What Are EML Files?

Screen shot of PstViewer Pro email viewing and PDF software.

Files with the .eml extension are email files that store the content, headers, and pictures included in an email. They can also contain any email attachments, so the file size can be large.

In general, .eml files are created by Microsoft Outlook or other similar email programs when someone receives or saves an email. If someone has sent you a .eml file and you don’t have Outlook on your system, you can still open it through other programs, though.

You can easily open .eml files with Microsoft Outlook Express, Windows Mail, or Mozilla Thunderbird. On a Mac, Apple Mail is always included as a default program and will open .eml files, or the Microsoft program suite includes a version of Outlook that can open .eml files. Eml viewer software programs can process these files if its not desirable to install a full fledged email client application.

Another option for advanced users is to open the .eml files you receive with Internet Explorer, Opera, or another web browser. The compatibility varies depending on the browser software and version you have, the content of the email and so on, but if you’re desperate for another option, this might work. If you can’t figure out how to do this, you can change the file extension from .eml to .mht and it may work. EML and MHT files are very similar, except that MHT files do not have the email header information. For some people, understanding how to change a file extension may be difficult, and it may be impossible if you are operating from a Windows account without Administrator privileges.
While the average .eml file should be accessible through an e-mail application or web browser, if this doesn’t work you could try to email the sender of the .eml file and ask them to forward the original email to you as text instead.
If you have many .EML files that you need to search or process, you can try a .EML file viewer.  PST Viewer Pro is one such viewer that is able to work with many different file types such as .EML, .MSG, .PST, .OST and even .MHT files.  Click here for more information on PST Viewer Pro https://www.encryptomatic.com/emlviewer/ and to download a free trial.
Review the specification for RFC 2822, Internet Messaging standard. or read “What Is .EML” for more information on .eml documents.

Converting .EML Messages to PDF

It’s nearly impossible to do business these days without Adobe’s PDF viewer. The  PDF “Portable Document Format” has founds its way into nearly every computing device. Many corporations and libraries are archiving .eml email messages as .pdf files because it’s seen as a safe format that will be supported well into the foreseeable future and beyond, ensuring that emails will be.  There are very few software tools available today that can reliably batch convert .eml files to .pdf, and do so in a way that manages file attachments correctly.

EML Viewer Pro can read in your .eml and .msg files immediately, without the need for lengthy indexing. Just select the emails you want to export, click the export button and choose your mode of PDF export.  PST Viewer Pro also supports the PDF/A format which is perfect for long term .eml email file archiving.

Email manager. Select PDF format for .eml export.
Export Manager is where you choose your target eMail format.

When planning your eml-to-pdf export operation, ask yourself how you would like to deal with file attachments.  The tool you select should give you the flexibility to manage attachments in at least three ways:

  1. Extract file attachments. This capability will allow you to export your email to a PDF image, but will store any file attachments outside of the PDF in folder.
  2. Convert file attachments into the PDF image. This works well for document files like Word .DOC or Excel .xls files, but not so good for proprietary document formats and binary files.
  3. Embed file attachments. This option will take file attachments and store them as a separate file within the PDF. They can later be extracted to disk. This option has the advantage of keeping the file and the message together, preserving the context.

While exporting email to PDF, you’ll also want to have the capability to apply a specific name structure to your files.  EML Viewer provides this capability, allowing you to mix and match different parts of the email content into the PDF file name, including the title, date, sender or receiver. You can also apply a sequential number to the file.  Naming your exported .eml files in a logical manner will help you sort and identify the messages you need, right from the Windows files system.

While converting .eml files into .pdf files, use the file naming criteria to give your .pdf files a unique name.
.Eml file naming.

Long into the future, PDF format is bound to be supported because it is an open format, and because of its ubiquity. So future proof your .eml files by converting them to PDF with PST Viewer Pro.

Click here to purchase EML Viewer Pro.

See related article: Bulk conversion of EML to PDF