[thelist] winmail.dat

Kelly Hallman khallman at wrack.org
Thu Aug 21 12:56:15 CDT 2003

On Thu, 21 Aug 2003, Cheryl Amato wrote:
> Occassionally I have a problem w/ email attachment. I work on a Mac &
> often when people working on PCs send me attachments I receive them with
> the winmail.dat extension & can't open them up. I've always thoiught it
> was something in the way their email was set up but don't know that for
> sure. Is there something I can do on my machine that will let me open
> them up? Or a setting on their machine? Normally I use Pine to read
> email but have even tried forwarding the email to web-based account w/
> the same results. Any suggestions?

There are usually utilities available to extract files out of a TNEF 
(WINMAIL.DAT) file for most platforms.  If you are on Mac OS X you can 
probably get or compile a command line version, there are a few on 
sourceforge, one is tnef.sourceforge.net ... do a search?

TNEF is another proprietary Microsoft file format, ostensibly to
encapsulate RTF formatting into an email. Outlook decodes them silently so
it only effects those people not using Outlook, and of course it also does
it's best to try to send TNEF files to those who won't be able to read
them. It is actually based on the sender's default settings and the
settings they have for that recipient, but I don't know the exact setting
changes that will alleviate the problem.

Kelly Hallman

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