To index HTML Mail

Why HTML e-mails should be sent upon consultation only

HTML mailsMany email programs and web mail services are preconfigured to send everything formatted in HTML, sometimes also called "rich text." This allows colours, different fonts and also inserting images in the middle of the text. But:

Therefore many security-aware users have either disabled the reception of HTML emails completely or add a spam score to them. For this reason, some email clients and web mail services create mails which contain two alternative formats, plain text and HTML, so that the plain text can still be read even if the recipient does not allow HTML.

However, if an email is sent without a plain-text alternative, security-aware users are more or less forced to block the mail completely or to delete it, respectively. Often, though not always, the sender will then receive a bounce mail with an error message like "HTML mails are blocked", saying that the delivery failed.

So send HTML emails only after this has been fixed explicitly with the recipient. Of course the same is also true for mails with proprietary attachment files which require that the recipient has installed a specific program like Word, PowerPoint or Excel, which cannot be assumed automatically.

How to send a screen copy with a plain-text email

Many users create HTML mails only because they do not know how to send a screen copy with a plain-text email. But this is really an easy job in Windows and can be done in only three small steps.

  1. Press the "Print" key to copy the screen content to the clip board. Alternatively, use ALT+Print to copy the active window only.
  2. Open your favourite graphics program (not a text program like Word!) and insert the clip board into a new image.
  3. Save the image as a file (use GIF, PNG or JPG, not uncompressed BMP) and add it to your email as an attachment. If your graphics program has a menu item "Send" this makes it even easier.

Last, but not least: Do not forget to set the default email format to "plain text" in your mail client. Sometimes it is also possible to configure HTML as alternative format for selected recipients in the address book if really required.

Shamrock Software - Competence in Communication