January 31, 2006

Preventing Exchange from sending RTF messages (and winmail.dat) to mailing lists

OK, so I had an interesting issue today. Seems I couldn't post to a mailing list because it had an attachment (winmail.dat) that I didn't know about. Apparently when using OWA it always sends it in RTF, which of course appends the winmail.dat file (if you like it or not) to mailing lists. I could NOT find a way in OWA to send to specific addresses in plain text only. And since I don't use Outlook, I was hosed.

Or so I thought.

I found an awesome way to FORCE delivery in plain text to certain addresses. And with no thanks to Exchange which was amazinging difficult and complex. Susan pointed me to KB138053, but I couldn't find ANY of those settings in the Exchange System Manager.

So I was on the hunt for something easier. And low and behold, I came across a small article on Technet which shows how to create a custom SMTP recipient who you can then force to be delivered as plain text. It works like this on SBS:

  1. Open up Server Management Console
  2. Expand "Advanced Management"
  3. Expand "Active Directory Users and Computers"
  4. Expand your domain (ie: foo.local)
  5. Right click on "MyBusiness"
  6. Select New, and then Contact
  7. Fill in the name for the contact (I used the list name)
  8. Click Next
  9. Ensure "Create an Exchange e-mail address" is checked
  10. For the alias, set it to whatever you want (list name for me)
  11. Click "Modify" button
  12. Select "SMTP Address" and hit OK
  13. When prompted enter the email address of the mailing list or person you want to send to plain text
  14. IMPORTANT: Click Advanced Tab
  15. Click the "Override Internet Mail Service settings for this recipient" checkbox
  16. Select how you want it delivered. I selected "Plain Text/UUEncode"
  17. Hit OK

At this point you now have a contact that will ALWAYS deliver in Plain text for you, even if you use OWA.

Microsoft, could you PLEASE add a simple "Send in Plain Text" option in OWA contacts in a future release? PLEASE!?!?

Until then, this configuration will have to do.

Posted by SilverStr at January 31, 2006 10:35 AM | TrackBack

How one is tempted to insert the standard "just switch to Mac" spiel here ...

Posted by: John Koetsier at February 3, 2006 09:33 PM