posts about how to deal politely with people who will persist in sending attachments in Microsoft Word format. (Like my dear colleagues and friends at Diocesan Church House, and in fact just about everyone who ever sends me attachments.) He suggests sending them a reply phrased something like this (slightly edited for the purposes of ecto
.) I'd love to do this but haven't yet had the brass cheek.
Thanks for writing. However the attachment to your message is in Microsoft Word format, a secret proprietary format that I avoid whenever possible. If you send me plain text, rtf, HTML, or PDF, then I will read it. Distributing documents in Word (or Excel) format could be bad for your correspondents because they can carry viruses. Sending Word attachments could be bad for you, because a Word document normally includes hidden information about the author, enabling those in the know to pry into his or her activities. For example, text that you think you deleted may still be embarrassingly present. But above all, sending people Word documents puts pressure on them to use Microsoft software and helps to deny them any other choice. In effect, you become a buttress of the Microsoft monopoly and reduce the incentive for people to explore alternatives. Can I respectfully ask that you reconsider the use of Word format for communication with other people?