Disabling MIME format

Why you might want to, and how to, disable MIME format in your users' e-mails.

Disabling MIME format
Adesh Rampat

MIME is a general e-mail format that allows for a lot of flexibility, but it can cause some problems for recipients of your e-mails who may not be able to read them properly. If you find this is happening, you can disable MIME formatting. This tip discusses what happens, and how to disable sending in that format.

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Most e-mail clients, such as Microsoft Outlook, allow the user to send mail by default using the MIME format (Multi-purpose Internet Mail Extension). But sometimes when mail is sent in MIME format to users who are not using a common e-mail program, they may encounter problems opening the mail.

Before discussing a solution, let's look first at the advantages and disadvantages of sending e-mail in MIME format.

Advantages of using MIME

  • Allows the user to send mail that includes HTML formats, with links to URLs, graphic images, etc.

  • Attachments that consist of pictures, sound files, spreadsheets, word-processing documents, zip files, or other binary files can be sent to recipients.

Disadvantages of using MIME

  • Using MIME in e-mail messages takes up more storage space than standard plain-text e-mail messages. This can become an important issue for users who are concerned about storage of their e-mails.

  • E-mail with MIME attachments are prohibited on mailing lists, Usenet newsgroups postings, business e-mail correspondence, etc.

Here's how you can disable MIME format in Microsoft Outlook 2000:

  • Click on "Tools" then select "Options."
  • Click on the "Mail Format" tab.
  • Pull down the "Send in this Message format" menu. There are three choices: Plain Text, Microsoft Rich Text and HTML.
  • Select Pain Text.

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Adesh Rampat has 10 years experience with network and IT administration. He is a member of the Association of Internet Professionals, the Institute for Network Professionals and the International Webmasters Association. He has also lectured extensively on a variety of topics.

Related Book

Secure Messaging with PGP and S/MIME
by Rolf Oppliger
Online Price: $79.00
Publisher Name: Artech House
Date published: December 2000
Summary:
This unique new book offers you a comprehensive understanding of secure Internet messaging, and brings together all the relevant and critical information you need to use PGP and S/MIME-compliant software for your projects. It explores the conceptual and technical approaches followed by the developers of both PGP and S/MIME, and gives you a thorough treatment of the latest and most-effective technologies for secure messaging.


This was first published in September 2001

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