An email attachment is a file sent along with the email message. Early email systems required manual attachment encoding in wherein the user would have to use a program to convert the file into a block of text which could be pasted into the body of the email. Such attachments were terribly inconvenient and required that the recipient know how to turn the block of encoded text back into whatever it was (picture, spreadsheet, etc.)
Modern email systems use the MIME standard which makes the process of attaching, sending, receiving, and accessing an attached file faster and remove the burden of manually encoding and decoding attachments.
- By Jason Fitzpatrick on 11/14/13