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Configuring Mail Clients to Send Plain ASCII Text

(Originally written by: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Original date: March 24, 2004 Original URL: http://www.expita.com/nomime.html)

Index (5 topics)


What is wrong with sending HTML or MIME messages?

There are now six main reasons for NOT doing this:

  1. Many E-mail and Usenet News reader programs, usually the mail and news reader programs that come with browser packages, allow users to include binary attachments (MIME or other encoding) or HTML (normally found on web pages) within their E-mail messages. This makes URLs into clickable links and it means that graphic images, formatting, and even color coded text can also be included in E-mail messages. While this makes your E-mail interesting and pretty to look at, it can cause problems for other people who receive your E-mail because they may use different E-mail programs, different computer systems, and different application programs whose files are often not fully compatible with each other. Any of these can cause trouble with in-line HTML (or encoded attachments). Most of the time all they see is the actual HTML code behind the message. And if someone replies to the HTML formatted message, the quoting can render the message even more unreadable. In some cases, the message is nothing but strange looking text. For this reason, many mailing lists especially those that provide a digest version, explicitly forbid the use of HTML formatted e-mail. See examples section.

    When you send an attachment, like a word processor file, to have it appear on the other end as the exact same type of file the recipient must have hardware and software that can read that file. For example, if you attach a Microsoft Word file, and the recipient of your message is using a word processor that can't open MS Word files, that person isn't going to be able to open your attachment and they are less than likely to be very happy about it.

  2. HTML or MIME messages are larger and more wasteful than simple text messages. Using HTML or MIME in E-mail messages makes the messages larger in size by a mimimum of two thirds to more than twenty times. These will take longer to download and they take up more storage space than standard plain text E-mail messages.

    E-mail storage is important because many people retain copies of messages they receive and in the case of mailing list digests, the individual messages are combined in one large message and sent to the user at the end of the day. Some mailing list programs fail to format the digest correctly if HTML messages appear. In addition, many mailing lists archive the messages for periods of 6 months or more to enable users to search for particular past postings.

  3. HTML or MIME messages leave or include unwanted files (attachments) on the machines of the recipients of these messages.

  4. Embedded HTML or MIME attachments are the number one method of spreading virus, worm or Trojan programs.

    For instance, the Forgotten worm was written in Visual Basic Script and spread without any attachment. Instead, the worm code was embedded into the HTML formatted message body.

    The I Love You worm program exploited an ActiveX vulnerability and was executed just by viewing or previewing the e-mail message without opening any attachment.

    Likewise, embedded code could exploit some MS Office vulnerability as with Office ODBC Vulnerabilites and Specially Formed Script in HTML Mail can Execute in Exchange 5.5

    HTML messages can trigger dialups to the Internet if they contain links to specific images called "web bugs" that are used to track message and advertiser viewing. See Web Bug FAQ

    MIME encoded attachments with file extensions (BAT, COM, DOC, EML, EXE, HTA, JS, PPT, SHS, VBE, VBS, WSH, XL#) have been the most common method of sending viruses, worms and Trojan programs because their code will be executed by Windows and associated viewers or other MS programs when the attachment is opened. Windows uses the extension to determine what the default action on a file will be. For instance, a .txt file will open in Notepad and a .html file will open in Internet Explorer.

    Uncommon, but no less dangerous are file extensions (386, ACM, ACV, ADT, AX, BIN, BTM, CLA, CPL, CSC, CSH, DEV, DLL, DOT, DRV, HLP, HTM, HTT, INF, INI, JSE, JTD, MDB, MP#, MPP, MPT, MSO, OBD, OBT, OCX, OLE, OV#, PIF, PL, PM, POT, PP#, PPS, PRC, RAR, RTF, SCR, SH, SHB, SMM, SYS, VSD, VSS, VST, VXD, WSF, XL#, XLB, XTP).

  5. HTML quickly fills the memory of PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants like the Palm Pilot). In addition, many HTML messages are also completely unreadable on most PDAs.
  6. Some e-mail recipients may have set their background to something other than white, may have chosen a typeface which they find most readable and adjusted its size in accordance with their visual acuity, normal viewing distance, monitor size and screen resolution. All this fine tuning is completely erased by HTML e-mail.

Plain text is how your messages should be formatted when sending E-mail to mailing lists and Usenet newsgroups or to any other recipient. Though this rule is not yet cast in "Netiquette" stone, it is a good policy to follow if you want quick and informative responses to your questions and wish to avoid being "flamed" as a clueless newbie.

HTML is meant for the WWW; not for mailing lists, Usenet newsgroups postings, proper business E-mail correspondence and preferably not for personal E-mail unless the recipient is expecting it.

MIME encoded mail is generally used to send attachments that consist of pictures, sound files, spreadsheets, word-processing documents, zip files, or other binary files to recipients that have and use the same operating system, the same word processing program and a common E-mail program such as Eudora, Pegasus, Netscape, or Outlook.

MIME attachments are not wanted on mailing lists, Usenet newsgroups postings, business E-mail correspondence, and preferably not for personal E-mail unless the recipient is expecting it.

If you must send an attachment, then before you send the message with the attachment, ALWAYS send the recipient a message telling them you are about to send them an attachment. This will, at least, let them know to expect a message with an attachment from you.

An exception to the "no MIME attachments rule" can be made for PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), GPG (Gnu Privacy Guard), or other "Digital ID" signed e-mail. In this case, individuals, mailing lists, and Usenet newsgroups that use signed e-mail are probably expecting it. See MIME Security with Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) .

For more background information see Netiquette Guidelines (RFC1855)

To see what actual HTML/MIME mail looks like in UNIX Pine, see examples section.


Turning Off HTML or MIME

There are now a variety of HTML/MIME programs, including but not limited to:


For creators of HTML and MIME messages, here are some suggestions

  • Know how your attachments are going to be sent. Bear in mind that what's reasonable for another recipient isn't necessarily reasonable for the rest of the world. For example, sending a Microsoft Word document as an attachment might not work out as well as you think it should.

    If options are available for turning off attachments, do so, except perhaps for specific correspondents known to have the ability to view the attachments. This is particularly relevant to users of mail systems in Microsoft operating environments.

    Microsoft TNEF data (WINMAIL.DAT attachments), for example, which was very common during 1996 and 1997, is not something that most Internet correspondents can presently handle. In addition to attachments, TNEF data may include links to OLE objects, fonts, colors, and other information that doesn't have the same form or meaning outside a Microsoft operating environment .

  • Be somewhat conservative about Content-Types when sending to mailing lists or other public forums. Watch out for multipart/alternative.
  • Watch character set selections and Content-Transfer encodings. For example, some commonly used character sets in PCs use 8 bits, not the standard 7 bits.

Agent/Free Agent

Agent currently does MIME quoted printable. Free Agent does not.

The MIME quoted printable option can be configured separately for each language you have configured in Agent.

  • Select Options
  • Select General Preferences
  • Select Languages
  • Under Usenet Text and E-mail Text, make sure MIME is off.

AOL 5.0 and earlier

AOL automatically converts all attachments to MIME when you click on the "Attach" button. So don't use this button.


AOL 6.0

AOL now supports Multipart/Alternative formatted messages which means that a single message sent from a user now contains a plain-text version and a formatted version. Users who use e-mail programs that do NOT support HTML will be able to read the plain-text version of the message without any of the cryptic HTML codes.

Likewise, if the e-mail client supports the HTML format, then the user will read that version.

The headers will show the Content-Type line similar to:

Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary=blah...blah...
Content-Disposition: Inline
X-Mailer: 6.0 sub 171

AOL recommends this method to send plain text:

  • Make sure your font is set to Arial (which should be the default).
  • Type your message (in Arial) and then highlight it. Then, right mouse click, select text, then select normal.
  • Send your plain text message, making sure the text is still highlighted when you send it.

The headers may show the Content-Type line similar to:

Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
X-Mailer: 6.0 sub 336

The "Customer Care" folks at AOL also offer the following solution: Use AOL Mail on the Web to send mail to Internet addresses that don't allow formatting - AOL Mail on the Web sends mail as plain text only.

NOTE: To use AOL Mail on the Web you will need to signoff AOL.

The Unofficial AOL E-mail FAQ recommends that an AOL 6.0 user can turn off the HTML using the following steps:

  • Change global e-mail preferences (needs to be done only once):
    • Go to Keyword: Preferences (or choose Preferences from the Settings menu on the AOL 6.0 toolbar).
    • Click on Font, Text, & Graphics Preferences .
    • Click on the Reset button at the bottom of the resulting window. Do not make any changes in the Font Preferences area of the window.
    • Click on the Save button.
  • Change a specific e-mail to plain text (must be done for every e-mail):
    • Compose and address the e-mail as desired.
    • Choose Select All from the Edit menu to highlight the entire message.
    • With the mouse arrow somewhere over the highlighted text, click the Right mouse button, revealing a contextual menu.
    • Choose Normal from the Text menu.
    • Taking care not to make any further changes to the message, send it.


Note that changing the text to normal will eliminate the "blue bar" quoted text indicator, but will not remove some HTML elements of the quoted text. The entire quoted section must be deleted (or simply not quoted in the first place), followed by the re-entry of the text and manually quoted, prior to changing the text to normal. Changing the text to normal will also eliminate any styled text that would have been seen by AOL recipients of the message, which cannot be re-added. Testing also suggests that messages with hyperlinks cannot be converted to normal text, requiring the prior removal of the link.


AOL 7.0

If you upgrade from AOL 6.0 to AOL 7.0 and up have customized your fonts/colors, the changes carry over during the upgrade and so you still need to go into Settings and switch back to the defaults as described above for AOL 6.0

To turn off HTML, use the following steps:

  • Change global e-mail preferences (needs to be done only once):
    • Go to Keyword: Preferences (or choose Preferences from the Settings menu on the AOL 7.0 toolbar).
    • Click on Font, Text, & Graphics Preferences.
    • Click on the Reset button at the bottom of the resulting window. Do not make any changes in the Font Preferences area of the window.
    • Click on the Save button.


WARNING: Any attempt to change the font face, size, style, or color within the body of an e-mail message will change the message format to HTML, as will any attempt to use a different default font face, size, style, or color.

Lastly, you must remove your e-mail signature if it contains any styled text, as that will also change the message format back to HTML.

Like AOL 6, AOL 7 will use HTML when quoting a message (displaying the quoted portion with a blue line in the left margin). And like AOL 6, choosing Text - Normal will eliminate any indication that the text was quoted. However, unlike AOL 6, the message will now be sent in plain text. However, the quoted portion will need to be manually quoted.


AOL 8.0

This version appears to be incapable of sending plain text e-mail.

See AOL 6.0 7.0, 8.0 Alternative.


AOL 6.0, 7.0, 8.0 Alternate

Simply install the 'safe' version of AOL, version 5.0, on your computer and use it for your plain text mailing lists. Create or use one of your 8 allowed AOL screen names to subscribe to; and to read, send, and reply to the list's mail. AOL 5.0 will not send HTML or RTF encoded e-mail unless YOU add it (stationery/background; colored, bold, or italicized text; insert an image; etc.).

Place one of the ubiquitous free AOL 6.0, 7.0, or 8.0 CDs (available everywhere!) in your CD-ROM drive, hold down the shift key and close the tray to stop the autoplay feature. If that doesn't work, close the install window when it comes up. Then, using "Windows Explorer" or "My Computer", navigate to the AOL 5.0 folder (resident on all these CDs) and double-click on the 'setup' program file. Don't let the install program overwrite any other AOL version if prompted or asked during the AOL 5.0 install.

After the install, whenever you want to send plain text e-mail to any Internet Mailing list, simply close any later version of AOL, click on the AOL 5.0 version, sign on with your list-dedicated screen name and send your own list e-mails without worry of offending others with HTML or RTF encoded e-mail.

NOTE: An alternative if you are using AOL 6.0, 7.0 or 8.0 is to log on to AOL and select either Netscape or Internet Explorer as your browser. WARNING: Do not use AOL's web browser. Start either browser and type "www.aol.com" in the URL field. Sign on with your ScreenName and Password. Click on "AOL Mail". You will then be able to submit messages using AOL's AOL Mail on the Web service.

Starting with Netscape Communicator 6.2 AOL members can read and send AOL e-mail via the browser. The browser fully supports both HTML and plain text messages and even allows you to set specific domain names (e.g., mailing lists) to always send plain text.


AOL 9.0

Copied directly from AOL Communicator Help manual page 66

Changing Plain Text Settings

By default, AOL Communicator Mail sends messages in HTML format. Messages sent in this format allow you to use different fonts and font sizes; underline, boldface, or italicize text; easily create bulleted or numbered lists and links to web sites; and attach files.

Not all mail programs support HTML, and not all users prefer to receive HTML-formatted messages. Some programs display messages in HTML format as if they were in plain text, including HTML tags and other format coding that can make the original message difficult to read.

If you are sending a message to someone who can’t read HTML-formatted messages (also called 'rich text'), you can switch to plain text. You can also specify plain text only for messages sent to a specific address or domain.

Messages sent in plain text lose all formatting and attachments. Replies to (and forwarded) plain text messages are also sent in plain text.

To change the plain text setting while you are composing a message:

  1. Click in the message area of the Write Mail window.
  2. Change the plain text setting:
  3. Click the T icon just below the Subject label to toggle the message between plain text and rich text formatting; or
  4. Open the Format menu and choose Rich Text or Plain Text.

When the T icon is red, the message uses rich text. When the T icon is black, the message uses plain text.

When you change the plain text setting from a Write Mail window, the setting 'sticks' for all subsequent messages you write. For example, if you switch from rich text to plain text for one message and then open a new Write Mail window, that window will also be set to use plain text. To change the plain text setting for all messages you send to an address or domain:

  1. Open the Edit menu and choose Preferences.
  2. Click Advanced Options.
  3. Click Add.
  4. Type the email address or domain for which you want all messages to be sent in plain text. If you specify a domain (such as example.net), you’ll have an opportunity to switch to plain text whenever you address a message to an email address that includes that domain.
  5. Click OK.

CompuServe 2, 3 and 4

NOT COMPLETE

CompuServe's main e-mail service is ASCII text based, and is not MIME compliant. However, CompuServe provides Base-64 MIME compliant transport of attached binary files.

CompuServe versions prior to 4.02 allowed one binary attachment per e-mail message. Beginning with version 4.02 users are allowed two binary attachments per e-mail message.


CompuServe 2000

Compuserve 2000 only supports Windows 95/98 and closely resembles AOL because it uses an identical installation routine, the same e-mail client, and a similar interface. CompuServe 2000 also shares the same V.90 network as AOL.

So to send plain text e-mail using CompuServe 2000, see the instructions for AOL 5.0 and earlier.


Entourage 2001 (MacIntosh)

Microsoft Entourage is a new e-mail and personal information manager that makes it easy to communicate with others and organize your personal information.

Entourage comes bundled with Office:Mac 2001. It is only available for Macintosh. Since it was built from the foundation provided by Outlook Express for Mac, the instructions are somewhat similar to that program.

  • Select "Preferences" from the Edit menu then "Mail and News"
  • Click on "Compose" tab
  • Under Messages, set the pull-down menus for "Mail Format" and "News Format" to plain text
  • Click the "Reply & Forward" tab, uncheck "Reply to messages using the format in which they sent"
  • Click on OK

Earthlink 5.0

  • From the Tools menu, choose Configure
  • Click the Mail button
  • Click on the Send tab
  • Click the down arrow on the Send message format drop-down list and choose Plain Text
  • Click on OK

The text of your e-mail will now be sent as Plain Text.


Entourage X (MacIntosh)

Microsoft Entourage X complete e-mail and personal information management program designed specifically for Mac OS X.

Entourage comes bundled with Office v.X. It is only available for Macintosh. Since it was built from the foundation provided by Outlook Express for Mac, the instructions are somewhat similar to that program.

  • Select "Mail & News Preferences" from the Entourage tab
  • Click on "Compose" tab
  • Under Messages, set the pull-down menus for "Mail Format" and "News Format" to plain text
  • Click the "Reply & Forward" tab, uncheck "Reply to messages using the format in which they sent"
  • Click on OK

Eudora Light v3.0.5 and earlier

You can have Eudora warn you before sending messages that contain styled text or HTML.

  • Click on Tools: Options
  • Select the Extra Warnings category
  • Check the box for Warn me when I "Queue a message with Styled Text".

If you want to make sure that you never accidentally send a message with styled or HTML text, you can have Eudora automatically discard the styles before sending any message.

  • Click on Tools: Options
  • Select the Styled Text tab
  • Check the box for "Discard styles before sending messages"
  • Click on Tools: Options
  • Select the Sending Mail category
  • Uncheck the check box for "May use quoted-printable"

This means that even if your message is filled with bold and italics, colors, and font changes, the message will be sent out without any of this formatting; instead it will be stripped down to the basic plain text before Eudora sends it. Also, the quoted-printable method of character encoding (used by non-US versions for foreign character recognition) can cause some formatting problems for some mail readers. If you do not need to type these foreign characters, you should turn off the quoted- printable option.


Eudora Light v3.0.6

If you want to make sure that you never accidentally send a message with styled or HTML text, you can have Eudora automatically discard the styles before sending any message.

  • Click on Tools: Options
  • Select the Sending Mail category
  • Uncheck the check box for "May use quoted-printable"

This means that even if your message is filled with bold and italics, colors, and font changes, the message will be sent out without any of this formatting; instead it will be stripped down to the basic plain text before Eudora sends it. Also, the quoted-printable method of character encoding (used by non-US versions for foreign character recognition) can cause some formatting problems for some mail readers. If you do not need to type these foreign characters, you should turn off the quoted- printable option.


Eudora Pro v4.0.2 and earlier

Eudora Pro has a "Styled Text" option, which makes messages available in RTF. Currently Eudora Pro doesn't support HTML within the body of a message. When posting a message to a mailing list, you can click on the button on the far right of each individual message's tool bar to "Clear Formatting." You can also set up the options to either warn you of outgoing messages that contain styled text or to discard the styles before sending the messages:

  • Click on Tools: Options
  • Highlight (Select) Styled Text
  • Check either or both of these boxes:
    • Warn me when I queue a message with styled text.
    • Discard styles before sending messages.


You can have Eudora turn off MIME encoding when sending messages that contain special characters.

Eudora automatically uses quoted-printable (MIME) encoding if your mail contains special characters. Eudora also uses quoted-printable encoding for attached plain text files. If your recipients don't have MIME, then just turn off the QP button in the message icon bar when you are sending text files to those recipients.


Eudora Pro v4.2 and later

Eudora Pro has a "Styled Text" option, which makes messages available in HTML format within the body of a message. When posting a message to a mailing list, you can click on the button on the far right of each individual message's tool bar to "Clear Formatting." You can also set up the options to either send plain text or styled text or both.

  • Click on Tools: Options
  • Scroll down to and click on Styled Text Category
  • Check these 3 boxes:
    • Show formatting toolbar - If this is on, the formatting toolbar displays by default in new message windows. If this is off, the formatting toolbar is hidden by default in new message windows. This toolbar lets you easily format text styles in new messages.
    • Send plain text only
    • Ask me each time - If this is on, you are warned when you try to send or queue a message with text styles. And you are given the option to send a plain text version, an HTML version, or both in a single message.


You can have Eudora turn off MIME encoding when sending messages that contain special characters.

Eudora automatically uses quoted-printable (MIME) encoding if your mail contains special characters. Eudora also uses quoted-printable encoding for attached plain text files. If your recipients don't have MIME, then just turn off the QP button in the message icon bar when you are sending text files to those recipients.


Eudora v5.0

Eudora has a "Styled Text" option, which makes messages available in HTML format within the body of a message. When posting a message to a mailing list, you can click on the button on the far right of each individual message's tool bar to "Clear Formatting." You can also set up the options to either send plain text or styled text or both.

  • Click on Tools: Options
  • Scroll down to and click on Styled Text Category
  • Check these 3 boxes:
    • Show formatting toolbar - If this is on, the formatting toolbar displays by default in new message windows. If this is off, the formatting toolbar is hidden by default in new message windows. This toolbar lets you easily format text styles in new messages.
    • Send plain text only
    • Ask me each time - If this is on, you are warned when you try to send or queue a message with text styles. And you are given the option to send a plain text version, an HTML version, or both in a single message.

You can have Eudora turn off MIME encoding when sending messages that contain special characters.

Eudora automatically uses quoted-printable (MIME) encoding if your mail contains special characters. Eudora also uses quoted-printable encoding for attached plain text files. If your recipients don't have MIME, then just turn off the QP button in the message icon bar when you are sending text files to those recipients.


Hotmail

Click on "Compose tab", address the message and fill in the "Subject" line
Before composing the message, click on "Tools" (next to "Copy message to sent folder")
Click on "Rich-text editor OFF" to set off
NOTE: The toggle is actually counter-intuitive. That is, if the drop menu choice says "Rich -Text Editor OFF" RTF formatting is on. When the toggle shows "Rich -Text Editor ON" RTF formatting is off.
If you receive a pop up message "Are you sure you want to do this?" Click "OK" and wait for text formatting tools to disappear
NOTE: If you are using Netscape, then you will NOT be given the the choice to turn ON/OFF RTF formatting. Messages will be sent in plain text format.
Compose your plain text message
Send your plain text message


IncrediMail Xe

IncrediMail is an advanced e-mail client that offers interactive features. You can choose from an assortment of e-mail backgrounds, animations, sounds, 3D effects, e-cards, emoticons, dancing letters, and random notifier selections. Also has support for MSN e-mail and Windows XP.

To change a single e-mail message to plain text:

  • From within the "New Mail" window, open the "Message" menu and select "Plain Text".
  • At this point, a dialog window will appear. Click "Yes" to confirm changing your e-mail to plain text format.

To change the default e-mail message format to plain text:

  • From the IncrediMail main window, open the "Tools" menu and select "Options".
  • From the Options window, select the "Advanced" tab.
  • In the Message section, check the "Enable 'Plain Text' in Style Box" checkbox.
  • Click OK.

When sending mail, always select "Plain Text".

  • Create a new message by selecting the "New Mail" button from the Toolbar.
  • Select the "Letters" category in the "Style Box".
  • Make sure "Plain Text" is selected.

NOTE: The first item in any collection is "Plain Text".

If using a Signature, make sure you only use the text section titled "Add signature text below:"
NOTE: Do Not create a handwritten signature.

If you have a customized handwritten signature, then make sure you don't include it.

  • On the Main menu, select Tools then Options, and click on the Compose tab.
  • Uncheck the "Automatically insert signature to outgoing messages" box.

Juno v5.0

With Juno you can now send HTML e-mail as well as plain text messages. The default format for new messages you compose in the Write screen is plain text. As you write your message and add any kind of formatting (color, images, font), the format automatically changes to HTML. If you know that the person you are sending the message to uses an e-mail program that is not HTML compatible, make sure to change the message format to plain text (otherwise, the person might not be able to read your message).

To change the e-mail message format to plain text:

  • On the Edit menu, point to E-mail Message Format, point to View as and click Plain Text.
  • In the Remove Formatting dialog box, click Yes to change the format.

Outlook 2000

  • Select "Tools" then click on "Options..."
  • Click on "Mail Format" tab
  • In the "Message Format" section, the pull-down menu in "Send in this message format" list offers three choices: Plain Text, Microsoft Rich Text, and HTML. Select Plain Text. 
    NOTE: there is a "Send e-mail using plain text only" checkbox on the properties sheet of an address book entry, but it doesn't do anything if you have the HTML mail format selected here.
  • Make sure the check box is unchecked (empty) in front of "Use Microsoft Word to edit e-mail messages".
  • NOTE: Outlook Help states that you can switch message formats after starting an e-mail message, but this doesn't work if you use Word as your e-mail editor, only if you use the internal Outlook mail editor (and then only switch between plain text and HTML formats).
  • Click OK

WARNING: Outlook 2000 uses what Microsoft calls Auto Format Reply. Due to the variety of message formats supported by different e-mail clients, Outlook 2000 ensures that e-mail recipients receive replies they can read easily. When users reply to a message, Outlook automatically uses the format of the original message. This is especially frustrating if you receive HTML e-mail and wish to send Plain Text e-mail.

To override the default for any individual message, click on the "Format" menu within the message and choose the desired format. Outlook 2000 lets you select the e-mail format for a mail message in what they call one-off editor switching. You can start a new message in a different format than the standard one by selecting New Mail Message Using from the Actions menu.

Outlook doesn't have any way to select the mail format to use when sending mail to a particular recipient when you use the drop-down list on a Contact item or an Address list entry.

NOTE: A problem you may encounter when you open an incoming e-mail message, you may see a blank message or three less than symbols (<<<) displayed instead of the message text.

In some cases, depending on the Internet e-mail software used, the message may contain other random, unrelated characters or the message body may be blank.

Microsoft describes this behavior in the Knowledge Base article (OL2000: Message Received from Outlook Express 5 May Contain Unrelated Characters)

NOTE: You may notice that plain text messages do not word wrap properly when you print the message, or view it in print preview. To resolve this problem you may need to obtain Microsoft Office 2000 Service Release 1/1a (SR-1/SR-1a).

Microsoft describes this behavior in the Knowledge Base article (OL2000: Plain Text Messages Word Wrap Incorrectly When Printed)

WARNING: If you are using a version of Outlook 2000 that has been installed with the corporate workgroup installation you may discover that when you set e-mail to send "Plain Text" that it has been changed to "Quoted-Printable" instead of 7-bit or ASCII.

Microsoft describes this behavior in the Knowledge Base article (Q269186 The Message Received by the Recipient Is Different)

WARNING: If you send messages with multiple file attachments to America Online (AOL) users, they do not receive the messages in a readable format. AOL combines the text of the message and the attachments into a single MIME (.mim) file.

AOL users who receive messages as MIME files can open them using WinZip in Classic mode. The message text and all of the attachments are displayed intact.

Microsoft describes this behavior in the Knowledge Base article (OL2000: Messages with Multiple Attachments Sent to AOL Users Do Not Display Correctly)


Outlook 2002

Outlook 2002 eliminates the distinction between Corporate/Workgroup and Internet Mail Only modes that made supporting Outlook 98 and Outlook 2000 so difficult. You can now change the format of a message you already received or created to make the message either easier for you to view or to send to someone else.

  • With the message open, on the menu bar: select "Format"
  • On the "Format" menu Select the format you want to change the message to: The menu list offers three choices: Plain Text, Microsoft Rich Text, and HTML. Select Plain Text.
  • If Microsoft Word is your e-mail editor, these options may not be available.
    NOTE: Outlook Help states that you can switch message formats after starting an e-mail message, but this doesn't work if you use Word as your e-mail editor, only if you use the internal Outlook mail editor (and then only switch between plain text and HTML formats).

Outlook 2002 supports better reading and printing of plain text mail messages by allowing the user to remove extra paragraph marks. They are easily restored if you need them, for example to format tabular data. To turn this feature on or off,

  • Choose "Tools"
  • Select "Options"
  • Select "Email Options"
  • Select "Remove extra line breaks in plain text messages."

WARNING: There are known problem with this feature. See:

  • OL2002 AutoClean Feature Removes Unwanted Line Breaks
  • OL2002 Posts Do Not Honor Line Breaks in Plain Text Format

NOTE: If your POP/SMTP account requires you to authenticate via the POP account before sending via the SMTP address (like Yahoo mail), Outlook 2002 can handle this: OL2002: Unable to Send Mail By Using Yahoo After Upgrading to Outlook 2002 (Q289945)

WARNING: In earlier versions of Microsoft Outlook, you had the ability to break apart messages that were larger than a specified size ranging from a value between 16 KB (kilobytes) and 8000 KB. This capability has been removed from the product in Outlook 2002. See this Knowledge Base article: OL2002: The Option to Break Apart Large Messages Is Missing (Q287766)

NOTE: The setting to adjust the line length of plain text messages no longer works. Even if you change it from the default of 76 characters, Outlook 2002 appears to always use 72 characters as the line length.

WARNING: You cannot set the default format for Internet plain text messages to quoted-printable (which puts in soft returns, not hard returns at the end of each line). This makes long URLs in plain text messages unusable. A Microsoft Knowledgebase article describes how to modify the registry to set the default encoding format for plain text messages to quoted-printable. See OL2002: How Outlook Applies Encoding to Plain Text Messages (Q278134).

However, this setting may not work. As stated in the article, "Whether or not Outlook honors this registry setting depends on what software creates MIME on the user's behalf; when Outlook uses Exchange to send the message, Outlook does not honor this registry setting." While it does set the Content-Transfer-Encoding to quoted-printable, Outlook performs only partial Base64 or MIME encoding -- handling 8-bit characters, but not soft line feeds.

NEW FEATURE: Outlook 2002 SR-1 ( OL2002: Overview of the Outlook 2002 Public Update: October 4, 2001 (Q300551) (also part of MS Office XP Service Pack 1 (SP-1) OFFXP: How to Obtain the Latest Office XP Service Pack (Q307841) ) has a feature that converts all incoming HTML mail to plain text. See OL2002: Users Can Read Nonsecure E-mail As Plain Text (Q307594) for details and possible side affects.


MS Internet Explorer 4.0, 5.0, 5.50 and 6.0

Unfortunately Microsoft Internet Explorer versions 4, 5, 5.50, and 6 come packaged with the program Outlook Express as its mail client whose default configuration is to send HTML formatted mail.

To configure Outlook Express to send text only messages see appropriate Outlook Express sections below:


Outlook Express 4.0

  • Select "Tools" then click on "Options..."
  • Click on "Send" tab
  • In the "Mail Sending Format" and "News Sending Format" sections, click on "Plain Text" bullet in both places
  • In the "Mail Sending Format" section, click on "Plain Text Settings..." button.
  • In the "Plain Text Settings" window and the Message format section
    • Click MIME bullet
    • Set "Encode text using:" to None.
    • Uncheck the "Allow 8-bit characters in headers"
    • Set Automatically wrap text at 72
    • Check the box in front of "Indent original text with > when replying or forwarding"
    • Click OK
  • In the "News Sending Format" section, click on "Plain Text Settings..." button.
  • In the "Plain Text Settings" window and the Message format section
    • Click MIME bullet
    • Set "Encode text using:" to None.
    • Uncheck the "Allow 8-bit characters in headers"
    • Set Automatically wrap text at 72
    • Check the box in front of "Indent original text with > when replying or forwarding"
    • Click OK
  • While still in the "Send" tab, Uncheck "Reply to messages using the format in which they were sent"
  • Click on "OK" and on "OK" again.


All of your messages will now be sent as plain text. Outlook Express 4.x can also be configured to send Business Cards (also referred to as vCards) with your e-mail. These are attachments, which show up as strings of unreadable code on most mailing lists. To turn these off:

  • Select "Tools" then click on "Stationery..."
  • In the "Signature" area, click on the "Signature" button.
  • In the "Personal Business Card" area, uncheck the check box in front of "Attach card to all outgoing messages"
  • Click on "OK" and on "OK" again.


Outlook Express 5.0, 5.50, and 6.00

  • Select "Tools" then click on "Options..."
  • Click on "Send" tab
  • In the "Mail Sending Format" and "News Sending Format" sections, click on "Plain Text" bullet in both places
  • In the "Mail Sending Format" section, click on "Plain Text Settings..." button.
  • In the "Plain Text Settings" window and the Message format section
    • Click MIME bullet
    • Set "Encode text using:" to None.
    • Uncheck the "Allow 8-bit characters in headers"
    • Set Automatically wrap text at 72
    • Check the box in front of "Indent the original text with > when replying or forwarding"
    • Click OK
  • In the "News Sending Format" section, click on "Plain Text Settings..." button.
  • In the "Plain Text Settings" window and the Message format section
    • Click MIME bullet
    • Set "Encode text using:" to None.
    • Uncheck the "Allow 8-bit characters in headers"
    • Set Automatically wrap text at 72
    • Check the box in front of "Indent the original text with > when replying or forwarding"
    • Click OK
  • While still in the "Send" tab, Uncheck "Reply to messages using the format in which they were sent"
  • Click on "Apply" and then on "OK".


NOTE: It has been brought to my attention that Outlook Express occasionally breaks all lines at the set margin after you send an e-mail message on a reply or forward. So the lines Outlook Express marks with "> " get wrapped after the "> " mark and the recipeient gets something awful to look at and entirely different than what it looked like before you sent it.

To prevent this from happening, you may want to set the margin at 132 (maximum possible value) and break the lines at 72 to 75 characters manually.


All of your messages will now be sent as plain text. Outlook Express can also be configured to send Business Cards (also referred to as vCards) with your e-mail. These are attachments, which show up as strings of unreadable code on most mailing lists. To turn these off:

  • Select "Tools" then click on "Options..."
  • Click on "Compose" tab
  • In the "Business Cards" area, uncheck the check boxes in front of Mail and News for "Include my business card when creating new messages."
  • Click on "Apply" and then on "OK".

Mozilla 1.1

  • Select "Edit" then click on "Preferences..."
  • Click on the plus sign before "Mail & Newsgroups"
  • Click on "Message Composition" in left pane
  • In the "Forwarding and Replying to Messages" section, change the "Forward messages:" to Inline.
  • In the "Composing Messages" section, unckeck the box in front of "For messages that contain 8-bit characters..."
  • Click on "Send Format" in left pane
  • In the section "When sending message in HTML format...", click on the bullet in front of "Ask me what to do..."
  • Click on "OK".

Note the section titled "Plain Text and HTML Domains". You should add your mailing list domains under the "Plain Text Domains" to ensure that all e-mail sent to a mailing list is always in plain text.

When in a new message screen (Compose)

  • Select "Options" in the taskbar
  • Select "Format"
  • Click on "Plain text only". The default is probably shown as "Auto-Detect"
  • Send the message

Mozilla Thunderbird 0.5

  • Select "Tools" then click on "Account Settings..."
  • Under an account, select "Addressing & Composition" in the left pane
  • In the "Composition" section, uncheck "Compose messages in HTML format"
  • Repeat the above 2 steps for each account you have set up in Thunderbird
  • Click on "OK"
  • Select "Tools" then click on "Options"
  • Click on "Composition" in left pane
  • In the "Forwarding Messages" section, change the "Forward messages:" to Inline
  • In the "Composing Messages" section, uncheck the box in front of "For messages that contain 8-bit characters..."
  • In the "Send Options" section, click "Send Options"
  • In the "Text Options" section, select "Ask me what to do..." from the dropdown
  • Click on "OK"

If you have followed the instruction above, your e-mail should now always be sent as "Plain Text". If you would like to send a message in HTML format, then hold down the Shift key while clicking on the Compose or Reply button and the current e-mail message will be in HTML edit format.


Netscape Communicator 7.1

  • Start Mail & Newsgroups
  • Click "Edit"
  • Select "Mail & Newsgroups Account Settings"
  • Uncheck the box in front of "Compose Messages in HTML Format"

As an alternative, you can select "View Settings for this Account" under "Accounts" after starting "Mail & Newsgroups".

  • Click OK

Netscape Communicator 7.0 (PR1 & Final)

  • Select "Edit" while in "Mail"
  • Click on the arrow symbol before "Mail & Newsgroups"
  • Uncheck the box in front of "Compose Messages in HTML Format"
  • Click OK

Netscape Communicator 6.2

  • Select "Edit" then click on "Preferences..."
  • Click on the arrow symbol before "Mail & Newsgroups"
  • Click on "Message Composition" in left pane
  • In the "Forwarding and Replying to Messages" section, change the "Forward messages:" to Inline.
  • In the "Composing Messages" section, unckeck the box in front of "For messages that contain 8-bit characters..."
  • Click on "Send Format" in left pane
  • In the section "When sending message in HTML format...", click on the bullet in front of "Ask me what to do..."
  • Click on "OK".


Note the section titled "Plain Text and HTML Domains". You should add your mailing list domains under the "Plain Text Domains" to ensure that all e-mail sent to a mailing list is always in plain text.

When in a new message screen (Compose)

  • Select "Options" in the taskbar
  • Select "Format"
  • Click on "Plain text only". The default is probably shown as "Auto-Detect"
  • Send the message

Netscape Communicator 6.0 - 6.1

  • Select "Edit" then click on "Preferences..."
  • Click on the arrow symbol before "Mail & Newsgroups"
  • Click on "Message Composition" in left pane
  • In the "Forwarding and Replying to Messages" section, change the "Forward messages:" to Inline.
  • In the "Composing Messages" section, unckeck the box in front of "For messages that contain 8-bit characters..."
  • Click on "Send Formatting" in left pane
  • In the section "When sending message in HTML format...", click on "Ask me what to do..."
  • Click on "OK".

When in a new message screen (Compose)

  • Select "Options" in the taskbar
  • Select "Format"
  • Click on "Plain text only". The default is probably shown as "auto detect"
  • Send the message

Netscape Communicator 4.5, 4.6, 4.7

Unfortunately, Netscape Communicator 4.5, 4.6, 4.7 also come packaged with mail programs whose default configuration is to send HTML formatted mail.

  • Select "Edit" then click on "Preferences..."
  • Click on the plus sign "+" before "Mail & Newsgroups"
  • Click on "Messages" in left pane
  • In the "Forward and Replying to Messages", change the "By default, forward messages:" to Inline.
  • In the "Send messages that use 8-bit characters", click on "As is".
  • Click on "Formatting" in left pane
  • In the section "Message formatting", click on "Use the plain text editor to compose messages"
  • In the section "When sending HTML mail messages...", click on "Ask me what to do..."
  • Click on "OK".


Netscape Messenger can also be configured to send Address Book Cards (also referred to as vCards) with your e-mail. These are attachments, which show up as strings of unreadable code on most mailing lists. To turn these off:

  • Select "Edit" then click on "Preferences..."
  • Click on the plus sign "+" before "Mail & Newsgroups"
  • Click on "Identity" in the left pane
  • Uncheck the check box that says "Attach my personal card..."
  • Click on "OK"

Netscape Communicator 4.0x - 4.4x

Unfortunately, Netscape Communicator 4 also comes packaged with mail programs whose default configuration is to send HTML formatted mail.

  • Select "Edit" then click on "Preferences..."
  • Click on the plus sign "+" before "Mail and Groups & Messages"
  • Click on "Messages"
  • Uncheck the check box that says "By default, send HTML messages".
  • Click on "More Options..."
  • In the section "When sending HTML messages to recipients who are not listed as being able to receive HTML", click "Always convert the message into plain text (may lose some formatting)"
  • Click on "OK" and on "OK" again.

Netscape Messenger can also be configured to send Address Book Cards (also referred to as vCards) with your e-mail. These are attachments, which show up as strings of unreadable code on most mailing lists. To turn these off:

  • Select "Edit" then click on "Preferences..."
  • Click on the plus sign "+" before "Mail and Groups & Messages"
  • Click on "Identity"
  • Uncheck the check box that says "Always send Address Book Cards"
  • Click on "OK"

Netscape Communicator 3.xx

Unfortunately, Netscape Communicator 3 also comes packaged with mail programs whose default configuration is to send HTML formatted mail.

  • Click "Tools" then click on "Mail Options"
  • Click on the "Send" tab.
  • In the "Mail Sending Format" area, click the check box next to "Plain Text"
  • Click on "Settings..."
  • In the section "Message Format", click "MIME". In the check box next to "Encode text using", select "None".
  • Uncheck the check box next to "Allow 8-bit characters in headers"
  • Click on "OK"

Outlook 97 (without Service Release 1 SR1)

The original version of Outlook 97 (the one without the Office 97 Service Release 1 (SR1) installed) automatically formats all messages you send when you hit the "Reply" button in Rich Text Format, which then shows as an attachment on a mailing list (or in any e-mail program other than Microsoft Exchange or Outlook). This "Reply bug" can be fixed in any of the following four ways:

  1. Download and install the Office 97 Service Release 1 (SR1)
  2. Download and install inetmail.exe which updates Outlook 97.
  3. In the E-mail box, double-click the e-mail address. Clear the "Always send to this recipient in Windows Messaging Rich Text Format" check box. (Note: This must be done *each* time a message is sent via the Reply button.)
  4. Download and install "RTFGuard" written by Ben Goetter This will alert you when a message is about to be sent with RTF formatting, giving you the option to discard the formatting before sending.

If you are using your Outlook 97 address book to send messages to the mail list, make certain you do not have Rich Text Format selected for that address book entry:

  • Open the "Personal Address Book"
  • Double Click on the recipients name
  • Uncheck the check box " Always send to this recipient in Windows Messaging Rich Text Format"
  • Close Options window

Outlook 97 (with Service Release 1 SR1)

  • Select "Tools" then click on "Options..."
  • Click on "Internet E-mail" tab
  • Click the circle next to "MIME" and not "UUENCODE"
  • Uncheck the check box "Allow 8-bit characters in headers"
  • Check the "Line wrap" box and set to 80 or less. Preferably 72
  • Make sure to use "US ASCII" character set
  • Click "OK"


If you are using your Outlook 97 address book to send messages to the mail list, make certain you do not have Rich Text Format selected for that address book entry:

  • Open the "Personal Address Book"
  • Double Click on the recipients name
  • Uncheck the check box " Always send to this recipient in Windows Messaging Rich Text Format"
  • Close Options window

Outlook 98 (Work group version)

  • Select "Tools" then click on "Options..."
  • Click on "Mail Format" tab
  • In "Send in this message format" area, select "Plain Text" from the drop- down box.
  • Click on "Internet E-mail" tab
  • In "Internet E-mail Sending Format" area, click the circle next to "MIME".
  • Uncheck the check box "Allow 8-bit characters in headers"
  • In the drop down box "Encode text using:", select "none"
  • Click "OK"

Outlook 98 (Internet version)

  • Select "Tools" then click on "Options..."
  • Click on "Mail Format" tab
  • In "Mail Formatting" area, select "Plain Text" from the drop- down box.
  • Click on "Settings..." button
  • Select "MIME"
  • In the drop down box "Encode text using:", select "none"
  • Click "OK"

MSN Explorer 6.0

MSN Explorer Tech support states "that MSN Explorer and MSN.com send web-based HTML e-mail ONLY and cannot be configured to send plain text."

However, if you use MSN as your mail service (i.e., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) you can simply go to Hotmail.com and send e-mail from there in plain text (via their so-called PASSPORT system). Same inbox, address book, etc.

You just have to remember to send or reply to POP3 and plain text e-mail from Hotmail and not from MSN. A real nuisance but at least an option.

Unfortunately the transfer to Hotmail from MSN e-mail takes you through 3 screens and requires you to reenter your password even if you checked the "remember my password" box.

See Hotmail above for details on how to send plain text e-mail.


MSN Explorer 7.0

MSN Explorer Tech support states "that MSN Explorer and MSN.com send web-based HTML e-mail ONLY and cannot be configured to send plain text."

With version 7.0 of MSN you are now automatically connected to MSN Hotmail.com, MSN Messenger Service and MSN calendar so that you no longer have to retype passwords.

If you use your MSN Hotmail sign-in name as your MSN Messenger sign-in, you can simply click on the Hotmail.com link to logon directly to send plain text e-mail from Hotmail.

You just have to remember to send or reply to POP3 and plain text e-mail from Hotmail and not from MSN.


MSN 8.0

  • Go to your MSN mail Inbox
  • Click on "E-mail settings" which is on the left side of the screen
  • Click on "Writing E-mail Settings" second on the list
  • Click on 4th item down, "Test Formatting"
  • At the "How Do You Want To Format Your Messages" box, click on second button down "Use Plain Text for Compatibility..." In addition, choose the default encoding "Western European ISO" when sending e-mails
  • Save changes at the bottom of the screen
  • Click on "Mail and more" on the top toolbar to return you to your MSN Inbox

MS Exchange v4.0 (Win 3.x, 95/98, and NT)

  • From the Microsoft Exchange toolbar select "Tools"
  • Select the "Services" tab.
  • Highlight "Internet Mail"
  • Click on "Properties..." An "Internet Mail, General" window will appear.
  • Select "Message Format..." then make sure "Use MIME when sending messages" is unchecked. If you turn off MIME here, it will send attachments UUEncoded.
  • Next, select "Character Set..." in the "Message Format" window
    • In the "UUENCODE Character Set" window
    • Click the down arrow that shows next to the rectangular "window" below where it says "specify a character set for message" text. A set of options will appear, including both "ISO 8859-1" and "US ASCII".
    • Check "US ASCII", then click "OK". This will remove equal signs and "=3D" codes in messages.
    • Then click "OK" on the "Options" menu.

NOTE: As you close the various windows on the way back a message will appear, advising that "configuration changes will not take effect until the next time you log onto Internet Mail".


MS Exchange Server 5.0

It is possible to set up "Internet Mail service" to not send HTML. This is really more server related but some people have found the information useful.

Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 Documentation

NOTE: If using these instruction to set up your server to send plain text e-mail, then you should set all options for HTML/MIME to "never" or "disable".


WINMAIL.DAT

When I send mail to an Internet mailing list, its members complain that my messages contain big binary attachments called WINMAIL.DAT. What's happening? How can I get rid of these?

Either intentionally or accidentally, you have been sending messages in Microsoft rich text format to recipients using mail programs that cannot decipher this format.

When Exchange thinks that it is sending mail to another Exchange user on the Internet, Exchange (more properly, the Internet Mail message service provider) encodes the message, along with attached files, embedded OLE objects, and their associated icons, into a special data block called the TNEF (pronounced tee-neff) block. This block can be seen in the mail header and looks similar to:

------ =_NextPart_000_01BB9403.FCDBDA20
Content-Type: application/ms-tnef
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64

This block encapsulates the complete original content of the Exchange message, so that the message arrives at its destination with all proper formatting intact, including boldface, underlining, fonts, and colors. Otherwise, Exchange formats the message in an Internet standard fashion, discarding all rich text attributes and ensuring that all attached files appear as standard attachments.

The problem arises when people not using Exchange or Outlook receive a message in the TNEF format instead of seeing a formatted message, they see a big chunk of UUENCODEd data if the sender used UUENCODE format, or a MIME body part application/ms-tnef if the sender used MIME. Depending upon which mail program they use, they may either see a long sequence of hexadecimal digits, or they may see an attached binary file named WINMAIL.DAT.

Exchange specifies whether it emits TNEF or not as a property of the recipient, appearing as a field on the property page of the underlined recipient object within an Exchange To or Cc field. (The underline in the To field means that Exchange has recognized the name, and associated an address and other information with it.) To see this recipient property page, double click the underlined recipient: when using either the Internet Mail provider or Microsoft Exchange Server, the popup that appears should include a check box labeled Send to this recipient in Microsoft rich text format. If this check box is set, Exchange/Internet Mail will use a TNEF block when sending messages to that user; otherwise, it will strip the rich information and send plain text. The sender can also set and clear this flag on entries in the Personal Address Book. Should the sender address a message using an entry from the Address Book, Exchange will use the setting of this flag from that entry.

Never set this check box if you suspect that your recipient isn't using Exchange or Outlook, or if you are sending mail to an Internet mailing list. Otherwise, your mail will include binary garbage.

Here's how to turn it off:

Step #1:

  • Double click on the Mail and Fax icon in Control Panel.
  • Click on the Services tab, and select Internet Mail from the list. If Internet Mail is not listed, click Add - add this service.
  • Click Properties, and then Message Format.
  • Turn off the option that reads Use MIME when sending messages.
  • Click OK and then OK again.

Step #2:

  • Double click on the name of each recipient in your Address Book.
  • Turn off the option that reads Always send to this recipient in Microsoft rich text format.
  • This option needs to be set for each recipient of a message - if even one has this turned on, all recipients will still get the attachment.


NOTE: Either of these methods should work for most users, but sometimes nothing seems to work - yet another brilliant design strategy by Microsoft. If you plan to be sending lots of internet e-mail, you should seriously consider using a mail program more suited to the task, such as Pegasus or Eudora.

NOTE: A bug ("feature"?) in Exchange may cause line feeds to be replaced with equal signs when rich text mail is disabled.

Unfortunately, there are several ways to send Internet mail messages in TNEF format by accident.

  • If you address the message by typing a literal This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. SMTP address, or by entering the address in Exchange's explicit one off format - i.e., by typing [SMTP:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.] - and you use the version of Microsoft Exchange released with retail Windows 95 (as opposed to Windows Messaging, or the version released as the client of Microsoft Exchange Server), the entry will have its Send to this recipient in Microsoft rich text format check box set by default.
  • If you address the message by typing a name and letting the system pick an entry from your Personal Address Book, and that address book entry specifies Send to this recipient in Microsoft rich text format, then the recipient in the message will, too.
  • If you address the message by giving the reply command in Exchange, and the message to which you were replying had an explicit RFC822 Reply-To header (such as is the case on many messages arriving via Internet mailing lists), and you use a version of the Internet Mail provider prior to the Internet Mail Enhancement Patch (IMEP), the resulting entry in the To field will have its Send to this recipient in Microsoft rich text format check box set by default. Note that a reply will never reference an entry in your Personal Address Book unless you replace the contents of the reply note's To field yourself.

Some workarounds:

  • If you are using the original version of retail Windows 95 Microsoft Exchange, update to a more recent version, such as the Windows Messaging update.
  • Know the contents of your Personal Address Book, and ensure that you have not erroneously set the rich text flag on any entries therein.
  • Use the most recent version of the Internet Mail message service provider. (Note: Microsoft Exchange Server users do not use this component, since they send mail to the Internet through a component of Exchange Server.)
  • On replies to Internet mailing lists, manually clear the rich text flag, or else replace the reply address with a known entry from your Personal Address Book.
  • Use "RTFGuard" or Rich Text Sentry widget, which watches for outgoing Internet messages in rich text format, or install a recent version of Internet Idioms and configure it to do likewise.

Microsoft has their own explanation of this phenomenon in the Knowledge Base article Q136204 (XCLN: Sending Messages In Rich-Text Format)

Microsoft also has an article on how to prevent WINMAIL.DAT from being sent in the Knowledge Base article Q138053 (XFOR: How to Prevent the Winmail.dat File from Being Sent to Internet Users)

Two other Knowledge Base articles also provide futher information Q280332 (OL2000 Outlook Sends HTML Messages to the Internet When You Use an Exchange 2000 Mailbox) and Q241538 (OL2000: How Message Formats Affect Internet Mail).

The entire preceding discussion assumes that you are using either the Internet Mail (SMTP/POP3) or Microsoft Exchange Server messaging service. If instead you are using the Microsoft Mail messaging service, and depending on a Microsoft Mail gateway to carry your message onto the Internet, you are out of luck, unless you have a gateway clever enough to strip WINMAIL.DAT.


Equal signs at end of lines

When I send mail to Internet users, they complain that my text has equals signs at the end of each line. What is this? How can I make it stop?

You are sending your messages in the MIME message format. The Microsoft Internet Mail program sends plain text messages in a MIME format called Content-Transfer-Encoding: Quoted-Printable. The mail header usually shows something similar to:

Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

If you find this bothersome, you have several options. You can keep all of your lines less than 76 characters long, in which case the Internet Mail service provider will not have to insert these soft line break sequences. You can send your mail in a format other than MIME, via the Message Format setting. If your correspondent is using Exchange, you can specify that Exchange send rich text along with the message. Or your correspondent can use a MIME mail reader, which presumably will know how to handle this encoding correctly.

Some e-mail programs, most notably those from Microsoft that use quoted-printable encoding can encode high order ASCII characters using a scheme where the equal sign ("=") indicates a character to be decoded followed by the hexadecimal string value of the character to be encoded. This system of course assumes that the client e-mail program can decode these characters (which most can). Things that trigger automatic quoted-printable encoding:

  1. High order characters - characters with the following ordinal values 0..31,61,128..255
  2. Long lines in a message body (you can turn wordwrap on to fix this)

If your message contains extended characters coded in quoted-printable format your e-mail client may append the following preamble to your message:

Sender composed mail containing characters not in the US-ASCII set
These characters have been transformed into a printable form.

This is identified in the mail header under the Content-Type line similar to:

Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

To correct this, change your default character set from ISO 8859-1 to US ASCII, or else take any of the precautions listed above. For more information, see the Knowledge Base articles Q146629 (Microsoft Exchange Internet Mail Lines End with a "=") and Q168779 OLEXP: No Quote Characters When Using Quoted Printable Format. The mail headers should then show:

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

Note that the Exchange Server Internet Mail Connector (IMC) only encodes content this way on multipart MIME messages. When the IMC processes a message lacking extended characters or attachments, it instead hard wraps the plain text.


ISO 8859-1 or other character set

This is identified in the mail header under the Content-Type line similar to:

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

To correct this, change your default character set from ISO 8859-1 to US ASCII.

For Windows 95 do the following:

  • In Control Panel, double-click Mail And Fax.
  • Click Internet Mail, and then click Properties
  • On the General tab, click Message Format, and then click Character Set.
  • Change the option from ISO 8859-1 to US ASCII, or click the "Use MIME when sending messages" check box to clear it.

For Windows 98 this is controlled in Outlook and Outlook Express.


Lotus Notes R5

By default all mail in Lotus Notes is in the Notes Rich Text Format but may be set to MIME.

  • Choose File/Mobile/Edit Current Location
  • Select the mail tab
  • In the field, "Format for messages addressed to Internet addresses", select MIME Format instead of Rich Text Format.

To send mail or news postings in plain text or HTML or both:

  • Choose File/Preferences/User Preferences
  • Click the Mail and News Icon
  • Under "Internet message format" (or Internet News Format), choose an option:
  • Plain text
  • HTML format
  • HTML and Plain Text.

Mac OS X Mail

MIME and HTML are enabled by the mail program's default rich text format (RTF) but can easily be turned off on a message-by-message basis. Simply opening a new message window and then go to the "Format" menu and select "Make Plain Text".

You can turn off RTF permanently by going to the "Mail Menu" and select "Preferences" then choose "Composing". At the top of the new window select "Format: Plain Text". Now all outgoing messages are plain text by default.

NOTE: AOL 10.2.1 for Mac OS X appears incapable of sending plain text e-mail.


Novell Groupwise

Generally it is assumed that the e-mail server does not alter the message at all, and that the sender and their client software is entirely in control of the message which is sent. In some systems, such as Lotus ccMail, Lotus Notes, Microsoft Exchange or Novell Groupwise, the client and server do not follow this model, do not use Internet standards and do not necessarily follow the conventions and standards of Internet e-mail. In those cases compatibility with Internet standards may be handled by a third item of software - a gateway. Thus there can be problems of a significant difference between what the sender sees when they write the e-mail (which is probably similar to how it appears to recipients in their office), and what is actually sent to Internet recipients.

Users of Internet compliant software sometimes disparage the continued use of proprietary systems such as Novell Groupwise or Lotus Notes, based on the awkward or hard-to-read e-mails they sometimes receive from these systems. However their continued use is inevitable since within their own system they provide additional powerful "groupware" functionality which is valuable to larger organizations and which cannot currently be provided with standard Internet protocols. All these systems can be configured to respect Internet technical standards and conventions (although perhaps not in a way which the sender can see or control) - the problem is that they are sometimes mis-configured by default, creating difficulties for all their users.

Some e-mail client programs can be configured (or are configured by default) to send each paragraph as one long line. Some e-mail systems such as Groupwise (and apparently Lotus Notes), have a single setting in the server (the Message Transfer Agent, which may include a SMTP gateway) which either wraps all outgoing e-mails of all users to a particular line length, or sends all e-mails of all users with each paragraph as an arbitrarily long line (unless the user manually sets the line length by pressing "enter"). In neither case does the user control this single, system-wide, setting. Nor may the server's wrapping correspond to what they see on screen when writing.

Arbitrarily long lines can be sent within SMTP standards using the "quoted-printable" MIME type.

If such arbitrarily long lines are sent as plain text, then the 1,000 character limit of SMTP may be reached and the sending client or system may wrap the line arbitrarily there, or may send it out longer than 1,000 characters. If this happens, a recipient SMTP server may reject it, or break the line. In one instance a plain text e-mail from Groupwise 4.2 exceeded the 1,000 character per line limit. That paragraph, of 1,253 characters was broken in mid word by a SMTP server just before the 1,000th character. This and later versions of Groupwise are used in a significant number of VET institutes, where the system is valued for many functions apart from its Internet e-mail capabilities.

Quoting styles. The established approach to quoting a line of text: "> " or ">" is no longer the only approach. Other methods, which are the default in Groupwise and perhaps other clients or e-mail systems, are much harder to understand, at least in some circumstances, since they mark only the start of the paragraph as a comment, rather than the start of each line. A plethora of incompatible quoting styles is a source of error and frustration for novices and experienced users alike - so an operational guideline standardise on "> " or ">" was decided upon, with the matter to be reviewed within 12 months or so.

I have been informed that the issue regarding line wrapping is indeed set at the gateway - in Groupwise 5.2 and up, this is known as the "GWIA". There are additional settings controlling the type of MIME encoding, etc.

Additionally, in GW5.5 EP (for Enhancement Pack) and higher on Windows, HTML first became available for reading and authoring mail (provided Internet Explorer is installed).

In Groupwise 5.5EP, the message format is controlled from the Groupwise client. When composing mail:

  • Click on "View"
  • Then select either "Plain Text" or "HTML"

The client then remembers that setting.

WARNING: The GW client will turn the HTML setting back on all by itself if the user receives or reads e-mail that has been MIME encoded with HTML.


Pegasus Mail 3.x

  • Select "Tools" then click on "Options..."
  • Click on "Sending Mail" tab
  • In "When sending messages containing rich (formatted) text" section
  • Check the radio button "Always remove formatting."
  • In "Advanced settings" section, uncheck all four options Make sure "Allow 8-bit MIME message is unchecked"
  • Click on "OK"

Pegasus Mail 4.x

  • Select "Tools" then click on "Options..."
  • Click on "Sending Mail" tab
  • In "Message Formatting, Formatting and use of styling in messages" section:
    • Disable all text styling options (never send styled mail) -- should be checked. This is the key item to set for sending plain text
    • Do not display the editor 'styles' toolbar -- unimportant to what's actually sent but if you check it you will not get the false sense that you are sending formatted mail as the visible formatting options will be removed from the editor screen.
    • Always paste plain text in preference to styled text -- Should be checked though it is implied if "Disable all text styling options" is set as noted above.
  • In "Sending Mail, Rich Text (formatted) Message Handling" section:
    • Generate multipart/alternative versions of richtext messages -- should be unchecked.
    • For mail sent to local addresses, use MS-RTF formatting -- should be unchecked but does not affect Internet mail.
  • In "Advanced settings" section:
    • Send enclosures instead of attachments -- normally checked, unrelated to plain text versus formatted message issues.
    • Make sure "Allow 8-bit MIME message is unchecked"
    • Don't add "attachment information" sections to Multipart messages -- should be checked
    • Suppress BCC field listings in outgoing mail -- not important to plain text issues but is normally checked for other reasons.
  • Click on "OK"

Pine 4.x (Unix)

  • Start Pine from UNIX prompt, i.e., pine
  • From Main Menu, select "S" (SETUP- Configure Pine Options)
  • Select or type "C" (Config)
  • Type "w" (Word to find:) and enter "character-" to find Character-Set. Leave as <No Value Set>. It defaults to US-ASCII or set it explicity to "US-ASCII"
  • Type "w" (Word to find:) again and enter "include-" to find Include-attachments-in-reply. Leave or set the box to unchecked
  • This feature controls an aspect of Pine's Reply command. If set, any MIME attachments that were part of the original message will automatically be included in the Reply.
  • Select or type "E" (Exit) and type "Y" to commit changes
  • Select or type "Q" (Quit), type "Y"

Pine 4.x (Windows)

  • Start Pine and Login
  • From Main Menu, select "S" (SETUP- Configure Pine Options)
  • Select or type "C" (Config)
  • Type "w" (Word to find:) and enter "character-" to find Character-Set. Leave as <No Value Set>. It defaults to US-ASCII or set it explicity to "US-ASCII"
  • Type "w" (Word to find:) again and enter "include-" to find Include-attachments-in-reply. Leave or set the box to unchecked
  • This feature controls an aspect of Pine's Reply command. If set, any MIME attachments that were part of the original message will automatically be included in the Reply.
  • Select or type "E" (Exit) and type "Y" to commit changes
  • Select or type "Q" (Quit), type "Y"

Poco v2.xx

Poco supports receiving and sending of both Styled mail (also known as HTML mail) and plain text mail.

  • Make sure the Style toolbar is showing (View, Show Style Toolbar menu)

  • To send a plain message, depress the Styled button. The state of Styled button and the menu can be saved to default to your preferred state, in Program Options (F7), Defaults section.

TheBat! v1.18

  • Select "Account" from the main menu
  • Click on the "Transport" icon
  • In the section "8-bit characters are treated", click on "Without changes"

NOTE: 8-bit characters are treated - this radio group allows you to set the method used to handle 8-bit (non-ASCII) characters. If you are using only the English alphabet, this feature is not very significant to you because all English characters are ASCII characters and will go through the net without any problems. However, if you are using accented characters or character sets other than English, you should choose the method carefully because there still are some mail servers which do not allow appearance of 8-bit characters in e-mail messages. If you are not sure that such servers are functioning in the way you write your messages, it is better to choose either Base64 or Quoted-printable encoding. The difference between these two encoding methods is that Base64 produces totally unreadable text. Quoted-printable encoding still can be read if your alphabet is almost Latin, only accented characters are encoded. If your recipient's are using The Bat! or another program which can recognise Base64 and quoted-printable encoding automatically, you may choose either of these two methods.

  • Click on the "Options" icon
  • Uncheck the check box in front of "Allow 8-bit characters in message header"
  • Click OK
  • Select "View" from the main menu
  • Click on "Encoding" then select "None"
  • Select "Options" from the main menu
  • Select on "Language" then click on "English"

Yahoo Mail

NOTE: Some features are only available to IE users. Netscape and other browsers will not show these options.

After signing in to Yahoo Mail, some general setup items shoukd be done.

  • Click "Check Email" under "Message Center" on left side of screen
  • Select "Mail Options" from right-hand side of main toolbar
  • From " Mail Options Screen " select "General Preferences" (see Personalization)
  • Under "Forwarding Messages" (Message Actions) select "forward as in-line text"
  • Under "Replying" (Message Actions) select "include full original message"
  • Click Save button


Make sure you set plain text signature as the default.

  • Select "Mail Options" from right-hand side of main toolbar
  • From " Mail Options Screen " select "Signature" (see Personalization)
  • If using IE, then next to "Editor" select "Plain"
  • If using Netscape or other browser, next to "This signature is: " select the "plain text" bullet
  • Click Save button

When Replying or Forwarding, edit the previous text and remove all footer material before adding your new text.

If using IE (not available in Netscape and other browsers) when in the "Compose" window, make sure "Plain" is selected rather than "Color and Graphics". These two choices are a toggle switch. Clicking on one activates it and turns off the other.

In any browser, also make sure the "Allow HTML tags" checkbox at the bottom is NOT checked.

If you want to add a signature, check the "Add signature" checkbox.


WebTV

There are some sites on the 'net like HTML for WebTV E-Mail and How To Use HTML In WebTV E-Mail that inform users to add HTML coding to their WebTV signature, PLEASE IGNORE THIS BAD ADVICE!

WebTV users should NEVER leave an HTML signature "added" when posting anywhere outside of the WebTV Community OR e-mailing to a non-WebTV user. Unless you remove it, they will probably receive your message as an attachment and will be less than happy with you. Attachments are the number one purveyor of viruses. See WebTV Flood virus for example.

How to Set Up a Signature and Remove HTML coding

  • Click on Setup on the sidebar
  • Click on Signature
  • Remove the HTML codes (if any) from the text entry box
  • Add a simple maximum 4-line signature in the text entry box
  • Click Done
  • Click Done again

If you using an HTML signature, then you MUST make sure to remove it before posting to non-WebTV users. Your mail should be compatible with other user's systems by using only plain text and no HTML.

  • On the WebTV e-mail "Write Page"
  • Click on "Remove Signature" at left of "Send" button
  • Send e-mail

NOTE: The default in the WebTV e-mail Write page is set to include the signature.


Examples of actual HTML/MIME encoded mail

The examples seen below were actually received by me in my UNIX Pine mail program. These show what I actually see when I open the message in Pine. The only thing I have changed is the users identity.

Received: from engine2.hyperia.com ([208.198.156.11])
by no2.superb.net (8.11.1/8.11.1) with ESMTP id f3MA0eC18408
for <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;; Sun, 22 Apr 2001 06:00:41 -0400 (EDT)
Received: from c2 ([208.198.157.163]) by engine2.hyperia.com
(Post.Office MTA Undefined release Undefined
ID# 589-65135U6000L100S0) with SMTP id AAA24823
for <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;; Sun, 22 Apr 2001 10:57:57 +0100
Message-ID: <002d01c0cb1b$62570700$a39dc6d0@c2>;
From: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Cxxxxx Txxxxxxxxxxxxxx)
To: <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;
Subject: Firewalls
Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2001 11:00:02 -0000
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
boundary="----=_NextPart_000_002A_01C0CB1B.61521A20"
X-Priority: 3
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 5.00.2314.1300
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V5.00.2314.1300
Parts/Attachments:
1 OK ~25 lines Text (charset: ISO-8859-1)
2 Show
n ~49 lines Text (charset: ISO-8859-1)
----------------------------------------


[ Part 1, Text/PLAIN (charset: ISO-8859-1 "Latin 1") 25 lines. ]
[ Not Shown. Use the "V" command to view or save this part. ]

[ The following text is in the "iso-8859-1" character set. ]
[ Your display is set for the "US-ASCII" character set. ]
[ Some characters may be displayed incorrectly. ]

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
<HTML><HEAD>
<META content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" http-equiv=Content-Type>
<META content="MSHTML 5.00.2314.1000" name=GENERATOR>
<STYLE></STYLE>
</HEAD>
<BODY bgColor=#ffffff>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>I work for a company with 20 or so networked
computers and no connection to the outside world. Our e-mail is currently
received through standalone dialup PC's which ar
e not connected to the
Network.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>What we now wish to do is have continuous access
to
an e-mail server on the Internet for all our LAN PCs. We do not intend to allow
any Internet browsing or any other Internet Services whatsoever.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>We are using Windows NT as the operating system
for
our LAN network and may in the future upgrade to win 2000.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>My Question is: If only EMAIL will be used is a
Firewall really necessary. i.e. does the operating system itself ( be it NT or
the newer 2000) allow for blocking all services BUT e-mail? If yes, having
people
use all Internet services via e-mail, will it present a security
risk?</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;
</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>It is not really the additional expense of the
firewall that I am concerned about, rather it is the additional complexity and
knowledge involved with a firewall that concerns me.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>I will be grateful for your reply</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>Regards,</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>Cxxxxx Txxx</FONT></DIV>
</FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>


Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2001 20:51:57 -0400

From: Envision <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;
To: friend <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;
Subject: equipment
Parts/Attachments:
1.1 OK ~71 lines Text (charset: ISO-8859-1)
1.2 Shown ~183 lines Text (charset: ISO-8859-1)
2 13 KB Image
3 2.7 KB Image
4 2.3 KB Image
5 5.4 KB Image
----------------------------------------


[ Part 1.1, Text/PLAIN (charset: ISO-8859-1 "Latin 1") 71 lines. ]
[ Not Shown. Use the "V" command to view or save this part. ]

[ The following text is in the "iso-8859-1" character set. ]
[ Your display is set for the "US-ASCII" character set. ]
[ Some characters may be displayed incorrectly. ]

[IMAGE]

www.envisionfirst.com

Envision Ophthalmic Equipment is Buying and Selling Ophthalmic
Instruments

[IMAGE]

[IMAGE]

Envision is looking to purchase used ophthalmic equipment.&nb
sp; Age and
condition does not matter, so take a look in your closets, backrooms,
garages, storage, or just an extra lane your not using and make a list
and e-mail it to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or fax it to: 734.354.8693

* B&L Refractors

* AO RX Masters

* AO 590
[snip]
[IMAGE]

[ Part 2, Image/JPEG 18KB. ]
[ Cannot display this part. Press "V" then "S" to save in a file. ]


[ Part 3, Image/JPEG 3.6KB. ]
[ Cannot display this part. Press "V" then "S" to save in a file. ]


[ Part 4, Image/JPEG 3.1KB. ]
[ Cannot display this part. Press "V" then "S" to save in a file. ]


[ Part 5, Image/JPEG 7.2KB. ]
[ Cannot display this part. Press "V" then "S" to save in a file. ]


 

Received: from mclean.mail.mindspring.net (mclean.mail.mindspring.net

[207.69.200.57])

by no2.superb.net (8.11.1/8.11.1) with ESMTP id f3MJHeo17266
for <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;; Sun, 22 Apr 2001 15:17:41 -0400 (EDT)
Received: from JASON (user-vcauipu.dsl.mindspring.com [216.175.75.62])
by mclean.mail.mindspring.net (8.9.3/8.8.5) with SMTP id PAA17437
for <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;; Sun, 22 Apr 2001 15:17:41 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Jxxxx Fxxxxx" <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;
To: <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;
Subject: Setting Up Earthlink DSL on Two machines
Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2001 15:26:10 -0400
Message-ID: <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
boundary="----=_NextPart_000_0000_01C0CB40.8F202D50"
X-Priority: 3 (Normal)
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook IMO, Build 9.0.2416 (9.0.2911.0)

Importance: Normal
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE
V5.50.4133.2400

Parts/Attachments:

1 OK 10 lines Text (charset: ISO-8859-1)

2 Shown ~23 lines Text (charset: ISO-8859-1)
----------------------------------------


[ Part 1, Text/PLAIN (charset: ISO-8859-1 "Latin 1") 10 lines. ]
[ Not Shown. Use the "V" command to view or save this part. ]

[ The following text is in the "iso-8859-1" character set. ]
[ Your display is set for the "US-ASCII" character set. ]
[ Some characters may be displayed incorrectly. ]

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
<HTML><HEAD>
<META http-equiv=Content-Type content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
<META content="MSHTML 5.50.4611.1300" name=GENERATOR></HEAD>
<BODY>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2><SPAN class=187582319-22042001>I read your article
of how you set up Earthlink DSL on all your machines.&nbsp; I am running two
machines both window
s 2000. I have two network cards in one and one
network card in the other.&nbsp; I enable Internet Connection Sharing on the
DSL
connection and can't get the second machine to connect.&nbsp; File sharing is
working perfectly so the computers and connected correctly.&nbsp; Any
Ideas.</SPAN></FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2><SPAN
class=187582319-22042001></SPAN></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>Jxxxx Fxxxxx</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;/FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV></BODY></HTML>


Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2001 01:01:32
From: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
To: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Subject: ñ²ðï¡¢¹ÇÑ×·çʪ¡¢Ö×Áö¡·²¡»¼Õߵĸ£Òô

[ The following text is in the "DEFAULT_CHARSET" character set. ]
[ Your display is set for the "US-ASCII" character set. ]
[ Some characters may be displayed incorrectly. ]

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
<HTML><HEAD><TITLE></TITLE>
<META content="text/html; charset=gb2312" http-equiv=Content-Type>
<META content="MSHTML 5.00.2614.3500" name=GENERATOR></HEAD>
<BODY><B>ÊÕ¼þÈË:</B> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;BR><B>Ö÷Ìâ:</B>
¡¶ñ²ðï¡¢¹&Cce
dil;Ñ×·çʪ¡¢Ö×Áö¡·²¡»¼Õߵĸ£Òô<BR>
<P><FONT size=2>ÏÈÉú/Ůʿ£ºÄúºÃ£¿<BR>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
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Î޴˲¡£¬ÎÒ&Atil
de;ÇΪ´ËÐűíʾµÀǸ£¬Ç뼴ɾ³ý¡£¡¶³þÌìñ²ðï¡¢¹ÇÑ×·çʪ¡¢Ö×Áö²¡ÖÎÁÆ¿µ¸´ÖÐÐÄ¡·
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ound;¬¸±×÷ÓÃ

ÉÙ£¬ÁÆЧºÃ£¬×ÜÓÐЧÖÎÓúÂÊ´ï96.5%ÒÔÉÏ¡£<BR>ÈçÓÐÒâÔÚÎÒÖÐÐÄÖÎÁÆ»òÖªµÀÏêϸÇëµ½<A
href="http://htwkh.51.net"
target=_blank>http://htwkh.51.net</A>ÎÒÃÇÁªÏµ¡£<BR></FONT><FONT
size=2>µç»°£º0728¡ª5336186&nbsp;&nbsp;<BR>ÏêϸµØÖ·£ººþ±±Ê¡ÌìÃÅÊлÆ̶нÖ8&or
dm;Å5<BR>

ÓÊÕþ±àºÅ£º431708<BR>Ö÷ÖÎҽʦ£ºÍõ·½ÁÖ<BR>¿µ¸´ÖÐÐÄÐÅÏ䣺<A
href="mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;>This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;/A>.<BR>´ËÖÂ<BR>¾´Àñ</FONT>
</P></BODY></HTML>
Nasty looking, aren't they? No wonder I dislike HTML e-mail. The worse
of them is the next sample, a base64 (MIME) encoded message.

Received: from city.cityedu.com ([211.37.94.194])
by listserv.aol.com (8.8.8/8.8.8)
with SMTP id MAA11272 for <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;;
Sun, 22 Apr 2001 12:29:33 -0400 (EDT)
From: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Received: from 211.37.94.194 (unverified [163.30.52.134]) by city.cityedu.com
(EMWAC SMTPRS 0.83) with SMTP id <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;;
Mon, 23 Apr 2001 01:22:42 +0900
Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2001 01:22:42 +0900
Message-ID: <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;
Reply-To: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
To: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Subject: ¡¾¡¾¡¾Flying Shose!!¡¾¡¾¡¾¡¾Flying Shose!!¡¾¡¾¡¾
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/html; charset=big5
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64

PGh0bWw+DQoNCjxoZWFkPg0KPG1ldGEgaHR0cC1lcXVpdj0iQ29udGVudC1UeXBlIiBjb250
ZW50PSJ0ZXh0L2h0bWw7IGNoYXJzZXQ9YmlnNSI+DQo8dGl0bGU
+Zmx5c2hvc2U8L3RpdGxl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RUlmIHl
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DQo=


References:

How to turn off HTML being sent out (Windows) Eudora
How do I write a "plain text" email? IncrediMail
How to turn off HTML in Various E-mail Programs Rootsweb
How to Turn OFF HTML or RTF in Various E-mail Software Programs University of Arkansas
AOL Communicator Help see Page 66
Attacks by Attactments Norton AntiVirus
Configuring Mozilla Thunderbird to Send Plain ASCII Text Blogzilla - a weblog about Mozilla
Demime a tool to scrub MIME from mailing lists
Forte-agent FAQ v1.5 (modified 9/14/97)
Juno search http://www.expressresponse.com/cgi-bin/progsnp/juno/srchjnnp?search_type=vdocument&search_input=5074.htm& session_id=981056986.1809.2&submit.x=69&submit.y=7
List of banned file extensions University of Rochester
LISTSERV mailing list program
Majordomo mailing list program
Microsoft Entourage 2001 for Mac
Pine International Character Sets
Poco mail the tiny mailer
Unofficial AOL E-mail FAQ
Unsafe File Extensions TechTV
(http://www.transport.com/asciimail.html) Turning off HTML Mail (defunct as of 24Oct00)
We Can Put an End to Word Attachments GNU article Jan 2002
Win95 FAQ Part 10: Messaging/Exchange


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