Microsoft’s Windows Live Essentials 2011 download for Windows 7 users features a great selection of applications, from Windows Live Mail to Windows Movie Maker.
In addition to the expected features of these applications, you will find that they have a few useful extras squeezed in, setting them apart from other similar free tools. Windows Live Mail in particular features RSS, calendar tools and even Usenet support in addition to the standard emailing tools, but just as interesting is a useful pre-formatted email that allows users to email several photos at once.
Rather than simply attach or insert solitary images, the email client takes advantage of the Windows Live account on the web and provides a way to email a gallery (or album) of images.
Send a Photo Email with Windows Live Mail
To send an email gallery, launch Windows Live Mail and in Mail view go to the Home tab; in the New section, click Photo email. This will open a new email with a browse box for you to find the images you want to include. Multiple images from the same folder can be selected by holding CTRL as you left click to select them.
Once you’re happy with the selection, click Open, and the images will be copied into the body of the email. If you want to add images from another location, look for the Add more photos link and use this to repeat the process.
You will notice that the images are placed into a pre-formatted frame which you will be able to resize if it suits you, although sizing depends on the dimensions of the images so your options here are limited. More importantly you should be entering a title in the Enter album name here field – something descriptive is always best.
With your images in place and a title applied, all you then need to do is enter a Subject and select a contact in the To… field (all of your Windows Live contacts will be listed by clicking To…) before clicking on Send.
Further Windows Live Email Album Settings
There are some further options that determine how your album is enjoyed by the recipient, and these can be easily applied before sending.
In addition to adding a message to the album (something you can do by clicking outside of the album area, tapping Enter and then typing) you might wish to change how the album looks. This can be done by left-clicking the album area and then accessing the Photo Album Tools Format tab which should appear.
Using these tools, you can Add or remove photos with a useful tool that allows you to select which images to remove, select from a nice choice of Album Styles and Shuffle Photos to change the order they appear in the email and even resize the album.
Finally, you might have noticed that by default the album displays a legend such as “This album has 3 photos and will be available on SkyDrive until 06/04/2011.” This is a privacy option that can be changed with the Format > Online album > Expires after 90 days tool – simply select this to disable it. Further Album privacy options allow you to restrict viewing of the album on SkyDrive to the intended recipients as well as toggling whether to display photo information.