Florian Müller Florian Müller - 5 months ago 5x
PHP Question

Send PHP HTML mail with attachments

I got a problem: Until today, I sent HTML mails with PHP using a header which contains

Content-type: text/html;

Now, I added functionality to add attachments. For this, I had to change this line to

Content-Type: multipart/mixed;

Now, with
, the rest of the mail, so the normal text, gets shown just as text/plain. How can I realize that attachments work and the mailtext is still HTML?


To send an email with attachment we need to use the multipart/mixed MIME type that specifies that mixed types will be included in the email. Moreover, we want to use multipart/alternative MIME type to send both plain-text and HTML version of the email.Have a look at the example:

//define the receiver of the email 
$to = 'youraddress@example.com'; 
//define the subject of the email 
$subject = 'Test email with attachment'; 
//create a boundary string. It must be unique 
//so we use the MD5 algorithm to generate a random hash 
$random_hash = md5(date('r', time())); 
//define the headers we want passed. Note that they are separated with \r\n 
$headers = "From: webmaster@example.com\r\nReply-To: webmaster@example.com"; 
//add boundary string and mime type specification 
$headers .= "\r\nContent-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary=\"PHP-mixed-".$random_hash."\""; 
//read the atachment file contents into a string,
//encode it with MIME base64,
//and split it into smaller chunks
$attachment = chunk_split(base64_encode(file_get_contents('attachment.zip'))); 
//define the body of the message. 
ob_start(); //Turn on output buffering 
--PHP-mixed-<?php echo $random_hash; ?>  
Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="PHP-alt-<?php echo $random_hash; ?>" 

--PHP-alt-<?php echo $random_hash; ?>  
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" 
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Hello World!!! 
This is simple text email message. 

--PHP-alt-<?php echo $random_hash; ?>  
Content-Type: text/html; charset="iso-8859-1" 
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

<h2>Hello World!</h2> 
<p>This is something with <b>HTML</b> formatting.</p> 

--PHP-alt-<?php echo $random_hash; ?>-- 

--PHP-mixed-<?php echo $random_hash; ?>  
Content-Type: application/zip; name="attachment.zip"  
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64  
Content-Disposition: attachment  

<?php echo $attachment; ?> 
--PHP-mixed-<?php echo $random_hash; ?>-- 

//copy current buffer contents into $message variable and delete current output buffer 
$message = ob_get_clean(); 
//send the email 
$mail_sent = @mail( $to, $subject, $message, $headers ); 
//if the message is sent successfully print "Mail sent". Otherwise print "Mail failed" 
echo $mail_sent ? "Mail sent" : "Mail failed"; 

As you can see, sending an email with attachment is easy to accomplish. In the preceding example we have multipart/mixed MIME type, and inside it we have multipart/alternative MIME type that specifies two versions of the email. To include an attachment to our message, we read the data from the specified file into a string, encode it with base64, split it in smaller chunks to make sure that it matches the MIME specifications and then include it as an attachment.