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Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions

Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions abbreviated as MIME are an Internet standard which extends the restrictive capacities of emails by letting a user insert images, text and sounds within any message. This refers to specifications for formatting the non-ASCII messages in order to send these across the Internet. You will find several email clients supporting this standard allowing them to receive and send audio, video, graphics etc across the Internet. While there are some pre-defined MIME types like PostScript files and GIF graphic files, you can also define your MIME types.


This Internet standard was initially proposed in 1991 by Bell Communications. The main idea was to expand the email format to support the non-ASCII characters such attachments apart from those in text format or messages which may contain many parts. MIME will describe message content type or encoding type used with headers. MIME offers many features to email services like support for non-ASCII character and multiple attachments within one message, support for fonts, colors and layouts, attachment containing audio and video files, or messages with unlimited length.

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