Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Always send Windows-friendly attachments in Mail Apps
If, like me, you work in an environment where there are many more PCs than Macs, it's useful to always select the following option when sending an attachment via Mail: Send Windows Friendly Attachments -- it's located at the bottom of the Attachment dialog box. However, there is no option in the preferences to do this for every new message. So I thought this was not possible, and that I'd have to choose it every time.

I accidentally discovered that there is an 'Always Send Windows Friendly Attachments' option in the Attachments sub-menu of the Edit menu which does just this. This will strip the attachment of the resource forks, which makes it Windows friendly. Of course if you send this to a Mac, it will still work OK.

[robg adds: I didn't realize this option was there, either, as you can only see the "Always" version in the Edit -> Attachments menu when looking at your main window. If you're already working on an email with an attachment, the sub-menu applies only to that email. Also note that if you send 'traditional' Mac programs to other Mac users, you do *not* want to strip the resource forks. A good number of Mac apps (older ones in particular) still keep a bunch of stuff in the resrouce fork.]
  • Currently 3.20 / 5
  You rated: 4 / 5 (5 votes cast)

Always send Windows-friendly attachments in Mail | 10 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Always send Windows-friendly attachments in Mail' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Always send Windows-friendly attachments in Mail
Authored by: jbouklas on Oct 20, '04 12:00:12PM



[ Reply to This | # ]
Always send Windows-friendly attachments in Mail
Authored by: aamann on Oct 20, '04 12:16:17PM
IIRC correctly, this does not strip the resource fork off the attachment but rather compresses the file (using the Finder zip compress) if a resource fork is present...

[ Reply to This | # ]
Always send Windows-friendly attachments in Mail
Authored by: laurence.wilks on Oct 20, '04 03:05:47PM

Not sure what it does my comment was based on the following which is from the compose strings within

/* Menu item shown when option-clicking the edit menu that allows the user to set the default setting for whether to send Windows friendly attachments or not. Windows friendly means that the resource forks will be stripped. */

[ Reply to This | # ]
Not on
Authored by: germ on Oct 20, '04 04:03:22PM

Even with that option checked, Windows Outlook users will see more than one message if you put the attachment in the middle of your message.

I ended up always dragging the attachment to the end of the message.

I have submitted the bug to Apple and it gives closed/duplicate as status, so there is hope this will be fixed in OS X updates.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Not on
Authored by: jeremyp on Oct 20, '04 04:26:32PM

It's not a bug in Apple Mail. When you do this, the mail gets encoded as a three part multipart MIME message - bit of text - attachment - more text. Outlook just isn't clever enough to figure it out.

BTW I never bother setting the the "send windows friendly attachment" option and I don't get complaints from Windows users about not being able to read them. I just assumed that the resource fork gets stripped out and replaced with MIME headers.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Not on
Authored by: mgarrfl on Oct 21, '04 09:09:10AM

Is there a way to send embedded attachments to windows users???
Who is not supporting a standard???

When I send embedded pics, the text turns into ATTXXXX.txt files which are a pain for them to read....

[ Reply to This | # ]
It's a bug, of course.
Authored by: osxpounder on Oct 21, '04 02:58:47PM

If you drag an attachment into your Mail, and there is text after it, and that text becomes separated somehow on the receiving end, then ... it's a bug. The technical reasons why and wherefore don't matter. What matters is the result.

I work with a lot of PC users, and our office uses GroupWise. I found that unless I put attachments after all the text, GroupWise users would not receive anything after the attachment. It would look, to them, as if my attachment was the last thing in my message.

That's a bug. No one should have to learn or remember to treat Mail differently because it handles attachments differently. If you drag an attachment into your Mail, doing so shouldn't interfere with the text of your message, for any reason, ever. They are called attachments because they are supposed to be attached, not included, enclosed, mixed in, or anything else other than attached. They are supposed to attach to an email, not interfere with that email in any way.


[ Reply to This | # ]
Supporting standards...
Authored by: MattHaffner on Oct 23, '04 11:00:45PM

"That's a bug."

In the recipients' mail client(s), which probably claim(s) to be MIME compliant. Yes.

MIME is simple. A client that is not supporting multipart MIME or that supports it in a way that only displays the text of the first text part is the buggy part of the connection here. Not

In the case of a e-mail with a graphical element "attached" in the middle, there is nothing special about the 1st or 3rd (or any) text parts. They should be displayed (or offered to be displayed), on-screen in any mail client that conforms to the MIME *standard* (RFC-2049). What happens to the 2nd, non-text part is completely up to the client, although it has to at least notify the user that it exists (and should probably be able to at least save it).

The notion of an "attachment" coming at the end of a message is one based on our history of using text-based e-mail clients. The underlying standard that encodes them doesn't have that barrier, however. Any modern e-mail client shouldn't either.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Always send Windows-friendly attachments in Mail
Authored by: mnb on Oct 20, '04 09:26:48PM

Hmm, I assumed that setting meant it used a windows friendly encoding like uue as opposed to Apple Single or Apple Double.

I definitely don't want it stripping resource forks off ANY file I send, except maybe images.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Always send Windows-friendly attachments in Mail
Authored by: jason mark on Oct 30, '04 10:11:50AM

It's such a bummer, because this sort of behavior from Apple is the reason that I have clients roll their eyes at me and say "oh yeah, you guys use Macintoshes, I'm really glad we don't have any of them. You can't even share files with PCs". It's really embarassing, and a real black eye on Apple.

We have Entourage for anyone in the office who interacts with Windows users.

There are 3 things Apple would need to do to have a work in a business:
1) Allow sending of attachements that Windows users can read EVERY TIME.
2) Allow priorities on messages
3) Add a usable search. Most people in our office have over a gig of information, and the little fluffy "smart search" in the corner of Mail.App just doesn't hack it. You really need an advanced search. I cringe when I hear about Tiger's new search, because I expect it to be as crappy as Mails... although who knows.

[ Reply to This | # ]