How to Read winmail.dat attachments

This was an email from Mark Drone on a list I subscribe to called tech-geeks

They can be found at http://www.tech-geeks.org

“I’m sure this only happens to me”.

A week doesn’t go by that I don’t receive a nice winmail.dat file attachment tagged to an apparently incomplete email message. Since I use Thunderbird, my lowly email client doesn’t know how to handle this filetype (nor, as I learned, do many other clients).

To decipher the contents of the winmail.dat file, my approach is to google “winmail.dat converter” and gleam with deepest satisfaction when “62NDS.COM – online tools” always floats to the surface.

http://www.62nds.co.nz/pg/ea0.php

If you scan down the list of online tools, you’ll find a link to “Extract WINMAIL.DAT attachments”, which is exactly what’s needed.

http://www.62nds.co.nz/pg/ea0h.php

The tool’s web panel introduces the visitor to the service and educates him/her as to the reason for the winmail.dat file’s existence:

“Microsoft Outlook allows for multiple email formats: Plain Text, Rich Text and HTML. When sending messages as Rich Text or HTML, Outlook automatically attaches a winmail.dat file containing all the formatting options included, however Outlook is the only email program that uses winmail.dat. If the person receiving the email does not have Outlook, they may receive a winmail.dat file rather than the original attachment, or may receive a message which is the size of the attachment, although no attachment is visible (this often happens to Outlook Express users).”

“This page will extract all attachments from the file. It will create a PKZIP archive for you; so when you click on “decode it” below, please save the resulting zip file to disk.”

Of course, the attachment needs to be saved somewhere locally prior to uploading. The payload comes back from the converter in the form of a “winmail.zip” file, which may or may not be allowed through your firewall.

Bottom line: It works great and is worthy of bookmarking (which I never seem to do because finding it with Google is actually faster than looking through my 243,995 bookmarks!)

thanks Mark.

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