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Why does Outlook 2007 double the size of emails?

Posted on 2011-02-15
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
It was brought to my attention that (for example) if an email that is 32k in size (in text format) is sent (in our exhange 2003 system), it arrives as a email that is 68k in size. I have a user that is concerned about his mailbox limits and this is affecting his mailbox size.

Is there a way to see and explain (with proof) why this is?

Thanks
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Question by:JCarson_
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Expert Comment

by:David Lee
ID: 34898078
Hi, JCarson.

An Outlook message contains both an HTML and a plain text version of the message contents.  Outlook 2007 uses Word to edit/render emails.  That adds a huge amount of bloat to each message.  If you want to see for yourself, then save a message in .html format and open it in Notepad.
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Author Comment

by:JCarson_
ID: 34901280
Okay – I created an HTML email with exactly 32,000 text characters and saved it as an “.htm” file and viewed it in NotePad, where it now contains 58,508 characters; yes, the head tag is responsible for adding 25,852 characters of Microsoft formatting. That makes sense.

I also created a Plain Text email with exactly 32,000 text characters and saved it as an “.txt” file and viewed it in NotePad, where it now contains 32,904 characters; yes, the simple “from/sent/to/subject” fields add 156 characters, and carriage returns are inserted every 86th character, adding another 375 characters. That seems to makes sense, too.

I also created a Plain Text email with exactly 32,000 text characters and saved it as an “.msg” file and viewed it in NotePad, where it now contains 64,000 characters; the format is in hexadecimal. This does not make sense to me.

Why would a Plain Text email (perfectly) double in size when saved as a “.msg” file and then viewed with NotePad?
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Accepted Solution

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David Lee earned 500 total points
ID: 34901398
You must have saved the message in unicode format.  Unicode records the ASCII character codes instead of the characters themselves with each code taking two bytes (exactly twice as much data as the original message).
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Author Closing Comment

by:JCarson_
ID: 34908924
Makes perfect sense - thank you!
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Expert Comment

by:David Lee
ID: 34909138
You're welcome.
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