Please See Attached

We recently had a reader write with a question about the commonly used phrase “please see attached.”  The reader goes on to answer his own question:

Today I was looking for an answer to my question about the correctness of the term “please see attached,” but I could not find a post about it.  So I am writing to ask you, but in thinking about it a little more, I think I know the answer.  Even though people use the term all the time (at least in my industry), it is an incomplete sentence and should be avoided. It takes a few seconds longer to type out “please see the attached document (or spreadsheet, proposal, etc.)”, but it is the right thing to do. 

Let’s Detach Ourselves from “Please See Attached”

We agree. “Please see attached” sounds incomplete.

To people who send nonstop text messages or emails, the phrase probably seems efficient. But we suggest boosting efficiency with more energetic, focused sentence starters such as:

  • The attached diagram shows . . .
  • The attached spreadsheet contains . . .
  • When you review the attached proposal, you will notice . . .
  • Please let me know if the attached draft . . .

“Please see attached” is simply too dull–and it’s inaccurate. We don’t want our readers to “see” the attachment. (I “see” a pile of papers on my desk, but my next step is to hide it in a file drawer.)

Graphic illustrating please see attached.

We want our readers to review, improve, approve, save, forward, or recommend it–not “see” it. Graphic illustrating alternative phrases to please see attached.

More Alternative Phrases (with examples)

Here are some more alternatives to the clunky phrase:

1. I’m sharing [X] with you.

Turning our energy source into a more sustainable one is not impossible with good task delegation and personnel assignments. I truly believe that the proposed timeframe is ideal for the company’s 25th anniversary. I’m sharing this link with you so that you can understand the significance of the process more.

2. Please see the enclosed…

I think the idea of having a vegan cat café outside California is a step ahead for our company. I received your logo proposal and I think it is brilliant. Please see the enclosed calligraphy files for your approval.

3. I’ve attached…

Thank you for your immediate response regarding the portrait project we talked about last week. I am excited to share with you that you now have three weeks to finish it after talking to the client about the deadline extension. I’ve attached the NDA file that the client specified in our last email.

4. You’ll find the attachment below.

I believe that we can expose the zoo owners for how they are treating their animals. I took the initiative of taking the necessary pictures and information from many witnesses. You’ll find the attachment below.

5. This [X] has …

Each vertical gardening product you choose has a set of facts and instructions on how to use it. For more information about vertical gardening, I find that this helpful link has the basic information that you will need to start your own vertical garden.

6. Enclosed is…

I have read your email and I appreciate your interest in our newest rescue, Dotty. She has been through a lot, and we only want her to go to a loving forever home. Enclosed is Dotty’s breed information and history.

7. Attach the file with no explanation.

8. As promised, I have attached a revised . . .

I understand that our client needs revisions right away. As promised, I have attached a revised chapter summary for each of the first seven I submitted. Each of them has an additional paragraph, as requested.

9. The document you requested is attached to this email.

I consider it an honor to participate in the coming festivities. To close the lease, I understand that you need a few more forms filled out. The document you requested is attached to this email.

10. Relevant information is in the attached file.

We need to send as many animal rescue volunteers to the area as soon as possible. I understand that you need documents about the animals in each section of the city. Relevant information is in the attached file.

11. The attached [X] includes…

It took me just three days to finish the assignment you gave me. The attached file includes testimonies, interviews, and the photos that you need.

12. When you review the attached [X], you will see…

I understand that you need an accurate evaluation of the classrooms in the local grade school. When you review the attached documents and images, you will see the areas that need more renovation to improve the safety of the students.

13. Please see the attached [X] for more details…

You have been chosen to attend a panel interview for the position you are applying for. Please see the attached word file for more details about the specific requirements of the interview.

14. Take a look at the attached [X].

The project will be moving forward in the third week of January next year. Take a look at the attached images that show the perspectives that you need.

15. Attached herewith this email.

I am happy to inform you that we have just hired your new assistant. Attached herewith this email are his credentials and references.

16. I’ve linked [X].

Thank you for your response. I’ve linked the Dropbox file so that you can view it while you’re away from your desktop.

17. For reference, I’ve appended…

Please expect a new panel member by next week. For reference, I’ve appended the necessary information about him and his previous managerial experience.

18. Here is…

We are aware of the false news spreading about our new project. Here is the complete folder of our coming venture with you. We hope that this clears up any misunderstanding.

19. …added [resource] to this email.

The coming final exam will be about the two ancient literary books that we have reviewed together this semester. I added this resource to this email to help you with the second book that we discussed.

20. The enclosed document shows…

There has been a significant degradation of the soil stability in the area I mentioned in my last email. The enclosed document shows how the area has been damaged through the years.

We also don’t want them to find it. (It’s not lost or hidden, is it?) So “Please find attached” is no improvement.

Are people at your organization, attached to “Please see attached”? Perhaps you can ask them to please see consider this blog post.

Posted by Avatar photo
By Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston has helped thousands of employees and managers improve their business writing skills and confidence through her company, Syntax Training. In her corporate training career of more than 20 years, she has worked with executives, engineers, scientists, sales staff, and many other professionals, helping them get their messages across with clarity and tact.

A gifted teacher, Lynn has led writing classes at more than 100 companies and organizations such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo, REI, AARP, Ledcor, and Kaiser Permanente. Near her home in Seattle, Washington, she has taught managerial communications in the MBA programs of the University of Washington and UW Bothell. She has created a communications course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, and provides the curriculum at no cost to college instructors.

A recognized expert in business writing etiquette, Lynn has been quoted in "The Wall Street Journal," "The Atlantic," "Vanity Fair," and other media.

Lynn sharpened her business writing skills at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a master's degree in communication, and at Bradley University, with a bachelor's degree in English.

90 comments on “Please See Attached”

  • I read “PFA is XYZ” in one of mails I received, and I was thinking to myself the same thing – How much time does it take to write, “Attached document is XYZ”

    Moreover, “PFA is XYZ” doesn’t even make sense! Please find the attached is XYZ? Hmm… I need a break.

  • Thanks, Lynn!

    I really like your suggestion to do away with “see” and “find”. Creative writing is more effective AND efficient!

  • Hi Lynn,
    Love all your posts. This one hit the home. I do “PFA” all the time because I am sending invoices every week.
    Some how could not come up with a better alternative to that when sending invoices.
    Do you have any suggestion.
    Once again million thanks for your wonderful blog.

  • Hi, AC. Well, imagine that I have just banned your use of “PFA.” What plain language would communicate better?

    How about “I have attached” or “Attached is” or “Your most recent invoice is attached” or “The attached invoice covers the dates xx to xx”?

    Depending on the circumstances, you may want to try “When you review the attached invoice, you will see that . . . ”

    Remember: I have banned your use of “PFA”! No cheating!


  • I was told today that my sentence was incorrectly written.
    “Please see attached for today’s US & International refund report”. The person said I should write it without the word “for”.

    Please tell me if I was writing it incorrectly. I think I write pretty well and really shocked me.

  • Hi, Elena. If the entire attachment is the refund report, then the feedback you received is correct.

    If the attachment includes more than the refund report, your version is correct.

    A cleaner version is “Today’s US & international refund report is attached,” or “Attached is today’s US and international refund report.” Unless you need to direct your reader to “please see” the attachment, you can drop those words.


  • Should I use OR, or WITH in the below sentence?

    We will keep you apprised of further developments OF the application. Or

    We will keep you apprised of further developments WITH the application.

  • Hi, Sherri. It depends on your meaning. “Developments of the application” means the application is being devleoped.

    “Developments with the application” may mean something is being developed that works with the application.

    I hope that response helps.



    WRITE “The attached diagram shows . . . ”

  • Hi,

    I used to send emails with this common line “please see attached the statement of your account….”

    Yet, few days back while teaching my trainee she insisted that it is wrong. she said it should be “please see the attached statement of your account…”

    I believe using “the” before “attached” is not necessary. Or does it matter if “the” comes before or after.

  • Hi, Meryl. To an American ear, “Please see the attached statement of your account” sounds more natural than “Please see attached the statement of your account.”

    My purpose in writing this blog post was to offer alternatives to “Please see attached.” Did you consider the sentence starters listed above?


  • Nice observation.These sentence formations are helpful and knowingly or unknwingly, I’ve been using them for quite a while.
    The only time I use PFA/PSA is when I have to send an attachment referred during a discussion..The
    context is clear and I don’t want to send a blank mail 😉
    While composing a mail for wider audience, I try using the additonal word “herewith” to make it clearer – call it old school 🙂
    Attached herewith is XYZ
    or – XYZ is attached herewith.

  • Abhishek, I would not add “herewith” unless I wanted to sound terribly old school–so old school as to be shriveled and dusty.

    I just checked “Garner’s Modern American Usage.” Garner says, “Business-writing texts have consistently condemned the phrases [‘enclosed herewith,’ etc.] since the late 19th century.”

    What’s wrong with “As promised, here is the ________”?


  • Agree Lynn- so much old school as obsolete but ,somehow, seems to give a completeness to a mere “Attached”.
    Refreshing to see more ways enlisted to refer to the attachment indirectly in this article and subsequent comments..Quite refreshing!Nothing wrong with “As promised, here is the __” but the word “attach” has to be accommodated somewhere in the text- more importantly in the multiple attachment scenarios! Your views please?

  • Aman, the sentences I recommended would be in the body of the email. In an email, you do not refer to attachments after the closing.

    In email, the closing is the end of the message. It is followed by only the signature. Business letters are different. In letters, attachments are noted after the signature.


  • Hi Lynn,

    Thank you for your blog which provides a lot of useful information about business writing.

    In some of our business correspondences, I notice that people start their sentence with ” herewith attached is…….”. I wonder if it is a correct way to use “herewith attached”.

    I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you,

  • Hi, Ileen. When I was growing up, people started sentences with the expression “Attached herewith please find.” “Herewith attached” is not quite as bad, but it isn’t good.

    Why not use plain, clear English?


  • Hi Lynn,

    I’m thinking about how I can make improvement with the “please see attached” problem in the following sentence:

    “There is a paid parkade located at the corner of XX Street and XX Street (see map attached for directions).”

    Thanks for your time.


  • Hi, Amy. I would use “See attached map for directions,” since the map isn’t “attached for directions.”

    There is nothing wrong with referring readers to an attachment. The problem is the “Please see attached” that appears alone, when other constructions would be more accurate and helpful.


  • Hello, Ibrahim. You do not need a comma between the month and the year. Otherwise, your sentence is correct.

    I do not use “Please find the attached.” To me, “Please find” suggests that I have lost something. Why not simply say “The invoices are attached” or “I have attached the invoices”?


  • Thank yoy so much,but he is my boss.
    i need to be formal with him

    Please find the attached invoices from G T F for September and October, it corect?
    G T F is another company
    how can say that and Mention the month of the invoices

    i am greatful for your help

  • Dear Lynn,
    I have the exact opposite problem. We are a world wide company. Many of our email recipients are contractors and do not spend hours in front of computers. Therefore, to be clear, we want to let them know that there is an attachment to “this” email. In fact, I DO explain all the pages content in bullet form when necessary. However, since I use the term “see attached” SO OFTEN, I want to find a shortcut text term to “see attached”. So, Q: is there a text or symbol that I can use that my email recipients would understand as “see attached” or “attached” or “attachment” ? Does a term need to be invented for me and others?
    Pat Schultz

  • Hi, Pat. Thanks for the interesting question. You don’t have to invent an abbreviation.
    I just checked three reference books on my shelf, all of which give “att.” as the abbreviation for “attached” or “attachment.”

    I wonder though whether your readers have any problem with your repeated use of “See the attached report” or “The spreadsheet is attached.” I would not mind your using such terms repeatedly in a complex message.

    If you do choose to abbreviate, be sure you define the abbreviation the first time you use it in a message, for readers who may not recognize it.

    Good luck!


  • Hi Lynn. I trust you are well. I like your blog.
    Please suggest wether to use this sentence or not:-please fin/see attache the reports for the day 9 march.

    i will be greatful for your help.

  • Hello, Sergio. If you have read my blog post and comments above, you know I do not like “Please see attached” when other phrases work well. One possibility you might try is “Reports for March 9 are attached.”

    Whatever wording you choose, I encourage you to make a list of the correct spelling of the words you want. Here are words to add to the list from your example:

    fin = find
    attache = attached
    march = March (capitalization)
    i = I (capitalization)
    greatful = grateful

    I wish you success.


  • I really appreciate your blog!
    Usually I use “Follow attached the document”…
    It’s sounds pleonastic or redundant?
    Patricia (Brazil)

  • Hello, Patricia. I do not know what you mean by “Follow attached the document.” It is not natural- sounding English.

    I have never seen the word “pleonastic” before. Thank you for the vocabulary development!


  • Hi Lynn,

    I am a Document Controller in a Construction Company and I always send out e-mails to contractors and clients daily.

    I have read your replies above but since you don’t like to use “Please find attached”, can you suggest on how am I to send a formal e-mail like this:

    “Please find attached herewith our letter with reference 1234 dated 14 April 2012 regarding Damages on Completed ID Works for your perusal.”

    I hope you could help me on this.


    Dyan Rioveros

  • Hi, Dyan. Try something like this:

    Subject: Reference 1234

    “I have attached our letter regarding damages on completed ID works for your review.”


    “As promised, I have attached . . . .”


    “For your review, attached is our letter regarding damages on completed ID works.”

    Any of those choices is better than the original.


  • Hi Lynn,

    Is it okay if I only write one line .

    Attached is your statement of account.

    Thanks, celine

  • Hi, Celine. Yes, it is okay to write only one line. It may be better if you add a polite message to your customer such as “We appreciate your business” or “Thank you for your business.”

    Follow your message with a professional signature line that includes your contact information.


  • Hi Lynn. Below is 3 sentences I got from the emails.

    1)Please find enclosed for the captioned.

    2)Any further necessary please feel free to contact us.

    3)As per your request, please find attached the completed sub-contractor registration form and other supporting documents for your information.

    Are those sentences correct?


  • Hello Lynn,

    I have been wondering why people use “Please find attached…” and wanted an alternate phrase. Now, I’ve got a meaning full alternate and would like to Thank You for the same.

  • Lynn,

    Thanks a lot for the help.

    Is it okay to say “As requested by Josh, I have translated 4 pixels (PPL, PPL + CSL, PPL + PPS, PPS). You can find them attached.”?

    Thanks again!

  • Hi Lynn

    Thanks for the blog – I am glad I am not the only one getting increasingly annoyed by ‘Please find attached’.

    However, I want take a step back and question whether ‘Please find attached’ is gramatically correct to start with before finding its more constructive alternative (sentence structure to be specific).

    Here are three sentences, what do you think?

    1. Please find attached a zip file containing the scripts.

    2. Please find a zip file attached which contains the scripts.

    3. Please find a zip file, containing the scripts, attached with this email.

    Ofcourse, I will not use any of the above three (anymore!).



  • Hi, Kevin.

    Let’s see:

    Number 1 is structurally correct.

    In Number 2, the structure is clumsy. The “which” clause is hanging from the word “attached,” but it modifies the word “file.”

    Number 3 is structurally correct, but “attached with” does not sound good to me. I prefer “attached to.”

    Do you agree?


  • hi ms lynn

    My officemate writes like this “Please find attached file it contains….” and “Attached here file contains…” are these correct?

  • Dear Lynn,

    Thank you for both your website and this post.

    I have a grammatical question for you about the phrase “please find attached.” (I know that you do not like this phrase and to avoid using it.)

    A non-native English speaking colleague recently asked me about the difference between these two sentences using this expression:

    1) Please find attached the MS Word file for your reference.

    2)Please find the attached MS Word file for your reference.

    In particular, he was looking for a grammatical explanation as to how the article “the” could come either befor or after the word “attached,” if both are indeed correct?

    I would greatly appreciate it if you could help me out with a grammatical explanation of the position of “the” in these cases.

  • Hi, Patrick. Interesting question! The article “the” is correct in both sentences. What changes is the use of the word “attached.”

    In your first example, “attached” works as an adverb telling where. In your second sentence, “attached” acts as an adjective telling which one.

    Consider these examples:
    The file folder hanging there is the correct one.
    The hanging file folder there is the correct one.

    The name announced was Smith.
    The announced name was Smith.

    The enclosed letter explains the details.
    The letter enclosed explains the details.

    In all the pairs, one sentence sounds more natural, but both sentences are correct.

    I hope that explanation helps.


  • A question in response to your examples:

    The name announced was Smith.
    The announced name was Smith.

    In the above examples “announced” seems to be an adjective in both cases.

    The enclosed letter explains the details.
    The letter enclosed explains the details.

    In the above examples “enclosed” seems to be an adjective in both cases.

    Were both of these examples meant to show a similar distinction between adjective / adverb use in my original question? If so, which case is the adverb form for each example. If not, what was I supposed to notice from the examples and I would greatly appreciate it if you could give a similar example to my original question?

    By the way, your website is really helpful, thank you for it.

  • Hello, Patrick. What I hoped would come across in my examples is that a word could come before or after a noun, but the placement of that word does not necessarily change the need for an article such as “the.” I believe my focus on adverb/adjective obscured what should have been my real point.

    I could not think quickly of examples that matched yours. I might have to begin with “Please find” to do so, and I don’t like that construction unless I have lost something. For example, “Please find enclosed” would work to illustrate the point.

    If all else fails, just tell your colleague that this is one of the oddities of English. (I am only partly kidding.)


  • “Please see attached” is simply too dull–and it’s inaccurate.

    Oh no it isn’t. See is entirely grammatically correct and appropriate shorthand for ‘Refer to for further information’.

  • Hello, Adnan. Both of your suggestons are bad because they are wordy and the language is old-fashioned and heavy.

    You can simply say “Here is the attachment” or “I have attached the ____________.” (Fill in the blank.)


  • Hi Lynn,

    Could you please make a comment on the comma place in the greeting?

    I’ve been seeing and using stylistics as above. But now I see that you are putting comma before name.

  • Hello Lynn,

    I really like your corrections.
    Is it correct to write ‘ATTACHED IS AN AMENDED COPY OF INVOICE’and
    ‘Vessel has been substituted to” or ‘substituted by’.


  • Chin, your first sentence is correct. However, the sentence would sound more natural with the word THE before INVOICE.

    I don’t completely understand your second sentence. Vessel B might substitute for Vessel A, in which case you would write “Vessel B substituted for Vessel A.”


  • Hi Lynn,

    I write a lot of emails to different countries where I try to ask for payment without actually asking it, and my usual sentence would be:

    “Thank you for your new order. Please find here attached our pro forma invoice for your kind reference and payment.”

    Would there be a better way to phrase this?



  • Hello, Fern. It depends whether your goal is efficiency or courtesy or both. You might write something like this:

    “Thank you very much for your new order. I have attached our invoice. Please note that payment is due within 30 days.”

    If you could add anything about the order between the first and second sentences–for example, the shipment date–it would be helpful.


  • Hi

    I was quite confused on what words to use. Now i learned that “please see attached file is a big no! no! it should be ‘Please see the attached documents.But can u help me with this sentence.
    “Please see the attached documents for the Updated account value for the following clients.”

    is it for the ff clients or of the ff. clients.

    Too much Appreciated. Thanks

  • Hi, Emma. “Please refer to the attachment” sounds fine. Of course, the sentence must work in the context of your message.

    “For your perusal” is redundant because referring is very similar to perusing.


  • Thank You Lynn for replying me.

    Please help me out,

    I am working in Pharmaceutical company and i would like to know, whenever i will send the attachment via mail to Manager, Designer and Medical Representative, then what should i write there ?

    Please suggest me the updated pattern to writing a mail to same


  • Arvind, please see the examples I gave in my original post. They may be helpful to you.

    You can also use this construction:

    Attached is the _______ [for one attachment]

    Attached are the ______ [for more than one attachment]


  • Hi Lynn,

    It is okey if I only write one line to the customer?
    ” Please see attached invoice for payment. or I have attached the invoice to be paid.” which is correct?
    Thanks a lot.

  • Hi Lynn,

    Which form is correct

    Dear Sir,

    I have attached the documents of Stock statement and please do the needful

    Dear Sir,

    The documents of stock statement have been attached, please do the needful.

    Dear Sir,

    Please find the attached documents and do the needful

    Which form is correct?


  • Hi Lynn,

    i have attached the documents of ……………. please do the needful.

    In corporate sector all works seems to be team work so how can i write i have attached….

    that should be we have attached the document…………..

    please clarify.


  • Dear Lynn,

    Please see the sentence pattern

    Dear Sir,

    The documents of xyz are attached, please do the needful.


  • Arvind, I recommend this structure:

    The documents of xyz are attached. Please take the necessary steps.

    I don’t know who your readers are. However, “needful” is a word that is never used in the United States.

    Also, it would be much better to use the customer’s name. If you cannot, I recommend “Dear Customer” rather than “Dear Sir,” which assumes that your reader is a man.


Comments are closed.