Wednesday, March 14, 2007

How to extract images from resistant outlook emails (img src is cid)

I received an unusually interesting email of alleged comparative planetary sizes from a colleague, but I was unable to extract the embedded images. When I saved the HTML I found text like this (angle brackets changed to [] due to Firefox/Blogger limitation):
[img id="MA2.1171429358" src="" datasize="32941" border="0" height="423" width="754" /]
A Google search resolved the mystery (Where is imagedata). If you use Microsoft Word as your Outlook text editor, this is how images are embedded. It has the interesting side effect that the images cannot be easily extracted, that may be intentional. I wonder if there's a way to use the apparent embedded identifier trace the image back to an email account ...

In any case, I transiently switched my Outlook editor to Word 2003 and I was able to individually (but not all at once) save each image as a separate BMP.


  1. You can save it as HTML and the images will be extracted for you into the directory created during that process.

  2. Thanks for the tip.

    If changing your email editor to Word is too much work, you can also drag and drop the image directly from the email into a Word document.

    Once the image is in Word, standard copy/paste functionality ought to behave as expected.