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Mail (Mountain Lion): If attachments don’t open

If attachments don’t open

There are several solutions you can try when you can’t open attachments that you receive in messages.

  • If you don’t have the app required to open the attachment, ask the sender to send you the attachment in the format of an app that you do have, or as a PDF document. If you received a Microsoft Word document from a Windows computer and you don’t have Microsoft Word for Mac, try opening the file using TextEdit or Pages.
  • If the attachment is a WINMAIL.DAT file, this means the message was sent from a Microsoft email application (such as Outlook or the Microsoft Exchange Client) and includes rich text information: how fonts, colors, and attributes such as underlining or italics should appear in the message. The attachment may contain the message content, or you can try displaying the message as plain text. To avoid receiving thse attachments in the future, ask the sender to format messages as plain text or HTML.
  • If the attachment is large, it may still be downloading. An icon indicates if it’s downloading. Wait a few minutes and then try again to view the attachment.
  • Save the document to your desktop and open it from there.
  • If you receive a file as an attachment but you expect to see it displayed within the text, check the file type. A PDF file that contains a single page appears within the body of the message. A multipage PDF document appears as an attachment. To switch between viewing a PDF with the message or as a thumbnail, select the file and then choose the appropriate command from the shortcut menu.
  • If you installed Keynote, Apple’s presentation app, you can use it to open attachments with a .ppt extension (PowerPoint documents).
Last Modified: Apr 18, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Apr 18, 2013
  • Article: PH11778
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