MSO files are known as Microsoft Office Rendering Data files and are associated with Microsoft Word 2000. The files are typically email attachments that are commonly referred to as Oledata.mso and contain information related to the attachment which is to be rendered in the email message.
If you do not have Microsoft Outlook 2000 or later installed on your PC, MSO files will be displayed as separate attachments. MSO files are created using Microsoft Word 2000 and provide a way for you to send HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) messages along with an attached Office document which is then officially sent as an Outlook HTML message. The MSO file contains data which renders the email attachment to its original program. This is commonly known as round tripping and is the sole purpose of an Oledata.mso file.
The information contained in an MSO file is of no interest to the user other than to read an email attachment. If you delete the file, it will make the email attachment inaccessible and unusable when you try to read an email message with or without Microsoft Outlook 2000.
The problem with an MSO file is that you can have difficulty opening email attachments with different versions of Microsoft Office. For example, if the sender uses a version of Outlook prior to 2000 and you are trying to view the email with a newer version of Outlook, you will most likely have trouble viewing some of the components contained in the email that contains the Oledata.mso file.
How to Open MSO File
The most common way to open an MSO file is by using Microsoft Outlook 2000 or higher. Ideally the most recent version of Outlook such as 2010 for Windows and 2011 for Mac OS X are the best methods for opening MSO files.
It is also possible to open and view MSO files using any text editing program. However, it is important to mention that you may not be able to decipher the contents since this type of file is encoded to provide instructions for rendering as we described earlier.
If you use Windows, you can open an MSO file by right clicking on the file and then choosing Open With from the drop-down menu. Choose the text editor such as WordPad or Notepad you want to use from the submenu or click on Browse to find the program if it is not in the list. If you use Mac OS X, you can use TextEdit to open and view MSO files and for Linux you can use gEdit or Nano Editor.
Files with the MSO extension can be used by Microsoft Organization Chart. It is a program for creating and editing organization charts in Office 2003. This file type can also be associated with Office Macro Reference when you save Word documents as HTML files to make them viewable in a web browser.