What is mail encoding?

encoding mail
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What is mail encoding?

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Encoding is a technique by which normally unmailable data or files can be transformed into a mailable (but not readable) format. In the sense of this answer, encoding is different than MIME, since MIME automatically translates your material when you “attach” a file, and it is automatically translated to its original form on your correspondent’s MIME-compatible system. If you use a mail encoding program, you would normally include the encoded material in the BODY of the message, NOT as an attachment. Then your correspondent would have to decode it on the other end. Use the automatic MIME function for attachments if your correspondent’s system can handle MIME; if it can’t, encode the file and put it in the body of the message. There are many encoding programs. If you use an encoding program, be sure your recipient’s system supports that program, or that he/she has a copy of the program to decode your material. One example of an encoding/decoding program is UUENCODE.EXE and UUDECODE.EXE.