php email problem -  html / plain text with attachment

Posted on 2009-04-06
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Hi , I am having some problem with my php mail scripting.
I want an email with HTML and plain text version to be displayed according to the email client - if it has html options on, use html version other wise use text version.

The script works fine with my outlook - which picks up the html version and ignores the text version.

 but in my other online mail client which doesnt have html render turned on, it displays everything from the ob_start(); as plain txt, also my attachement (a pdf file) was displayed as encoding as well.

Is it a problem with my php version on the server? I m currenlty having php 4.3 installed.

Any help will be appreciated.





//define the receiver of the email 

$to = $email;

//define the subject of the email 

$subject = 'Test email with attachment'; 

//create a boundary string. It must be unique 

//so we use the MD5 algorithm to generate a random hash 

$random_hash = md5(date('r', time())); 

//define the headers we want passed. Note that they are separated with \r\n 

$headers = "From:\r\nReply-To:"; 

//add boundary string and mime type specification 

$headers .= "\r\nContent-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary=\"PHP-mixed-".$random_hash."\""; 

//read the atachment file contents into a string,

//encode it with MIME base64,

//and split it into smaller chunks

$attachment = chunk_split(base64_encode(file_get_contents('Zodiac_Tri_Web.pdf'))); 

//define the body of the message. 

ob_start(); //Turn on output buffering 


--PHP-mixed-<?php echo $random_hash; ?>  

Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="PHP-alt-<?php echo $random_hash; ?>" 

--PHP-alt-<?php echo $random_hash; ?>  

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" 

Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Hello World!!! 

This is simple text email message. 

--PHP-alt-<?php echo $random_hash; ?>  

Content-Type: text/html; charset="iso-8859-1" 

Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

<h2>Hello World!</h2> 

<p>This is something with <b>HTML</b> formatting.</p> 

--PHP-alt-<?php echo $random_hash; ?>-- 

--PHP-mixed-<?php echo $random_hash; ?>  

Content-Type: pdf; name="Zodiac_Tri_Web.pdf"  

Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64  

Content-Disposition: attachment  

<?php echo $attachment; ?> 

--PHP-mixed-<?php echo $random_hash; ?>-- 


//copy current buffer contents into $message variable and delete current output buffer 

$message = ob_get_clean(); 

//send the email 

$mail_sent = @mail( $to, $subject, $message, $headers ) or die ("Mail failed."); 

//if the message is sent successfully print "Mail sent". Otherwise print "Mail failed" 


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Question by:arthur_raft2

Accepted Solution

ecomm earned 500 total points
ID: 24083864

I would strongly suggest using the PHPMailer class which is available at
PHPMailer will handle encoding for the text and Html versions if they exist, along with one or more attachments. It has many other benefits as well. I've used it for 6 years with great success.

LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 24086227
I agree, PHPMailer is excellent.

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