Save your Email to PDF and other Formats

With MsgExtract, you can save and backup your email messages to disk to different formats, like EML, MSG, MHT, and PDF. Some of these formats have more advantages than others depending on the reason and purpose that you have for saving them. Following is a summary of each format:

MIME EML

MIME is the standard format used by most email clients and email providers except for Microsoft that uses the MSG format.  The MIME format is based on several standards (RFC 2045, RFC 2046, RFC 2047, RFC 4288, RFC 4289 and RFC 2049). It has been created in 1991-92 by Nathaniel Borenstein and Ned Freed. In 1993 the MIME format was blessed by the IEFT (Internet Engineering Task Force) as a draft standard.

Because it is a standard, you can't go wrong when using MIME for saving your email. The disadvantage of this format is that links to external images will probably no longer work in the long run, meaning that you might not be able to see the complete email.

Outlook MSG 

The MSG format has been created by Microsoft, who owns the intellectual property rights. It is based on the Compound File Binary Format which, as they describe it, is similar to an FAT file system within a file. 
Microsoft Outlook is the only product to use this format. The MSG format specification has been released on 2009.

It is widely used because of the popularity of Microsoft Office in the workplace worldwide which had been unchallenged for years until alternatives like Google Docs became popular. 
I would not recommend using this format for new backups unless you use MS Office and plan to keep using it. The external images linked in the email can also be lost in this format.

Adobe PDF

The PDF format (Portable Document Format) was created and conceived for presenting documents in a manner independent of application software and operating systems. It was developed in 1990 by a team led by Randy Adams as a way to share documents and images between disparate systems. Its specifications were proprietary to Adobe until they released them as an open standard on 2008.

Because it was designed to be universally available and independent of the computer where it is used, it has become hugely popular and has become the standard for archiving documents. 

It is the preferred format for email archiving because the external images can be included in the document and can be displayed as the original email.

Rich Text Format RTF

The Rich Text Format is proprietary to Microsoft and has been used for cross-platform interchange with Microsoft products.
Use this format if you need to export your email to MS Word.


Using MsgExtract for saving to each format

Mime EML

MsgExtract can save to the Mime format with the following additional features:

  • The linked images can be downloaded and embedded as inline attachments
  • It can store the messages compressed as either ZIP or Seven Zip and optionally encrypted with the AES format.
  • It can also use a different encryption algorithm like AES, Blowfish, DES and others.

Outlook MSG 

MsgExtract uses MAPI to save to the MSG format, so it needs to have Outlook installed. It has the following additional features:

  • The linked images can be downloaded and embedded as inline attachments
  • It can save the messages compressed as either ZIP or Seven Zip and encrypt them in the AES format.
  • It can also use a different encryption algorithm like AES, Blowfish, DES and others

Adobe PDF

We have added several important features when saving email to the PDF format:

  • The linked images can be downloaded and embedded in the generated pages as images.
  • It can include the headers as text in the first page or as an attachment
  • The email attachments can be embedded as PDF attachments so that you can open and save them using Acrobat Reader.
  • It can include the email metadata inside the PDF file so that it can be used as an email source to be converted back to email. MsgExtract can read the PDF files and export them back to email.
  • It can encrypt the generated file using 128-bit AES and 240-bit AES
  • It can sign the PDF files using a PFX certificate

 

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Jaime

About the Author

Jaime Ponce De Leon is the CEO & Founder of MailDev.