It’s bound to happen on a Mac. Someone will send you an email and tell you to check out the attachment. However, the only thing attached is a winmail.dat file. Good news though, you can open that file.
TNEF’s Enough is a little freeware application that can open winmail.dat files and extract the attachment that is inside. It works quite nice and is free.
Winmail.dat files come from those Microsoft Outlook or Exchange programs and are some sort of archive method. Somewhere in outlook they get automatically created when forwarding email messages and Mac users have long wondered what they are and how to open them. Of course Windows users have no idea what they are either and think it’s all the receivers issue when we say we never got an attachment. Trust me, it’s easier to get TNEF’s Enough than try and work with a Windows user to get their email to stop sending winmail.dat files.
Do you need more of an explanation on what winmail.dat files are?
The file is a rich text (or MAPI) message that is sent from Outlook to Exchange. When Exchange sends the message to an outside server it writes the MAPI message as a MIME attachment. The unfortunate side effect of this plan is if the Outlook user has someone in their address book as a person who can receive “Rich Text” then the user will receive the TNEF file whether the user uses Outlook or not.
Check out TNEF’s Enough.