Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Get rid of winmail.dat attachments - Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008

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Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008

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Get rid of winmail.dat attachments

QFirst, you ROCK! Thank you for explaining all this tech stuff. I’m having a problem with e-mail. I often send photos to my friends. But they receive them as winmail.dat files. Most can’t open these files. Those who can just see gibberish, not photos. I’d like to share my photos. Can this be fixed?
—Debi from Alexandria, VA, listening on WTNT 570 AM

AHey, Debi! You rock, too! You keep listening, and I’ll keep explaining this tech stuff.

Your e-mail problem certainly can be fixed. It stems from a function of Microsoft Outlook. It may also be tied into how you’re sending your photos. But, as you’ll see, both are really one problem.

First, just what is the winmail.dat file? It contains instructions for displaying Outlook’s Rich Text Format. If your recipients were using Outlook, it would be decoded automatically. They’d just see your e-mail.

Unfortunately, not all e-mail programs can read Outlook’s instructions. Your friends obviously aren’t using Outlook. To them, your e-mails are showing up as unreadable winmail.dat files.

Also, I would guess you’re simply inserting photos into your e-mail. This places the photos into the body of the e-mail. There, they get mixed up in the winmail.dat file.

A better practice is to attach the photos rather than insert them. This separates them from the e-mail body. This should get your photos through most of the time. Unfortunately, Outlook occasionally bundles attachments into the winmail.dat file, anyway. In that case, we’re pretty much back to square one.

On a side note, you could make your friends download a decoder. This would allow them to read your winmail.dat files. But that’s a lot of work. And after a while, you won’t have many friends left to e-mail.

There is a solution to winmail.dat. Click here and I'll tell you!

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