Not long ago, I covered TNEF View, a utility for reading email messages encoded in Transport Neutral Encapsulation Format, the proprietary format Microsoft uses to encapsulate messages. Microsoft Outlook and Exchange
To non-Microsoft mail readers, a TNEF email looks like a plaintext copy of the message with an attachment named WINMAIL.DAT. The attachment contains a richly formatted version of the message, any OLE-embedded objects, any Outlook-specific features (such as custom forms), and attached files or messages.
An email client that doesn't know how to interpret TNEF will simply display such a message as a plaintext email with WINMAIL.DAT listed as an attachment -- which means that any attached data will be unreadable.
One way to get around this issue is to use an external program that reads TNEF. I've recently encountered a free application called Winmail Opener that handles the vast majority of the work needed to decode and understand TNEF.
Winmail Opener runs a few different ways:
- As a window into which you can drag-and-drop TNEF-encoded files
- As a command line, which you can use to do batch decodes of many files
- As a right-click context menu item, which can be used to open TNEF files from Explorer or associated with .DAT files
When you first launch the program, it gives you a wizard-style interface for opening messages. When a message is dragged and dropped onto the program, its text and any assorted attachments are listed and can be extracted and saved.
When run as a command line, it takes up to two parameters -- a source file and a target directory -- and can be used in conjunction with a batch file to automatically process all messages in a given directory.
About the author: Serdar Yegulalp is editor of the Windows Power Users Newsletter.
Do you have comments on this tip? Let us know.
Related information from SearchExchange.com:
Please let others know how useful this tip was via the rating scale below. Do you have a useful Exchange Server or Microsoft Outlook tip, timesaver or workaround to share? Submit it to SearchExchange.com. If we publish it, we'll send you a nifty thank-you gift.
This was first published in July 2006