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TNEF
e-mail client
rich text format

Pronounced tee-neff, and short for Transport Neutral Encapsulation Format, a proprietary format used by the Microsoft Exchange and Outlook e-mail clients when sending messages formatted as Rich Text Format (RTF). When Microsoft Exchange thinks that it is sending a message to another Microsoft e-mail client, it extracts all the formatting information and encodes it in a special TNEF block. It then sends the message in two parts - the text message with the formatting removed and the formatting instructions in the TNEF block. On the receiving side, a Microsoft e-mail client processes the TNEF block and re-formats the message.

Unfortunately, most non-Microsoft e-mail clients cannot decipher TNEF blocks. Consequently, when you receive a TNEF-encoded message with a non-Microsoft e-mail client, the TNEF part appears as a long sequence of hexadecimal digits, either in the message itself or as an attached file (usually named WINMAIL.DAT). These WINMAIL.DAT files serve no useful purpose so you can delete them.



For internet.com pages about TNEF, . Also, check out the following links!


More Information

  Sending Messages In Rich-Text Format
Article from Microsoft's Knowledge Base that describes how to control when MS-Exchange formats messages using TNEF. Updated on Jul 17, 1998

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