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How to Send Files via Dropbox in Sparrow


To share a document or image, just drop it in an email. If the file is large, though, you never know what into what limits you might run. So you drop it into Dropbox: easy, but not quite so easy as sending an email.

With Sparrow, you can drop files and entire folders into an email and Dropbox at the same time. The documents will be uploaded automatically, and recipients can download them from Dropbox using a link while the email remains small and tidy.

Send Files via Dropbox in Sparrow

To send a file (or more) using Dropbox in Sparrow:

  • Make sure Dropbox is enabled in Sparrow. (See below.)
  • Drag the desired file, files, folder or folders over the message you are composing in Sparrow.
    • The files and folders need not be in your Dropbox folder.
    • You can send files of unlimited size as long as you remain within your Dropbox folder's size limits.
  • Make sure the Dropbox icon appears next to the cursor as you hover over the message.
  • Release the mouse button where you want the files to appear.
    • If you drop files at the bottom of the message, a green copying icon appears in place of the Dropbox icon, and the files will be sent as traditional attachments.
  • Wait for the Dropbox icon in the message's toolbar to turn black; this indicates the upload to Dropbox has finished.
    • Dropbox does not need to be running to send file via Dropbox in Sparrow. Dropbox does not have to be installed either.
    • If you drop more than one file, each will be uploaded individually.
    • If you send folders, each folder will be compressed into a ZIP file.
    • Uploaded files will appear inside a "Sparrow" folder in your Dropbox "Public" folder.
    • Sparrow will upload a new copy of files already in your Dropbox folder (even in your Dropbox "Public" folder); files you have already sent with Sparrow before will not be uploaded anew, however.
  • You can move the Dropbox link like other text in the message.

The recipient will be able to download the shared file from the Dropbox web site. They will not see a shared (and synchronizing) file in their Dropbox folder.

Set Up Sparrow for Using Dropbox

To enable Sparrow to use Dropbox for sharing files:

  • Select Sparrow | Preferences… from the menu in Sparrow.
  • Open the Services tab.
  • If you currently use CloudApp for file sending in Sparrow:
    • Make sure Attach files with CloudApp is not checked.
    • Go to the General tab (or any other).
    • Return to the Services tab.
  • Click Dropbox under Pick your cloud attachment service.
  • Log in to your Dropbox account on the page that comes up or set up a new Dropbox account.
  • Click Allow under The app Sparrow would like to connect with your Dropbox..
  • Make sure Attach files with Dropbox is checked.
  • Close the Preferences window.

(Updated December 2011)

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