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Table Of Contents  The TCP/IP Guide
 9  TCP/IP Application Layer Protocols, Services and Applications (OSI Layers 5, 6 and 7)
      9  TCP/IP Key Applications and Application Protocols
           9  TCP/IP File and Message Transfer Applications and Protocols (FTP, TFTP, Electronic Mail, USENET, HTTP/WWW, Gopher)
                9  TCP/IP Electronic Mail System: Concepts and Protocols (RFC 822, MIME, SMTP, POP3, IMAP)
                     9  TCP/IP Electronic Mail Message Formats and Message Processing: RFC 822 and MIME
                          9  TCP/IP Enhanced Electronic Mail Message Format: Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME)

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MIME Basic Structures and Headers
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MIME Composite Media Types: Multipart and Encapsulated Message Structures
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MIME Content-Type Header and Discrete Media: Types, Subtypes and Parameters
(Page 3 of 5)

Common Discrete Media Types and Subtypes

There are literally hundreds of type/subtype combinations now, and I will not try to list them all, but will briefly describes the six MIME discrete top-level media types. For each, a table has been provided showing some of the more commonly-encountered MIME subtypes, to give you an idea of what is "out there". This includes a description of each subtype and a reference to the place where it is defined.

Text Media Type (text)

This type is used for sending data that is primarily in textual form (Table 242).

Table 242: MIME text Media Type Subtypes



Defining Source


Plain text, used for regular messages such as those corresponding to the initial RFC 822 standard.

RFC 2046


Text that includes formatting information or other “enrichment” that makes it no longer “plain”.

RFC 1896


A document expressed in Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), commonly used for the World Wide Web.

RFC 2854


Cascading style sheet information for the World Wide Web.

RFC 2318

Image Media Type (image)

The image type indicates graphical image files, such as pictures. The subtype normally indicates the specific format to allow the recipient to properly decode and present the file, with some of the more common subtypes given in Table 243.

Table 243: MIME image Media Type Subtypes



Defining Source


An image in JPEG format.

RFC 2046


A Graphical Interchange Format (GIF).image.

(IANA says RFC 2046 but it’s not there…)


Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) image.

RFC 2302


Vector images used in AutoCAD.

Registration with IANA

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MIME Composite Media Types: Multipart and Encapsulated Message Structures
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