Exchange client gets black and white bitmap from Lotus Notes

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An Exchange client may receive a message from a Lotus Notes originator containing a black and white bitmap image. The image likely originated as a screen capture (CRTL+PRINTSCREEN or ALT+PRINTSCREEN) pasted into a Lotus Notes message. The message traveled into Exchange via either the Microsoft Exchange Connector for Lotus Notes (Exchange Server 5.5 - NMC) or the LinkAge Connector for Lotus Notes 3.2.


The Lotus Notes client's export filters do not properly maintain the color properties of screen capture bitmaps when converting the message body from Composite Data (CD) format to Rich-Text Format (RTF). The bitmap is described within the RTF structure as having a color depth of one pixel (\wbmbitspixel1).


Lotus Notes is manufactured by Lotus, a vendor independent of Microsoft; we make no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding this product's performance or reliability.

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Lotus Notes' native document format is Composite Data (CD). Rich-Text Format (RTF) is one of the native document formats of Microsoft Exchange. Color bitmaps are fully supported by the current RTF specification.

The Lotus Notes client provides Export\Import filters (Nirtf.dll and Nxrtf.dll) that include transforms for converting CD-to-RTF and vice versa. The Microsoft Exchange Connector for Lotus Notes (and the earlier LinkAge Connector) relies upon the functionality available in these Notes DLLs for conversion of RTF-to-CD (Exchange message body converted from Exchange to Notes), and CD-to-RTF (Notes message body converted from Notes to Exchange). Lotus Development has not updated these conversion routines to support the current RTF spec. The result is that screen capture bitmaps are rendered in black and white when converted into RTF.

This limitation can be demonstrated solely with the Notes e-mail client by performing the following steps:

  1. Open a New Memo.
  3. In the memo editor body, press CTRL+V. The bitmap is pasted into the message body.
  4. Select File / Export / Save File as Type: / MicrosoftWord RTF / Export with the name Bmp1.rtf.
  5. Close the current memo.
  6. Open a new memo.
  7. Click in the memo body. Select File / Import...
  8. Select the Bmp1.rtf file, and click Import. The image will be black and white.
(Optionally, instead of steps 6-8, you can open Bmp1.rtf in WordPad.)
Microsoft continues to update the tools that support interoperability among Lotus Domino R5 and Lotus Domino 6, Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, and Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Active Directory. The updated tools for Lotus Domino replace the following tools that are included with Exchange Server 2003 and with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2:
  • Exchange Connector for Lotus Notes
  • Calendar Connector for Lotus Notes
  • Migration Wizard for Lotus Notes
To obtain these tools and to obtain guidance and additional resources, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
These updated tools provide additional functionality and address several issues that customers reported with earlier versions of the tools.


Article ID: 183291 - Last Review: November 1, 2013 - Revision: 6.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2003
  • Microsoft Outlook 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Outlook 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Outlook 98 Standard Edition
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