none
Outlook 2010 - Always reply using HTML Format Option???

    Question

  • Hey Guys,

    Have had a good look through the outlook 2010 options but can't find anywhere the option you had in previous outlook versions to set always reply using HTML format email as your default reply type.

    You can open the email and go to the "Format Text" tab and Select "HTML" but I was looking for a permenant way of setting HTML.


    Thanks for any help you can give,


    Thomas

    Friday, May 28, 2010 2:38 PM

Answers

  • There isn't one. Outlook always replies/forwards in the format of the original message. This is to stop you replying in HTML to someone whose email client only understands Plain Text.
    Simon Jones http://pcpro.co.uk
    Friday, May 28, 2010 3:20 PM

All replies

  • There isn't one. Outlook always replies/forwards in the format of the original message. This is to stop you replying in HTML to someone whose email client only understands Plain Text.
    Simon Jones http://pcpro.co.uk
    Friday, May 28, 2010 3:20 PM
  • Ah shame but I sort of figured this may have been the case...


    Thanks for your help

     

    Regards,

    Thomas

    Friday, May 28, 2010 4:00 PM
  • Honestly, Microsoft. All our company works with Outlook. We can't reply to each other without it changing to plain text. How many e-mail clients do not use html these days? The option not only makes sense, not having it is just ridiculous!
    Sunday, March 27, 2011 4:58 AM
  • It should be optional! The people who can't read HTML email only make up 0.0001% of the population. Damnit.
    Monday, June 27, 2011 6:20 PM
  • Agreed 100% - I've been waiting for this option in Outlook for YEARS.  I have to CONSTANTLY manually change the style to HTML when replying - and it eliminates my embedded signature links.   There is no rationale that if a message was sent in text formatting, that their client cannot handle HTML formatting.   Drives me nuts that I can't have the option to default reply in HTML style, and costs me a lot of TIME.
    Monday, August 15, 2011 3:53 PM
  • You don't have to lose your embedded signature...after changing back to html, you can either 1- right click your new, non-html signature, and re-select it to revert back to html, OR click the 'Insert' tab, then just below that, maybe one slot to the right, you have the 'signature' tab (works great if the signature doesn't show up at all)
    Monday, August 15, 2011 4:01 PM
  • If you receive an email in HTML format you can be pretty sure that the address it is sent from is running an email client that can understand HTML format and you can reply in that format without causing any problems.

    If, however, you receive an email in Plain Text format you can make no inferrence about whether the sending mail client can or cannot understand HTML format. You only know that they've sent a message to you in Plain Text. Now, whatever you think about the capabilities of the email clients you receive mail from, there are mail clients (and other automated email systems) out there which cannot deal with HTML mail and trying to send HTML mail to them will render the message completely unreadable. It is therefore a very reasonable thing to do to reply in the format in which you received the original message.

    Now, perhaps a better solution would be for your email client to remember if you've ever received an HTML mail from a particular address and also what proportion of mail you receive from an address is Plain Text. Your mail client could then know if HTML was "likely" to be acceptable to the recipient and offer to switch from Plain Text to HTML on reply. If the user could adjust the thresholds for "Plain Text", "Ask Me" and "HTML" then you'd be able to say "If I get 90% or more mail from this sender in Plain Text - Reply in Plain Text" and "If I get 10% or less mail from this sender in Plain Text - Reply in HTML" and "If I get less than 90% but more than 10% of mail from this sender in Plain Text - Ask Me for the reply format".

    However, that's a lot of extra processing to do on receiving every email and an additional UI burden on the users. As most users wouldn't understand the questions let alone the consequences of the choices it may well be an annoyance they would rather do without.


    Simon Jones
    Monday, August 15, 2011 5:20 PM
  • My biggest problem is with automated replies from applications such as ticketing system. There's usually a question or response that I'd want to send out but having it in plain text isn't going to make the subsequent response be in standard outlook fonts. And particularly signatures when dealing with big companies, most everyone are required to have signatures and all of them run about 6-7 lines. They do not make the emails looks good even to understand. 

    Having an option to default to HTML format or even when forwarding will help alleviate some of these problems.

    Thanks!


    hrishi
    Monday, September 19, 2011 9:31 PM
  • When someone has sent you an email in plain text, it's probably because that's what they want to deal with. It's not very polite to ignore that preference, & simply override it by sending back an html email.

     


    Yann

    (plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose!)

    If you found this post helpful, please "Vote as Helpful". If it actually answered your question, remember to "Mark as Answer".

    This will help people find the answers that they're looking for more quickly.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 12:43 AM
  • "Polite"? My HTML isn't rude ;) And it converts automatically -- if they can only get plain text, it will come over in plain text! I'd rather take the chance and send them my emails with the HTML formatting so that they can see and click on links to my website.

    It should be MY choice to make, not Outlook's.

    • Edited by Cheryllion Wednesday, October 05, 2011 8:03 PM
    Wednesday, October 05, 2011 8:02 PM
  • If you are in Italy and you can speak German and Italian and someone comes up to you in the street and starts a conversation with you in Italian would you not reply in Italian? Would you not think it were rude of you to reply in German - when you don't even know if the other person can speak German?

    (Rude as in disrespectful, not rude as in sexual.)

    HTML mail doesn't "automatically convert" to Plain Text. If you send in HTML, most mail clients, including Outlook, send the body text twice, in a MIME envelope, so that the receiving mail client can choose which version to display.

    Unfortunately some older mail clients don't understand MIME envelopes (they and HTML are NOT part of the specification for email clients - they are later extensions). In that case the mail client will display the text of the MIME envelope, the plain text and the code/text of the HTML all at once which can be very difficult to read. Some recipients will just look at that "load of garbage" and delete it immediately without even trying to decipher it.


    Simon Jones
    Thursday, October 06, 2011 7:28 AM
  • If you are willing to set up AutoHotkey, I wrote a little script that does it for you whenever it detects a "plain text" reply/reply all/forward window:

    ; Will convert an active window that says "- (Plain Text)" and convert it to HTML


    ; For AutoHotkey afficionados:

    ;  For some reason in Outlook 2010 IfWinExists requires the full text of the Window, not just a substring, hence the need to get the ActiveTitle rather than just using IfWinExists.  Weird glitch with Outlook Windows and AHK...
    ;  
    ; A check is added for a window text element that simply is the opened message (which contains hidden text "Retention Policy")
    ;  -- Reply, reply To All, and Forward do not appear to contain this hidden text so I use it as a filter.  Might have to use AutoIt3 Window Spy if your system does not work as mine and find an appropriate filter to prevent this from changing a simple open message window (not a reply, etc.).
    ;
    ;  This is designed for Outlook 2010 and uses AutoHotkey.  Store this script as a *.ahk file and run.

    Loop
    {
        WinGetActiveTitle, Title
        WinGetText, WindowText, %Title%
       
        IfNotInString, WindowText,Retention Policy
        {
          IfInString, Title,- Message (Plain Text)
          {
             Send, {ALTDOWN}{ALTUP}oth{ALTDOWN}{ALTUP}h{ALTDOWN}{ALTUP}
          }
        }
        Sleep, 250
    }

    • Proposed as answer by wthrower Thursday, July 12, 2012 11:30 PM
    Monday, October 31, 2011 11:18 AM
  • Agreed 100% - I've been waiting for this option in Outlook for YEARS.  I have to CONSTANTLY manually change the style to HTML when replying - and it eliminates my embedded signature links.   There is no rationale that if a message was sent in text formatting, that their client cannot handle HTML formatting.   Drives me nuts that I can't have the option to default reply in HTML style, and costs me a lot of TIME.
    This. It is a massive PITA to fix the signature in half of my replies.
    Monday, November 28, 2011 5:34 AM
  • It takes two mouse clicks to change a signature. Surely not a massive PITA.

    And why are you changing format? The sender to whom you are replying has probably either

    1) specifically chosen to send to you in Plain Text

    or

    2) they are using a mail client which doesn't understand MIME encapsulated HTML emails.

    Either way, by changing to HTML format you risk annoying them or sending email that they can't understand. And to what end? So your signature can be pretty?

    I would only change the format of a reply if I really needed the extra formatting capabilities of HTML mail, to ensure the meaning of my reply was clear, AND I was certain that the original's senders email client CAN display HTML, and that requires knowledge  that Outlook just doesn't have. (Perhaps it should and I've outlined above one possible way that I could see this working.)


    Simon Jones
    If you found this post helpful, please "Vote as Helpful". If it actually answered your question, please remember to "Mark as Answer". This will help other people find answers to their problems more quickly.
    Monday, November 28, 2011 11:18 PM
  • I disagree with the whole premise of this thread, that outlook always replies in the same format as the original.

    My outlook seemingly at random chooses to respond to HTML as Plain Text or HTML.

    I can't figure it out, but it appears to be by the thread.  If I see any formatting or hotlinks, it's definitely not plain text, right?

    Thursday, December 08, 2011 10:06 PM
  • Outlook will format links as blue underlined text even if the format is "Plain Text". If you OPEN the email, rather than previewing it in the Reading Pane, Outlook shows you the format in the Title Bar of the message window.
    Simon Jones
    If you found this post helpful, please "Vote as Helpful". If it actually answered your question, please remember to "Mark as Answer". This will help other people find answers to their problems more quickly.
    Friday, December 09, 2011 12:31 AM
  • It isn't very polite to insist that someone reply to you ONLY in your chosen format.  As someone mentioned earlier, e-mail clients that cannot process HTML are very rare these days.  My boss has a larger font set in Outlook 2010 because he has trouble seeing the standard 11pt font that Plain Text uses.  So when he replies to a Plain Text message, he not only has trouble reading the original message, but now has trouble replying to it as well.  He has no trouble with HTML messages. 

    So I guess "being rude" is in the eye(s) of the beholder.

    Monday, December 19, 2011 6:37 PM
  • You are not prevented from changing the format from Plain Text to HTML, it is just that Outlook will reply in the format of the original message by default.

    However, tell your boss to go to File | Options | Mail | Stationery and Fonts and set the font Outlook uses for Plain Text to something large enough for him to read.

    Alternatively, use the Zoom buttons at the bottom right of the window to enlarge the text in the Reading Pane or the Zoom button on the Ribbon for an open message.

    Another solution would be to set Windows' Display Settings to 120DPI (125% of normal) so that everything is bigger.


    Simon Jones
    If you found this post helpful, please "Vote as Helpful". If it actually answered your question, please remember to "Mark as Answer". This will help other people find answers to their problems more quickly.
    • Proposed as answer by R A R W Sunday, May 27, 2012 8:46 AM
    Monday, December 19, 2011 6:53 PM
  • You forget the most obvious answer:

    3) The email originated from a device which is able to display HTML emails but can not send in HTML.  For example, a Blackberry phone.

    Wednesday, December 21, 2011 9:55 PM
  • You forget the most obvious answer:

    3) The email originated from a device which is able to display HTML emails but can not send in HTML.  For example, a Blackberry phone.

    Exactly!

    FIRST: The thinking being is ME, not the Software. So the decision is up to me, not up to Microsoft quiche-eaters who always think to be smarter than the user.  I KNOW where the incoming messages are from, if I don't I'll be as careful as I estimate I have to be. Nothing more.

    SECOND: Though quite dummy, this could make some disagreable sense for ANSWERS, but tell me a single reason for I should be unable to FORWARD the plain text message coming from someone, to someone else capable of reading the HTML (e.g. an internal company address or a normal office address), adding my company signature. My formatted signature always messes up!


    Thursday, January 26, 2012 3:52 PM
  • I read the whole string of emails, and while I appreciate that everyone's looking out for every one else's politeness :), the bottom line is that there are people that always want to use HTML. (And I agree with some of the posters, that Outlook often switches to Plain text for no apparent reason.)

    I work in the tech field, and correspond almost exclusively with other tech people when I'm using Outlook. I would put large amounts of cash on the fact that the extreme number of those people support viewing HTML mail today. So all I'm asking for is a way to do that...

    I'll take the risk that Miss Manners sends me a nasty email (in plain text, no less...) :)

    Tuesday, January 31, 2012 3:32 AM
  • There is NO WAY to set Outlook to always reply in HTML. The setting just doesn't exist.

    If you install AutoHotKey (http://www.autohotkey.com/) you can use the script that RogueTexan supplied above.


    Simon Jones
    If you found this post helpful, please "Vote as Helpful". If it actually answered your question, please remember to "Mark as Answer". This will help other people find answers to their problems more quickly.
    Tuesday, January 31, 2012 8:52 AM
  • Simon, I am bothered by your responses.  A number of people have desired a certain feature in Outlook.  It is clear that Outlook does not have that feature.  However, they are not wrong for wanting it.  It is important for people to understand that their feature might not be fully compatible with the entire Internet community, but it is equally important to trivialize their complaints.  Just because you aren't aggrevated by the lack of a permanent HTML response feature does not mean that other people aren't.  Maybe you don't mind those extra steps, but a number of people do.  
    Friday, February 17, 2012 8:31 PM
  • Alan,

    I am sorry you are "bothered" by my responses. It is not my intention to annoy people,  only to provide helpful advice where I can.

    I have explained here in various posts that Outlook cannot always reply in HTML and the technical reasons why it is not a good idea. I have proposed a possible upgrade to the way Outlook handles replying and seconded a possible workaround, proposed by someone else, that users could implement.

    I did disagree with one poster that changing signature format was a "massive PITA". If you think that counts as "trivialising a complaint" then so be it. I disagreed with the degree to which it was a problem, not the fact that it was a problem.

    I have defended some of the technicalities of the way Outlook works but I do not for a moment think it is a perfect piece of software. I can think of hundreds of ways in which it could be improved. However, this is a technical help forum, not a wishlist for new features or improvements so I mostly confine my replies to what is possible with the software as it exists today.

    For the record, in case there is any doubt, I do not work for Microsoft and have no influence on how any of their software works. I am an independent IT consultant and I write for PC Pro, the UK's biggest computer magazine. In this, and other forums, I write in my own personal capacity, unpaid and in my own time.


    Simon Jones
    If you found this post helpful, please "Vote as Helpful". If it actually answered your question, please remember to "Mark as Answer". This will help other people find answers to their problems more quickly.

    Saturday, February 18, 2012 11:04 AM
  • Agree!!!  However, if you allow me to correct you, it's not just two clicks. It's two browsing (to find where to click), two pointing and two clicking per each e-mail you send every day. Average time spent may be only three or four seconds, but if you send a hundred e-mails per day, it will be a waste of valuable time. If you imagine how many people in the world goes to the same procedure, i could say that it's a HUGE waste of human-hours doing such a stupid two-clicks procedure, just because the "automatic" option is not available. In fact, I think that I am not correcting you, but reinforcing the PITA putting that in a wider approach.
    Wednesday, March 14, 2012 7:19 PM
  • Here is my related issue:  I understand that Outlook can switch to plain text to reply in kind; however, my Outlook has begun to reply to EVERYONE in plain text. Why?
    Monday, March 19, 2012 4:42 PM
  • I would go to File | Options | Mail and check that your "Compose messages in this format" option is set to "HTML".


    Simon Jones
    If you found this post helpful, please "Vote as Helpful". If it actually answered your question, please remember to "Mark as Answer". This will help other people find answers to their problems more quickly.

    Monday, March 19, 2012 4:45 PM
  • If I may add my .02...We have a bug system at my work. A end user creates a bug, we get an e-mail from the bug system of the bug. The e-mail is in plain text. The e-mail is 'from' the help system, but we change it to reply to the end user. So, we not only change the reply-to (not a issue) but then we have to change format to HTML, then copy and paste our HTML sig - since once we reply and the reply is plain text, if we change to html, it keeps the plain text sig. So contrary to all the nay sayers, there ARE valid reasons for wanting to force HTML.

    Tuesday, June 12, 2012 10:37 PM
  • A couple of things spring to mind.

    1. If you click the Reply button then delete the TO address and type a different one that's not really a reply. You are effectively Forwarding the message (to another person) and changing its format to suit that other person. Perhaps you could investigate adding a custom button that does these two actions with one click.
    2. Your bug system started the email in Plain Text, probably because it isn't configured for or can't handle HTML mail. Perhaps you could investigate if it can be configured to use HTML format or changed for a system that can.
    3. You don't have to copy and paste your HTML signature. After you change to HTML format, just click Insert | Signature again and any Plain Text signature should be replaced by an HTML one. (Outlook 2007 and 2010 certainly do this as they know where the signature is. I seem to remember that 2003 and before add an HTML signature to the message so you have to delete any existing Plain Text one and/or move the HTML signature to the right place in the message.) This is assuming you have Outlook add a signature to all messages as they are created. If you don't then there is no signature to change on the message. You just add the signature after changing format.
    4. I fully accept that there are valid reasons for wanting to force Outlook to use HTML format in certain circumstances but it will not be the right thing to do 100% of the time and if you do so you risk the message you send being unreadable at the other end. For this reason Outlook makes the change of format a manual task. It could, in future, make it easier or help you decide when it is appropriate. We will have to wait and see what transpires in Office '15' which should be going to public beta in the next couple of months.

    Simon Jones
    If you found this post helpful, please "Vote as Helpful". If it actually answered your question, please remember to "Mark as Answer". This will help other people find answers to their problems more quickly.

    Wednesday, June 13, 2012 7:57 AM
  • I see the reasoning behind this behavior for replying to email. It's not about people who use email clients that do not support HTML formatting. It's about automated systems that do not handle HTML. Such systems are common enough that I wouldn't want to default to HTML when replying.

    Forwarding is another issue though. I'm skeptical of the reasoning for Outlook defaulting to plain text for forwarded messages that arrived in plain text. That's why I found this thread--I wanted to change that behavior.

    Thursday, July 12, 2012 11:27 PM
  • Is it not possible to change the font size that is displayed for plain text email? That seems like the real issue here.
    Thursday, July 12, 2012 11:29 PM
  • In my opinion, the most important part of this response is the almost invisible parenthetical statement: and other automated email systems

    That's what actually seems likely to break if you send HTML when it expects plain text.


    • Edited by wthrower Thursday, July 12, 2012 11:35 PM
    Thursday, July 12, 2012 11:35 PM
  • Yes, of course you can. You can set the font name, size and colour you see for reading and composing emails in plain text.

    Simon Jones
    If you found this post helpful, please "Vote as Helpful". If it actually answered your question, please remember to "Mark as Answer". This will help other people find answers to their problems more quickly.

    Thursday, July 12, 2012 11:39 PM
  • Simon, I do not mean to be rude, but you seem to have a very narrow viewpoint in this regard.

    The company I work for requires all employees to:

    1 - use Outlook for all work related email

    2 - to have a companywide standardized signature format

    3 - to send all emails, replies or otherwise with the standardized signature included

    We do not have a choice in this matter. The problem arising from this is that, even when people send emails internally, for some reason when you hit reply, regardless of the type of format in which the email was received,  it is converting the reply format to plain text. As someone else posted in an earlier comment, this takes up extra time when you have to go in and insert your required standardized signature every single time.

    You should understand that some of us want to be as efficient as possible. We are not doing this merely so that our "signature can be pretty." And when we have to take the extra few seconds to fix every single email, those seconds add up.

    I agree with most of the other comments, there should be an option. Microsoft is so smart and continually striving to make things better, easier, more improved. Surely they could figure out a way to allow this option for those of us who need it, while still allowing it to convert to whatever format is required on the receiver's end.


    Tuesday, July 31, 2012 1:39 PM
  • Sorry, but Outlook doesn't just change the format of messages you've received from HTML to Plain Text when you reply. If a message is received in HTML format then Outlook will reply in HTML format. If your reply message is in Plain Text that is because the orignal message was in Plain Text. Why the original message was in Plain Text cannot be determined by your copy of Outlook.

    If your company insists you put a signature on all your emails it might consider making signatures that look good in Pain Text as well as HTML. If it uses a 3rd party signature generation system, it is usually quite easy to preview how an HTML signature will render in Plain Text or set up separate templates for HTML and Plan Text signatures so that they are both well laid out and readable.

    I have explained in other posts why automatically replying in HTML to all Plain Text messages is not a good idea and I stand by that analysis.

    If you decide you need to change the format of a particular reply from Plain Text to HTML then do so. Outlook can't make that choice for you because it isn't that smart. It is annoying that you then have to re-apply any signature to have that change format too.

    Outlook 2013 Preview doesn't change any of these deficiencies as far as I can see.


    Simon Jones
    If you found this post helpful, please "Vote as Helpful". If it actually answered your question, please remember to "Mark as Answer". This will help other people find answers to their problems more quickly.

    Friday, August 03, 2012 1:07 PM
  • http://www.emailaddressmanager.com/outlook-bells.html

    This Outlook add-on allows you to do this. I haven't tried it yet but am about to.

    The rest of this thread was pretty unhelpful however. The ethics of plain text emails? Take a walk in the country please.

    Wednesday, August 15, 2012 5:42 PM
  • My VBA code to do this is below.  It watches for new Compose windows, and when appropriate switches the format to HTML, and inserts my signature, followed by down, down, delete delete up up up up (sounds like a video game code, I know; it removes two annoying line breaks after the sig and moves the cursor to the top)...

    Option Explicit
    
    Private WithEvents oInspectors As Inspectors
    Private WithEvents oNewInspectorToWatch As Inspector
    
    Private Sub Application_Startup()
        Set oInspectors = Application.Inspectors
    End Sub
    
    Private Sub oInspectors_NewInspector(ByVal ins As Inspector)
        If ins.CurrentItem.BodyFormat <> olFormatHTML And Not ins.CurrentItem.Sent Then
            Set oNewInspectorToWatch = ins
        End If
    End Sub
    
    Private Sub oNewInspectorToWatch_Activate()
        ' Note: this assumes the name of the signature to use is "personal"
        ' Adjust the text "personal" below accordingly
        
        oNewInspectorToWatch.CommandBars.Item("Menu Bar").Controls.Item("F&ormat").Controls.Item("&HTML").Execute
        oNewInspectorToWatch.CommandBars.Item("Menu Bar").Controls.Item("&Insert").Controls.Item("&Signature").Controls.Item("personal").Execute
        
        Set oNewInspectorToWatch = Nothing
        
        DoEvents
        
        ' Remove extra line breaks after sig, and restore cursor to top
        ' (My signature is two lines long, so others might have to change the sequence here)
        SendKeys "{DOWN}{DOWN}{DEL}{DEL}{UP}{UP}{UP}{UP}"
    End Sub
    


    Saturday, August 25, 2012 1:48 AM
  • Nice work on this, Adam. The only trouble this gives me, in Outlook 2010, is that it uses the same signature for other accounts that normally use different signatures. I was hoping to find a way to check what account was being used before executing the HTML + Signature code. Any idea?
    Friday, October 26, 2012 4:38 AM
  • This is so incredibly STUPID . . . What email clients these days don't understand HTML? NONE!

    A few years ago it was "because it has been deemed rude to reply in a format the sender doesn't prefer"

    I'm sorry MS but if I want to send EVERY SINGLE EMAIL I EVER SEND in HTML that's MY BUSINESS NOT MICROSOFT'S!!!

    Thursday, November 15, 2012 12:31 AM
  • This is a hassle!
    Monday, December 17, 2012 3:02 PM
  • When do I press A+B+Start?

    Seriously though, thanks for the script. It's a shame we have to do all these workarounds. It's not like Microsoft doesn't have enough programmers to do this themselves.

    What's that saying again, "Give the people what they want." ?

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 5:10 PM
  • Unfortunately in the new Outlook 2013 if you want to use the "Inline response" feature, then the "COMPOSE TOOLS" bar does not offer the option to switch the format to HTML, nor does there appear to be any way to modify the "COMPOSE TOOLS" ribbon through "Customize Ribbon" to add the command (short of VB-script, but that is beyond the purvey of mere mortals).

    So, if you want to continue to use the "Inline response" you're out of luck for switching format to HTML.

    I think, per the original thread, that Microsoft should add "always format replies in HTML" as an option. It could also do, as Thunderbird allows, to put both versions in the message for those who insist that some need text versions (though to that I would say, how are you surviving because everyone sends in HTML today?! Even Microsoft does so, say when you buy an online license to a product!).

    Add this to the list along with "auto BCC" which literally every mailer in the universe supports, except Outlook (both of these are trivial - I do not see why these are not at least options).

    <object height="0" id="plugin0" style=";z-index:1000;" type="application/x-dgnria" width="0"><param name="tabId" value="ff-tab-12" /><param name="counter" value="287" /></object>
    Wednesday, February 06, 2013 5:13 PM
  • You can go shortcut and add to ThisOutlookSession this code:

    Private Sub Application_ItemLoad(ByVal Item As Object)
    If Item.Class = 43 Then
    On Error Resume Next
        If Item.BodyFormat <> olFormatHTML Then SendKeys "%MH"
    End If
    End Sub

    You can check your letter pressing [Alt] button.


    Oskar Shon, Office System MVP

    Press if Helpful; Answer when a problem solved

    Friday, February 15, 2013 11:34 AM
  • Hi

    My problem is that I use Outlook to send invoices as an attachment, but they always start as plain text.  Sage say they cannot alter this, it is in Outlook settings, so how do I configure as HTML please?

    Phil Stilliard

    Sunday, April 14, 2013 10:18 AM
  • File | Options | Mail and check that your "Compose messages in this format" option is set to "HTML".

    However, it depends how Sage/you are getting the invoice attached to a message.

    1. If Sage is writing a file to disk and then you a right-clicking on it and choosing Send To | Mail Recipient then the choice of Plain Text is down to Windows, not Sage or yourself. There is nothing you can do about this except complain to Microsoft about the Send To command in Windows and Outlook's handling of it.

    2. If the Sage software is creating the message and attaching the file then it is that software which is not specifying HTML format and so getting Plain Text by default. This could be changed by Sage's programmers if they wanted to but they'd have to handle each mail application differently. They are more likely to just use the Send To command from Windows as that works with all mail applications but then we're back to point 1.

    3. If you create the message in Outlook and then attach the invoice file to it, then Outlook will obey the choice you set in File | Options | Mail. This is the best route to use when you need control over the format of the message.


    Simon Jones
    If you found this post helpful, please "Vote as Helpful". If it actually answered your question, please remember to "Mark as Answer". This will help other people find answers to their problems more quickly.

    Sunday, April 14, 2013 10:36 AM
  • Yeah, and a workaround is NOT a preferable answer to providing customers what they WANT. If I receive an email in HTML format, the the default REPLY should be HTML.
    Monday, April 22, 2013 4:48 PM
  • Outlook has ALWAYS replied to a message in the same format as the original message.

    Some people writing here are asking for it NOT to do so, but reply in HTML format no matter what format the original message was in.

    I have been trying to explain that there is no built in way to do that and the reasons why it isn't such a good idea.


    Simon Jones
    If you found this post helpful, please "Vote as Helpful". If it actually answered your question, please remember to "Mark as Answer". This will help other people find answers to their problems more quickly.

    Monday, April 22, 2013 9:45 PM
  • Hi.

    I have been following the thread and I think everyone´s quite clear on the subject by now.

    Maybe the thread should be marked "closed" or something as it could go on forever without giving any further benefit to the community.

    I´d like to thank everyone for their invaluable input!

    Let´s hope the Outlook development team checks this thread out and do what, in my opinion seems the most logical compromise: Add a keyboard shortcut to be applied when responding to a mail to get your default formatting of the mail body, be it HTML, plain text or RTF.

    All the best,
    Henrik Johansson!

    Monday, June 10, 2013 1:14 PM
  • Hi,

            For god sake just give us the choice we change it anyway, Microsoft stop being so stubborn, then and only then should this thread stop.

    Ken Sheldrake

    Thursday, June 20, 2013 7:50 AM
  • GREAT THREAD EVER!!!!  IT was like watch realty TV  =^..^=!!!

    Thank you, Cindy

    Wednesday, July 10, 2013 6:40 PM
  • can you please share the solution...
    Thursday, August 29, 2013 4:04 PM
  • There is no easy solution.

    Outlook can't do it.

    I know it is long but please read the whole of this thread to understand the problem.


    Simon Jones
    If you found this post helpful, please "Vote as Helpful". If it actually answered your question, please remember to "Mark as Answer". This will help other people find answers to their problems more quickly.

    Thursday, August 29, 2013 4:12 PM
  • Hi all,

    I share my alternative solution :

    I've created a rule that was applied on all received mail.

    the rule do the action : "run a macro"

    Sub ConvertMailFormatToHTML(itMail As MailItem)
        If itMail.BodyFormat <> olFormatHTML Then
            itMail.BodyFormat = olFormatHTML
            itMail.Save
        End If
    End Sub

    Place this macro under Outlook Visual Basic for Applications (source : http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306108/en-us )

    So, all mails I'll receive will be in HTML Format. No worries when transferring or answering by them.

    NB : Think authorizing your macros !

    I hope this solution will be helpful !

    Arnaud.


    • Edited by Arnaud ADE Thursday, November 14, 2013 12:35 PM correction
    • Proposed as answer by mados321 Monday, March 17, 2014 7:32 PM
    Thursday, November 14, 2013 11:48 AM
  • Interesting thread.  I can understand the rationale that a message received in plain text may be an indication that the sender can only handle text, so replies will be text, but I don't think that's why Microsoft did it.  Consider that the same thing happens when you FORWARD that message.  What's the reasoning for that?

    Which problem would you rather have: having to force Outlook to use your preferred format on a regular basis, or accidentally sending html to someone who can't read it and then having to re-send later?  In my world, the former happens daily and the latter might happen once a year.

    Tuesday, November 26, 2013 7:43 PM
  • One question - what is the rationale that allows the format to be changed manually but not automatically?  If it is to preserve the original format as one the sender 'understands' then changing it should not be allowed.

    Hint - me customer, you supplier.......

    Friday, November 29, 2013 10:06 AM
  • Outlook allows you to change the format because it accepts that you may know better than it whether the original sender can accept HTML mail. It only looks at the format of this original message. You may remember getting HTML mail from this person before. Elsewhere in this thread I've suggested ways that Outlook might be extended to help with this.

    If it completely blocked a change in format that would be yet another thing to complain about.


    Simon Jones
    If you found this post helpful, please "Vote as Helpful". If it actually answered your question, please remember to "Mark as Answer". This will help other people find answers to their problems more quickly.

    Friday, November 29, 2013 10:26 AM
  • I think the answer to this is that Forward is just a variation on Reply and uses the same mechanism - so forwarding in the same format as the original message.

    Simon Jones
    If you found this post helpful, please "Vote as Helpful". If it actually answered your question, please remember to "Mark as Answer". This will help other people find answers to their problems more quickly.

    Friday, November 29, 2013 10:30 AM
  • So let the customer choose what they want to do and give them the option to do this automatically.

    Why is this such a difficult concept to grasp?

    Tuesday, December 03, 2013 1:01 PM
  • I don't have a problem grasping the concept but I'm not in charge of Outlook. I don't work for Microsoft. It is not me you need to be arguing with.

    In the meantime there are a couple of workarounds in this thread. Try one or more of them.


    Simon Jones
    If you found this post helpful, please "Vote as Helpful". If it actually answered your question, please remember to "Mark as Answer". This will help other people find answers to their problems more quickly.

    Tuesday, December 03, 2013 1:08 PM
  • I also find this incredibly annoying and wish MS would allow this option.  I believe it was an option in prior releases of Outlook but I could be mistaken (haven't used OLK 2007 or earlier in several years).
    Tuesday, January 21, 2014 3:54 PM
  • I have not found a free solution, but this works great and not too expensive, well, it is for just this silly simple task but I don't have time to write VBS code.

    http://www.outlook-apps.com/product/bells-whistles-for-outlook/

    Jason

    Thursday, January 30, 2014 9:52 PM
  • If you are like me and always include your signature, here is a simple script that will delete the text version of your signature, convert the email to HTML and add your HTM signature back in:

    ::HH::
    Send, {SHIFTDOWN}{Down}{Down}{Down}{Down}{Down}{Down}{Down}{Down}{Down}{Down}{Down}{Down}{Down}{Down}{Down}{Down}{Down}{Down}{Down}{Down}{Down}{Down}{Down}{Down}{Down}{Down}{Down}{Down}{Down}{Down}{SHIFTUP} ;-- Select text signature by going {Down} as many lines as your text signature has
    Send, {Backspace} ;-- Delete text signature
    Send, {ALTDOWN}{ALTUP}oth{ALTDOWN}{ALTUP}h{ALTDOWN}{ALTUP} ;-- Make HTML
    Send, {ALTDOWN}{ALTUP}nas{Enter} ;-- Add back in the HTML based signature
    send, {Enter}{Enter} ;-- add a few lines at the top of the email for content

    Send, {Up}{Up} ;-- go to the top of the email body
    RETURN

    Wednesday, February 05, 2014 4:30 PM
  • Thank you, Arnaud, for actually providing a relatively simple solution to a simple problem.  As for all the other talk here about ethics and the other BS, I want my 10 minutes back!
    Monday, March 17, 2014 7:34 PM
  • Thank you for this tip. I never noticed the "signature" tab before. This helped :)
    Thursday, May 08, 2014 3:51 PM
  • Actually there is a way

    In the reply window of the email go to "Format Text" tab, then choose "HTML" 


    Sunday, August 24, 2014 1:51 PM