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peek-a-boo
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17,324 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sometimes I get attachments from people that come as winmail.dat. I use Entourage, and I don't know what the reason is. Generally when I tell the person it didn't come through, they resend and it sometimes comes through. What causes this? Any ideas?
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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86,940 Posts
groovetube,

On page 15 of Mac Help and troubleshooting, I asked the following question:
                  
"I have a friend who sends me attached files frequently. They are almost always a .jpg, .mpg or .wmp files, but when they appear in my email as the attachment, all I see is "winmail.dat", which of course my Mac tells me it can't open. Then suddenly for a week or more, every file comes through properly, and I can open them.

He swears he is not doing things any differently when the dreaded "winmail.dat" files appear.

Anyone out there with enough PC savvy to have any suggestions I can pass along to him, or is that just the way it is with PCs?"

Doug Gardhouse responded:
                   
"Your friend is using Outlook on his Windoze machine, and I bet you're not using Outlook on your eMac but some other e-mail app. Winmail.dat files are not attached to messages sent between Outlook users however (as we know) Microsoft software doesn't always play nice with non-Microsoft applications.

This usually happens when the sender's e-mail format is HTML or Rich Text, even if the message contains no actual message text & was just for the purpose of sending you the attachments. Ask him to switch to Plain Text and see what happens. When HTML or Rich Text messages are sent using Outlook, the proprietary text encodings end up in a winmail.dat file that can't be opened & read. A scourge."

I asked my friend to make the suggested change to plain text and have never again seen a winmail.dat file.

Cheers

 

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Premium Member
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5,441 Posts
had this happen with a few files. All I did was change the extension from .dat to what it was supposed to be and everything worked fine.
 

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peek-a-boo
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17,324 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks. I tried changing the extention, but no go. I'll give the rich text thingy a go. I just want to find out what it is so I can call the guy and tell them what to do to fix it. Or for me to fix it.
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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I too tried to change the extension with no luck.

As an aside, one does not always know what the extension should be in the first place, unless the sender includes it in their email message. That usually does not happen.

Cheers

 

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Resident Hijacker
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8,758 Posts
Windows users who don't use Outlook also experience this.

As I recall, Outlook problems like this typically occur when:
1) Trying to send a file as an attachment, when Outlook embeds file, instead of attaching it. (Often, the user dragged and dropped, and/or they are using rich text.) You can tell it's embedded in Outlook because the file icon is in the middle of the message, and not in a separated section at the bottom.

2) Trying to forward a mail message, when Outlook attaches or embeds the mail message instead of just appending a header and forwarding. (Usually, the user dragged and dropped or is forwarding something that someone else dragged and dropped, and/or rich text is on.) You can tell it's an embedded/attached message in Outlook because the embedded/attached message will have an envelope icon.

If it's problem 1, Outlook users can usually resolve it by:
1) Attaching the file by clicking the paperclip button and selecting the file.
2) If that doesn't work, turn off rich text (under Format, plain text works best) and try step 1 again.

If it's problem 2, Outlook users can usually resolve it by:
1) Not attaching or embedding messages. Just forward them.
2) If it's attached or embedded in the original, open up the message you want, and then forward.

In general, Outlook users can avoid compatibility issues by using plain text -- Outlook defaults to rich text. This turns off a lot of Outlook's special features and forces it to behave more like a standard email client.

Note that if someone else sends an Outlook message in non-plain text, the default behaviour for the message changes. You can convert it to plain text, though, through the format menu.
 
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