Tool exports messages from Microsoft Outlook to Unix .EML file format

Microsoft Outlook doesn't natively export to Unix .EML formats. Discover a shareware tool that exports Outlook messages to .EML, plain text and HTML.

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If you attempt to copy data from a Microsoft Outlook .PST file to another email client that accepts only a proprietary email structure or the Unix .EML format, it won't work. The plain-text .EML format is an industry standard, but it's also one of the email file formats that Microsoft Outlook doesn't export to natively.

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Brana Bujenovic's Exporter for Outlook is a shareware tool designed to export messages from Microsoft Outlook to Unix .EML, plain-text and .HTML formats. The software program requires that Outlook is installed and running, since it uses Outlook's own application program interface (API) to access the message store.

To perform the export, select which folders to export from and either select "All messages" or specify filtering criteria. The search results can be exported to multiple individual files -- .EML, .HTML, .TXT, etc. -- or to a single Unix mailbox (.MBX) file. Attachments can also be extracted -- but only if saved as plain text or HTML -- and stored either in the same folder or another folder as needed.

If you export to individual files, the exported messages are named automatically according to subject. However, this can be changed to the sender's name or date; name duplicates are resolved automatically. The original email messages can be kept in the same folder, moved elsewhere, and even flagged as Exported.

After the export is complete, the software tool generates an Exported Messages Index. This is an HTML file that allows you to view the contents of the exported folder, with hotlinks to open each message.

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The tree view is a nice feature that shows all of the mail folders and subfolders. Any folder that has subfolders can be selected in one of two ways: Individually or with all of its subfolders. This way you can export messages that are located only in that folder without also exporting any of the data in the subfolders.

The software program costs $12 to register. The free trial version is fully functional except the actual message-export function has been disabled. (Indexes are still generated, however.) Note: If you attempt to work with an Outlook instance that has several folders, Exporter for Outlook's GUI may take a while to start up while it pre-processes everything.

About the author: Serdar Yegulalp is editor of Windows Insight, a newsletter devoted to hints, tips, tricks, news and goodies for all flavors of Windows users.

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Thanks for the tip. There is actually a more powerful and inexpensive tool that we use called Aid4Mail. This tool converts various email formats and is very accurate. While Microsoft Outlook must be installed to use Aid4Mail, it does not need to be running to convert .PST files to the .EML format.
—Dmitry A.

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This was first published in April 2008

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