Forwarding messages with attachments


L

Luke

I have set up a rule to forward incoming mail with attachments to a specific
folder and it does it well except for one thing. I will occassionally get an
email that has no file actually attached to it, but my rule forwards it
anyway due to a graphic or background present in the email. How can I
re-route ONLY those emails with an actual attachment and have it (Outlook
2007 on Windows XP) ignore the others?
 
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V

VanguardLH

Luke said:
I have set up a rule to forward incoming mail with attachments to a specific
folder and it does it well except for one thing. I will occassionally get an
email that has no file actually attached to it, but my rule forwards it
anyway due to a graphic or background present in the email. How can I
re-route ONLY those emails with an actual attachment and have it (Outlook
2007 on Windows XP) ignore the others?

Attachments can be inline or attached. Then it's up to the e-mail client as
to how it handles that attachment.

Disposition=inline
Means the attachment is supposed to be displayed by the e-mail client inside
the body of the e-mail (i.e., inline with the content).

Disposition=attach
Means the attachment is supposed to be displayed by the e-mail client as
outside the body of the e-mail client. Different e-mail clients handle this
different: some with a paperclip icon, some with a field in a "header pane"
showing a list of attachments, and others use some other indicator.

They are still ALL attachments. They are contained within MIME sections in
the body of the e-mail. Attachments don't float somewhere out in the cyber
ether nor are they physically separate of the e-mail. The e-mail is
composed of a headers section, a blank delimiter line, and the body of the
message. That's it! So "attachments" are sections inside the body of the
e-mail with a disposition specifying how they *may* get treated but depends
on how the e-mail client wants to treat them.

Since those embedded images (pictures or backgrounds) are MIME sections that
define the attachment, your rule will fire. To Outlook, all of them are
attachments because all are MIME-delimited sections in the body that specify
a MIME/filetype and a file (that gets encoded into a long text string inside
the MIME section). There is no differentiation in the rule clause to
separate inline and attach disposition for attachments.

I have no definitive information from Microsoft as to how they define
"attachment". Any MIME section that defines a MIME/filetype could be
considered an attachment. All e-mail, and I do mean all of it, gets sent as
plain ASCII text. Images, backgrounds, and attached files are NOT sent in
their binary format. They must get encoded to a long text string within a
MIME section within the body of the message. I'm not a MIME expert (don't
have months to learn it all) but my guess is that when Outlook sees any MIME
section with "Content-Disposition: <mode>" (where <mode> is inline or
attach) that the content of that MIME section is considered an attachment.
 
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L

Luke

Thanks for the detailed reply. I thought maybe I was missing a setting or
something, but based on this it doesn't look like there is anything I can do.
Ah, well.
 

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