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Dear Jeremy,
Good news! It is indeed possible to e-mail WP files as 7 bit ASCII files
and then restore them to their full glory, footnotes, formatting and all
intact. I have done it many times. Here is how:
1. Convert WP file to "7 bit transfer file" using WPs "convert" program
(this is external to WP itself but always supplied with the program).
2. Upload converted file to e-mail server and send as normal textfile
(using FTP or kermit, for example).
3. The tricky part starts in receiving the document. The e-mail process
often adds a long header to the document which must be cut out before
conversion back to WP. After you download the document, cut off the
header to exactly where the converted document starts (it will look like
a lot of nonsense) in a DOS text editor or using the WP text in/out
function, making sure that you save the document as ASCII file at this
point.
4. Then run the WP "convert" program from "7 bit transfer format" to WP
and then retrieve document into WP normally.
 
To simplify the process for the receiver, after stage 1 I often add
a line at the beginning of the text, using a DOS editor, to the effect
"WP document starts next line".
Good luck!
Eva