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Solving the winmail.dat file problem

[id : 295] [27/06/2012] [hits : 33614]

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If you are recieving the winmail.dat file

Outlook allows users to send email in a variety of formats:

* as plain text with no formatting
* in Rich Text Format
* formatted with the HTML so that it appears (sort of) like a web page
* formatted as a Microsoft Word document.

It's these formatting options that cause the problems.

When an Outlook user composes and sends a message using either Rich Text Format or HTML Format, Outlook automagically generates a file, winmail.dat, and attaches it to the end of the message. winmail.dat contains formatting information, in a human-unreadable form, that Outlook will use on the receiving end to display this email message correctly. Outlook is the ONLY email client program that can use this information! (Netscape Messenger, Eudora, Thunderbird and other email client programs don't understand this information.

The Solutions:
If you are receiving these winmail.dat files, We assume at this point that you are not using Microsoft Outlook as your email client program (or another product using Microsoft Exchange Server), since this wouldn't be a problem if you were using it.

One solution to the problem is to visit http://www.biblet.com and download the WMDecode program found there. This will allow you to decode the winmail.dat files and extract any useful attachments from them.

Other than this, there's not much you can do on your end to fix the problem, since it's not your email program generating the problem. If you just don't want to deal with the problem, the other approach is to reply to the individual who sent you the email and ask that they re-send the message, with the attached files, as a plain text message, not in Rich Text Format or HTML.


You may ask your correspondent to change his default sending mode in Outlook, thereby sending all email messages as plain text, by doing the following:

1. Select Tools -> Options from the Outlook menu bar.
2. Select the "Mail Format" tab in the dialog window.
3. Under the "Message Format" heading, select Plain Text
4. Click the "OK" button.

Alex Genatzy

http://www.ulb.ac.be/wserv2_oratio/oratio?f_context=fiches&language=en&noteid=295&f_type=view

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