How to Compress a Video to Email

By Andrew Schrader

Common video formats or file extensions supported by PCs, Macs and the Internet include FLV, AVI, MP4, and MOV. All file types are compressed with a certain number of "bytes," or size of your file, depending on your extension. Email attached videos must be heavily compressed, as generic email accounts have a file attachment limit.

Things You'll Need

  • Prism AVI / Mov Video Converter software
  • Apple Quicktime

Step 1

Go to (see Resources). Scroll down and to the right until you find "Download Prism..." for your Mac or PC. Click the appropriate "Download Prism..." button.

Step 2

Open the "dmg" file. This will install "Prism" for you. Find and open the "Prism" icon.

Step 3

Either drag your video into the converter or click on "Add File(s)" in the upper left-hand corner. Find your video file and click "OK" or "Choose." Now your video will be in queue to convert.

Step 4

Scroll down to "Output Format" in the lower left-hand corner. Click on the pop-up tab to its right and choose your preferred output. Since we are converting for email, click on the ".mp4" extension. This will create a smaller file than the other options.

Step 5

Make sure your video is highlighted in the queue and click "Convert," which is in a box in the lower right-hand corner.

Step 6

Attach the video to an email.

Tips & Warnings

  • File too large: Download Quicktime (see Resources) and open up either the original file or the smaller ".mp4." Estimate how much the file needs to be cut. Mark "in" and "out" points on the Quicktime timeline by clicking on the timeline. Two markers should appear on the left of the timeline. Drag your "in" and "out" markers to their estimated spots. Go to "Edit" on the toolbar and click "Trim to Selection." You have cut out the video outside the markers. Save a title. Attach it to your email. Repeat these steps with the original clip but for the second part of your video. Repeat as necessary.
  • Compressing videos will cause them to lose quality.
  • Large video files, like feature films, will have to be cut into separate parts before emailing.