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When it comes to sharing files with other people, there are several factors that contribute to how easy, or in many cases how difficult, this process can actually be. The goal of sharing is to get a file from your computer to another person's computer, and the first issue that comes up is probably the file's size. The file size greatly influences how you are going to share the file. If the file size is small, like a text document or a couple of photos, you can probably attach the files to an e-mail and send them off. But if you are trying to share, say, a large video or audio file, e-mail is probably ruled out for all but the shortest clips, and you are going to have to find some other method to transfer the file from your computer to your recipients.
One option is using portable media, like CD ROMs or flash drives, and that's the second hurdle, figuring out what sort of method or media to use in the transfer. How many CDs do you need? Does it make sense to burn a dozen CDs, a couple of DVDs, or a single Blu-ray disc instead? Can your recipient even read Blu- ray discs on his or her computer? Should you send an actual hard drive instead? And once your files reach their destination, you may run into the issue of compatibility: maybe you are sending a Microsoft Word document, but can your recipient open Word documents? Not if they don't have Word or some other Word compatible software installed.
And even then, do they have the fonts you've used, or is your document going to look different on their computer than it does on yours? If you are sending a video file, do they have the proper applications to watch the video? And these are just a handful of general examples of the obstacles that crop up when you just want to get a file from A to B. We are not going to be able to look at ever possible file sharing option in this option in this chapter, but I do want to look at two specific ways to help ensure that your files can be received and viewed by your recipients, as consistently and successfully as possible.
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