I often send empty e-mails with just some attachments. Since some e-mail clients don't show the presence of attachments very clearly, I prefer to indicate that the e-mail contains attachments.

In French I just write "cf pj", which means "see attachment". What's the shortest abbreviation in English for "see attachment", "see enclosed file" or anything equivalent in an e-mail? The best I have found so far is "see att".

  • 2
    I don't mean to say that there's anything wrong with your question, but I'd recommend spelling it out when sending emails in English.
    – user28567
    Oct 22, 2013 at 22:24
  • and what's wrong with see att? It's just two letters longer than cf pj. You could say cf att (one letter shorter) but many folks don't get cf.
    – bib
    Oct 23, 2013 at 1:45
  • I'm not sure how many people understand att. I wasn't aware that cf is valid in English, thanks that's good to know! cf att is indeed pretty good. I asked this question because I was surprised I couldn't find a short expression commonly used for this purpose, and given the answers so far there aren't any. Oct 23, 2013 at 2:19
  • "See files" is pretty short.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Oct 23, 2013 at 6:14
  • 1
    "PFA the files" ? PFA - Please find attached, I am sure PFA is used very commonly
    – user49404
    Oct 23, 2013 at 7:09

5 Answers 5


I guess this term came in recently.

PFA - Please Find Attached.

Acronym Finder


There isn't any abbreviation that I'm aware of. But there should be, and perhaps will be.

Cc: (carbon copy) and Bcc: (blind carbon copy) are used to indicate a comparable type of meta info about a letter or email. In fact, they literally refer to a communication technology that is no longer in widespread use, but the actual function they refer to (sending to multiple recipients) is very much alive. Having a quick way to indicate an email attachment only makes sense. Off the top of my head, and using a similar format, how about Att: followed by a number: Att:1. Or by the file type(s): Att:jpg/zip.

  • That's quite a good idea.
    – Pitarou
    Oct 23, 2013 at 6:22
  • 2
    In letters, it was common to use Enc. (for enclosed or enclosure) to indicate that there were other things in the envelope. That doesn't have much meaning for email, but I have seen Att. used at the bottom of an email for attachment. Merriam-Webster lists that meaning first, although Att. used at the top would probably be taken to mean Attention as "For the attention of ..."
    – Andrew Leach
    Oct 23, 2013 at 6:36

encl: For enclosure. Hearkens back to envelopes containing papers. Similar to .cc and .bcc which are no longer literal but are in widespread use for electronic communication.


The absolute shortest? Leave it empty, and hope that the recipient notices the little icon that shows there's an attachment.

But if that's unacceptable, see attachment is the shortest. There is no widely recognised abbreviation. At least, not one that I'd recognise.


Agreed, there's "encl:" which seems to make sense, due to convention, but I've recently seen these two: Attch, and Att'd. I vote for "Attch."

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