Free Outlook Add-In PocketKnife Peek Reveals Hidden Info

Worried that dangers may be lurking in an HTML e-mail you've received in Microsoft Outlook? The free PocketKnife Peek lets you see that e-mail in plain text, without any potential HTML dangers such as malicious scripts. And you can use the program to examine other parts of the e-mail as well.

PocketKnife Peek's tabbed interface lets you easily read only the text of HTML e-mail in Outlook.
PocketKnife Peek integrates directly into Outlook, so when you get a potentially dangerous e-mail, highlight it and click the Peek button. You'll see four tabs: Plain Text, HTML Source, Internet Header, and Attachments. Click the Plain Text tab, and you'll see the text of the message, without any associated HTML. The HTML source shows you the actual HTML used to create the e-mail. Internet Header shows all the normal header information, such as sender, recipient, content type, servers, and so on. And the Attachments tab lists all the attachments. Although Outlook lets you see Internet header information and attachments without the use of this program, it's useful to have all those features in a single location, as it is in PocketKnife Peek.

View the message in plain text and you'll get the information in the message, without the messiness and potential dangers of HTML. Any HTML jockey will appreciate being able to examine an e-mails to show what scripts are being run, and other information. Those who are knowledgeable about Internet routing will want to examine the Internet Header. Examining routing information can possibly show if the e-mail has been unnecessarily routed to hide its origin. Note that in order to get PocketKnife Peek to work you'll need to first shut down Outlook, then install PocketKnife Peek, then restart Outlook. You'll then find the program on the far right of the standard toolbar in Outlook 2000 through 2007, or else on the Add-In Tab on the Ribbon in Outlook 2010.

PocketKnife Peek isn't a groundbreaking utility. But it's free and convenient, and simple to use, so it's a worthy addition to your Outlook installation.

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon