’s oh-so-subtle user interface, specifically in Apple Mail.
When attaching images to an email – and only then – a small menu appears at the upper right of your message labeled “Image Size”. It lets you specify the size you’d like the attachment to be sent at. Usually you just want Actual Size, but you can also select from options Small, Medium or Large.
And it’s easy to miss.
Though it doesn’t say so, the three options will resize your image to 320, 640 or 1280 pixels wide, respectively. It works with JPG and GIF images, but PNG files are left alone (that’s what I found in my experiments, anyway).
That “Image Size” menu will remain on whatever choice it was last set to – which can lead to unexpected results. So, if you want to ensure you don’t send tiny versions of large images, be sure to double-check this menu before hitting “Send”.
While this setting seems mainly to be a vestige of an earlier time when email size limits were more limited, it can still come in handy if you’re sending a bunch of very large images for someone to review, and they don’t need to see them at full size. In that case, the “Medium” or “Large” options can be useful to keep things simple and easily viewable for the recipient.
But otherwise, be sure to keep this set to “Actual Size”. Your designer in particular will thank you!