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Outlook 2003 converting outgoing Word attachment to .dat files

Posted on 2006-11-29
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Last Modified: 2010-04-08
One of my users is reporting that when she attaches a Word document to an email, it is converted to a .dat file, perhaps always with this file name -- Winmail.dat.  And I remembered that a friend told me just Sunday that this is happening to him too.  Anyone know what is going on and what to do about it.  The .dat files are unusable by the recipients.

Thanks, Ron Hicks

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Question by:Ronald Hicks
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war1 earned 500 total points
ID: 18042623
Greetings, ronhicks22207 !

This is a known issue with Outlook HTML format. The HTML format is so unique that other email clients have difficulty reading it. If you send an email in HTML format, attachment will appear as winmail.dat.  

Send the email in Plain Text and attachment will as Word document.

Best wishes!
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by:war1
ID: 18063392
ronhicks22207,

We have not heard from you. Did any comment help you solve your problem? Do you have any more question? If an Expert helped you, please accept his/her answer above with an excellent or good grade.

Thanks, war1
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Author Comment

by:Ronald Hicks
ID: 18073376
I tried to duplicate the problem on my own workstation (same network, same apps)  I used all three format, including HTML and all my Word documents were attached and transmitted just fine.  But not another of my users told me that a Word file was garbled by the recpient (both inhouse, local intra domain communication).  So is there more to this, since it worked with my Outlook 2003 and not the other on my network?

Related question, can Thunderbird be used as an Exchange client like Outlook?

--ron hicks
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Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 18073423
Ron,

If the recipient email client is not Outlook, then you get the Dat file.

No, Thunderbird cannot be use as an Exchange client.
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Author Comment

by:Ronald Hicks
ID: 18078935
The sender and recipient clients are both Outlook 2003, on the same LAN in fact.  A friend of one of my users said that it had something to do with security on the server, which I doubt, since I can't recreate the condition to/from my own workstation, either outlook to outlook, or outlook to Yahoo, or Yahoo to Outlook using all three formats: plain, RTF and HTML.  Any other clues as to what could be causing the .doc files to flip to .dat?

--ron
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Author Comment

by:Ronald Hicks
ID: 18078946
This is seeming to be be a tougher question than I thought, so I've bumped up the points.

--ron
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Author Comment

by:Ronald Hicks
ID: 18108079
Thanks.  I still haven't been able to make the problem happen, but I believe this information will help if it recurs.

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Author Comment

by:Ronald Hicks
ID: 18108088
Oops.  I meant to add that the info herein, while it led me in the right direction might not have been accurate.  What I got from google is that the problem is not with HTML but with Outlook message composed in RTF (as opposed to Plain Text or HTML) and received by a non-outlook client.  According to all the info resulting from a google search on winmail.dat the problem is RTF format, not HTML.

--ron
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Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 18108094
ronhicks22207,

Perhaps your user attached the Word document incorrectly. Maybe attached a shortcut.  Can user reproduce the problem on his or her computer?
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