PHPMailer: attached PDF embedded in email body

Posted on 2010-09-20
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
This application attaches a pdf file and mails it. The email with attachments came through fine in yahoo, gmail and a POP server, but was corrupt when sent to a address.

In the comcast case the pdf was inserted in the body of the email as code preceded by

Content-Type: application/octet-stream; name="a_email_1555.pdf"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64
Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="a_email_1555.pdf"

<mass of letters/numbers>

Am I doing something wrong or is this a comcast issue? Thanks.

$mail = new PHPMailer();
$mail->Mailer = self::FFF_USE_MAIL_SYSTEM;
$mail->Host = self::FFF_EMAIL_HOST;
$mail->From = self::FFF_EMAIL_FROM;
$mail->FromName = self::FFF_EMAIL_FROM_NAME;
$mail->WordWrap = 50;

$attach =  self::PDF_FILE_DIR.$this->getPDF_File_Name($arrPDF);

(getPDF_File_Name just returns a filename to look for in PDF_FILE_DIR )

$mail->AddAttachment($attach, 'results.pdf'); // results pdf

Then add addresses and send.

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Question by:febone

Accepted Solution

Parag_t567 earned 125 total points
Comment Utility
LVL 36

Expert Comment

by:Loganathan Natarajan
Comment Utility
You may try another simple email with attachment of pdf to comcast and check whether it allows to read pdf or not.
LVL 48

Expert Comment

Comment Utility
You might add a little body to the mail and check again. PHPMailes does encode the mails properly so in this case it might be a commcast issue.
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Assisted Solution

Progressed earned 125 total points
Comment Utility
Hi, maybe you can try this... I use this mailerclass and it works perfectly for all attachments...

See code snippet for mailerclass and heres the code (it could be that i made a error in commenting some lines):

          //-- subject of e-mail
    $subject = "subjectline";
    //-- message of e-mail
    $message = "this is your mailcontent";
      // uncomment the foreach loop if you want to attach attachments when file is uploaded trough a form.
      // What it does: upload file to cache dir. attach every uploaded file to e-mail. empty cache dir.
      // if (!empty($_FILES)) {
      //      $uploads_dir = "./cache";

      //            foreach ($_FILES["FileData"]["tmp_name"] as $key => $error) {

      //                        $tmp_name = $_FILES["FileData"]["tmp_name"][$key];
      //                        $name = $_FILES["FileData"]["name"][$key];
      //                        move_uploaded_file($tmp_name, "$uploads_dir/$name");
      //                        $catchfile = $uploads_dir . '/' . $name;

      //                        $files[] = $catchfile;
      // }

      // comment the beneath line if you use the foreachloop
      $files[] = 'yourfile.pdf';

    //-- open class
    $mail = new MailAttach();
    echo $mail->SendMailAttach($subject, $message, $files, 'name reciever', '', 'Sender name', '');
      // $dir = 'cache/';
      // foreach(glob($dir.'*.*') as $v)
      // {
    // unlink($v);
      // }
      // }
new file to include: mailclass.php



/* Content Management System */

/* -------------------------------------------------------------*/

/* */

/* File : class_mail_attachment.php */

/* Version : 1.0.1 */

/* Last modified : 20/05/2006 */

/* */

/* Author : B.Kreleger */

/* */


/* Description */


/* Mail class which can send optional attachments. */


class MailAttach



//-- constructor


function MailAttach()



//-- config (change this)


$this->go_email = ""; // to e-mail address

$this->go_name = "Naam van Ontvanger"; // to name

$this->reply_email = ""; // from e-mail address

$this->reply_name = "Naam van Afzender"; // from name

//-- attachment settings

$this->mb = 1048576; // 1Mb in bytes

$this->max_file_size = 5; // Max file size of attachment(s) in Mb's

$this->file_size_count = 1; // 1 = total size of all attachments

// 2 = size per attachment


//-- errors


//-- file error

$this->error[0] = "<pre><code><b>Error 0:</b><br />Mail could not be send: File could not be opened or does not exist.</code></pre>";

//-- file error

$this->error[1] = "<pre><code><b>Error 1:</b><br />Mail could not be send: Filesize is unkown.</code></pre>";

//-- sendmail error

$this->error[2] = "<pre><code><b>Error 2:</b><br />Mail could not be send: Something's wrong with the mail function.</code></pre>";

//-- attachment error

$this->error[3] = "<pre><code><b>Error 3:</b><br />Mail could not be send: Attachment is too big (max: " . $this->mb * $this->max_file_size . " bytes).</code></pre>";

//-- attachment error

$this->error[4] = "<pre><code><b>Error 4:</b><br />Mail could not be send: Attachment is not unique.</code></pre>";


//-- results


//-- email with attachment sent

$this->result[0] = "<p><b>E-mail met bijlage verstuurd</b></p>";

//-- email without attachment sent

$this->result[1] = "<p><b>E-mail verstuurd</b></p>";



//-- sendmail function


function SendMailAttach ($subject, $message, $files = '', $to_name = '', $to_email = '', $from_name = '', $from_email = '')


//-- generate boundary

$bound = md5(uniqid(time()));

//-- check for "TO" addresses

if (empty($to_name))

$to_name = $this->go_name;

if (empty($to_email))

$to_email = $this->go_email;

//-- check for "FROM" adresses

if (empty($from_name))

$from_name = $this->reply_name;

if (empty($from_email))

$from_email = $this->reply_email;

if (!empty($files))


$headers = "From: " . $from_name . " <" . $from_email . ">\r\n";

$headers .= "MIME-Version: 1.0\r\n";

//-- mixed

$headers .= "Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary=\"" . $bound . "\"\r\n";

//-- sent attachment

$headers .= "Content-Disposition: attachment\r\n";

//-- create body

$body = "This is a multi-part message in MIME format.\r\n";

$body .= "\r\n";

//-- bound

$body.= "--" . $bound . "\r\n";

//-- charset

$body.= "Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1\r\n";

//-- 7bit coding

$body.= "Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit\r\n";

$body.= "\r\n";

//-- message

$body.= $message ."\r\n";

foreach($files as $filename)


//-- set array with filename

if (empty($attachment_name))

$attachment_name = array();

if (in_array($filename, $attachment_name))



$attachment_name[] = $filename;

//-- read content

if ($fp = @fopen($filename, 'r'))


if ($filesize = @filesize($filename))

$inhoud = fread($fp, $filesize);







//-- check if filesize is below maximum

if ($filesize > ($this->mb * $this->max_file_size))


//-- check for filesize counting

if ($this->file_size_count == 1)


//-- calculate total of all files

if (empty($total_filesize))

$total_filesize = $filesize;



$total_filesize = $total_filesize + $filesize;

//-- check if total filesize is below maximum

if ($total_filesize > ($this->mb * $this->max_file_size))




//-- bound

$body .= "--" . $bound . "\r\n";

//-- userfriendly filename

$show_filename_array = explode("/", $filename);

$show_filename = $show_filename_array[count($show_filename_array)-1];

//-- content type + name file

$body .= "Content-Type: application/octet-stream; name=" . $show_filename . ";\r\n";

//-- base64 encoding

$body .= "Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64\r\n";

//-- attached as attachment

$body .= "Content-disposition: attachment\r\n";

$body .= "\n";

//-- content of attachment

$body .= chunk_split(base64_encode($inhoud)) . "\r\n";


if (mail($to_name . " <" . $to_email . ">", $subject, $body, $headers))

return $this->result[0];




//-- no attachment has been added, send e-mail without attachment



$headers = "From: " . $from_name . " <" . $from_email . ">\r\n";

$headers .= "MIME-Version: 1.0\r\n";


mail($to_name . " <" . $to_email . ">", $subject, $message, $headers);

return $this->result[1];





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Author Comment

Comment Utility
Thanks for comments so far; will get around to working with them today. In case it helps anybody see what is going on another email came back looking like this - sent to a address from phpmailer

From: FFF Technical Services <>
Message-ID: <>
X-Priority: 3 X-Mailer: PHPMailer ( [version 2.3]
MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/mixed;

--b1_b0cfb5906fece7d6fc673eb2a8aae4bb Content-Type: text/plain; charset =
"iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable =0D Dear Sharon
,=0D =0D You are on your way to looking fabulous in=0D everything you wear.
We are emailing you the=0D results of your measurements and an
informational=0D brochure. So don't delay, start having fun with=0D the
clothes in your closet!=0D =0D Please note, if you were measured on the
right and=0D left side of your body because there was a=0D difference from
one side to the other, you will=0D need to use the measurements from the
floor up=0D starting with the mid-calf point to the waist=0D point. We are
taking the averages between the two=0D side to put your body in balance.=0D
=0D We love to hear from our clients on how the=0D Fashion Fit Formula has
helped you. Email me at=0D and please tell
a=0D friend about us.=0D =0D Thanks,=0D Kathy.=0D =0D Janet Wood, CEO=0D =0D
Kathy J. McFadden=0D President=0D Pivotal Edge, Inc.=0D Fashion Fit

(410) 330-8432 Direct=0D

WBENC Certified=0D



--b1_b0cfb5906fece7d6fc673eb2a8aae4bb Content-Type:
application/octet-stream; name="sharon_email_1553.pdf"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64 Content-Disposition: attachment;

Author Closing Comment

Comment Utility
In the end I went with inserting links into the body of the email pointing to the documents I wanted to attach, rather than attaching them to the email. Less hassle that way and more options for the recipient.

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