Electronic document distribution
DRAFT VERSION 23 July 1999
This page links to three documents that discuss the issue of publishing and distributing
documents electronically. It is subtitled "Why I can't read Microsoft Word attachments", and was
prompted by the problems that a number of people have encountered with email recently.
Part of the message is in the form as well as the content. The same document is available
in three formats, and you are invited to view each of them. All three were generated from
the same Microsoft Word document.
(For a simple object lesson in using "doc" files, have a look at this
article about the Danish prime minister, who now uses PDF instead of Word files to make press releases!)
For those who are interested in pdf, here are two more files that demonstrate its versatility:
The document in PDF format. If your browser can't read
this, you need to install Adobe Acroread, which is available at no charge from
This file is about 20K.
The same document in HTML. You may find that some of the fonts
aren't quite right, and much of the formatting has been lost. But the file is only
The source document in Microsoft Word format.
Many people browsing the web won't be able to read this, and for some people it will
come out differently to how it looked on my computer. (In fact, I can't read it
on my computer, or even on my windows laptop, but I am told that someone in ITS
with Internet Explorer can read it. Maybe one day I'll track down what is wrong.)
The file is about 32K.
I would welcome feedback on this issue, and I would be particularly interested
to hear from people who have trouble reading PDF files. Please email (in plain text :-)