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To filter a file, you must first determine whether the file contains any subfiles (attachments, embedded OLE objects, and so on). A file that contains subfiles is called a container file. Archive files (such as ZIP), mail messages with attachments (such as Microsoft Outlook Express), mail stores (such as Microsoft Outlook Personal Folders), and compound documents with embedded OLE objects (such as a Microsoft Word document with an embedded Excel chart) are examples of container files.
If the file is a container file, the container must be opened and its subfiles extracted using the File Extraction interface. The extraction process is done repeatedly until all subfiles are extracted and exposed for filtering. Once a subfile is extracted, you can use the Filter API to filter the file.
If a file is not a container, you should pass it directly to the Filter API for filtering without extraction.
The ExtractFilter sample program demonstrates this logic for extracting and filtering files. See Use the File Extraction API for more information.