How to Control Emailing from Aperture

by Charlie Miller

Today I want to follow Derrick’s lead and share a few tips about emailing from Aperture. I was working with a photographer recently who had been struggling to figure out how to take control of emailing photos from Aperture using Apple Mail.

Aperture’s default toolbar icon set includes a Email icon and even a handy keyboard shortcut, Option-E, that will export an image and automatically attach it to a new Mail message. However it’s not immediately obvious how to control the size, quality, and file format of the exported file. You click the icon and your image is exported and attached as a JPEG with 1024px as the maximum dimension.


The icon tooltip (and the associated command under the File menu) is actually misleading: the command is listed as “Email…”, the ellipsis implying that you will be given some options before the command is executed. From Apple’s own Human Interface Guidelines: “When it appears in the name of a button or a menu item, an ellipsis character (...) indicates to the user that additional information is required before the associated operation can be performed.” (I suppose that the ellipsis could imply that the email will not be sent until you click Send, but it still strikes me as inconsistent.)

So interface guidelines aside, let’s talk about how to customize Aperture’s email export options. It all takes place in the Export Presets dialog: click on the Aperture application menu and choose Presets -> Image Export…


Listed here are all of Aperture’s image export presets, including three email presets at the bottom. You can create a custom preset by clicking the “+” button at the bottom of the dialog. Or you can use one of the existing presets: go to Aperture’s preferences (Command-,) and near the bottom of the dialog you’ll see a drop-down menu for Email Export Preset.


Pick your custom preset or one of the existing ones and you’re good to go. And for all of you Entourage users out there, as an added bonus you can pick an alternate email client here too.

Happy emailing!