11 Replies Latest reply: May 18, 2009 5:43 PM by bruceCA
Karyn Traphagen Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
Running 10.5.6 with Mail 3.5

Receiving attachments to emails is inconsistent. Sometimes a Word document is received with an email just fine. Other times it will be attached by the sender (in the usual manner) but will show up in my email as inline text (just garbled text or code). If the email is sent to my gmail account, the Word doc is fine.

I am not sure what to look for since the symptoms seem to be inconsistent.

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • geoffco85 Level 3 Level 3 (620 points)
    When you say " the email is sent to my gmail account, the Word doc is fine. " do you mean when you log on via google or do you have 2 separate e-mail accounts?
  • Karyn Traphagen Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    I asked my co-worker to email the document to my gmail account to see if I could open the file. That worked fine.

    Normally, he sends it to an account that I retrieve via Mail. That account is an IMAP account.
  • geoffco85 Level 3 Level 3 (620 points)
    Ok so we are talking about 2 different mail accounts. What happens if you set the gmail account up in mail and have some one send you an attachment that will test whether it is an issue with mail or with your email account
  • Karyn Traphagen Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    OK, it took me a little while to get this all checked out.

    I set up another account in Mail to retrieve my Gmail account mail. The email sent to the gmail account that had the document attached was able to be retrieved and the document was able to be opened just fine in Word.

    I also had my colleague send the attached file to the original email account (not the gmail account) that I usually access via Mail, but this time I checked it through our webmail access. The attachment was fine.

    So, where does this leave me in the trouble-shooting? It seems that the problem is only present when the attachment is retrieved in Mail.
  • geoffco85 Level 3 Level 3 (620 points)
    Try the account that has the problems in a new user http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=Mac/10.5/en/8235.html

    see if you get the issue in that user.
  • Karyn Traphagen Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Is that the only solution? My computer User account name needs to be identical to my user login at the university where the email comes from (it's a long story). If I set up a new User account, then I won't be able to use the same name.
  • geoffco85 Level 3 Level 3 (620 points)
    The new user is only a test to see if you can receive them, it is not a permanent thing. It will tell us whether you have a preferences problem or not.
  • menschie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm having the exact same problem. On one of my email accounts (in which I use IMAP) most attachments and html email appear as code. If I check that same email in Outlook on my Windows box or Windows laptop it's fine--just Apple Mail has a problem with it. I have a big problem with Apple Mail now, as I need access to those attachments with my MacBook.
  • austin m Level 1 Level 1 (125 points)
    I am having the same issue, i am using the same email account with mail on 2 different computers. in doing some troubleshooting i've noticed that messages with attached .rtf docs that are forwarded tend to turn the attachment into garbled text within the message. one computer sees the attachment, the other doesn't.

    ** update **

    so i rebuilt the mailbox on the affected machine/account and as soon as the messages loaded back up, they were displayed correctly.
  • rocketpi Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have had the same problem for a long time. What burns me up is that I think I understand it, and there isn't a darn thing I can do about it --- short of using a different email client.

    Examine one of these emails with the garbled text in place of attachment. If you're having the same problem I am, then when you use view -> message -> raw source, just before the attachment you will see something like this:

    Content-Disposition: inline;

    Multi-part MIME format messages can specify whether their sub-parts are meant to be viewed inline. If it is inline, often Mail will render images and PDF documents as you might expect, but many other file types are rendered as plain text. This even happens with files generated by applications Apple ought to be smarter about, such as iCal. I suppose that from Apple's point of view, the fault lies elsewhere. The sender's email client ought to be smart enough to let them send attachments as attachments. Unfortunately, some mail clients (Thunderbird in particular) seem to always mark outgoing attachments as inline, and Apple Mail does not have the flexibility to treat it in any other way.
  • bruceCA Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Same problem, happens both on my G5 OSX 10.4.11/Mail 2.1.3 and my macbook pro intel.

    I note that I had disk utility check permissions, to no avail.

    Any help would be appreciated. I have a very important document I CANNOT delete, with the long garbled attachement that causes huge delays every time it's displayed. If I could fix this, I could remove the attachment, but ....

    -B