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Attachments Garbled
   
 
 
Errors can occur because mail programs in the Microsoft Exchange family, which includes Windows Messaging, Outlook97, Outlook98 and Outlook2000, will include a TNEF (Transport Neutral Encapsulation Format) attachment named WINMAIL.DAT when the sender selects, or defaults to, RTF (Rich Text Format). If the sender is using MIME formatting, this attachment will have Content-Type: application/ms-tnef.

The TNEF attachment includes a Rich Text Format (e.g. bold, underline, fonts) version of the plain text message. If the sender has included any attachments (e.g. pictures, spreadsheets, programs), they will be embedded within the TNEF attachment and not as separate attachments.

Most other mail programs do not know how to handle the TNEF attachments and so Exchange family users should avoid using RTF unless they know that the recipient has a compatible program. The sender can control the use of RTF on a recipient by recipient basis. However, if sending via a Microsoft Exchange server, the server can override the sender's settings. In this case the Exchange administrator will need to make changes on the server.

There are two places to look in Outlook for the solution to this problem. One is in "Options" under the "Mail Format" tab. Change "Message Format" to "Plain Text." Additionally, each address in your address book may have the "Send Using RTF" checkbox checked. Uncheck that box and your attachments will no longer be a problem for anyone.
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