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  1. #1
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    Unwanted line breaks in sent e-mail wrecks URLs (2002 SP2)

    Hi all. I've got an Outlook problem that's driving me nuts, and I'm sure the solution is simple and that I'll kick myself once you tell me the answer.

    Outlook (2002, SP-2, standalone) wraps my outgoing mail at 72 characters, and thereby breaks links due to them not being properly wrapped. I've noticed that not all mailers do this, but I can't figure out how to stop it from happening in Outlook.

    For example: http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=l...groups?as_q=222 list template&safe=off&ie=ISO-8859-1&as_ugroup=microsoft.public.word.*&lr=lang_en&num =100&hl=en

    would have line breaks if I e-mailed it to you, and therefore unclickable. (It's fine in my Sent Items.) My kludgy solution is the wonderful TinyURL:
    http://tinyurl.com/991l

    I want to keep sending e-mail in Plain Text, for a variety of reasons, primarily because I don't care for the overhead of HTML, or how it's interpreted on text-only mail clients (like my Handspring Visor). Lots of other reasons too, but they don't matter.

    I know that the recipient can edit the e-mail, or copy and paste the pieces into their browser. That's not a good solution though, and it's certainly not something appropriate for my end users.

    Looking at e-mail that I've sent to myself, the headers contain the line:
    X-MIME-Autoconverted: from quoted-printable to 8bit by optimal2.optimalweb.com
    (OptimalWeb is my host)

    I thought the conversion to 8bit was the culprit, because other e-mails didn't go through that. Then I received an e-mail sent through Goldmine:

    X-MIME-Autoconverted: from quoted-printable to 8bit by optimal2.optimalweb.com

    Hah! Same header line, but that e-mail wraps and mine doesn't!

    Sending mail using a different program, like Eudora, does allow wrapping. I've discussed this with my ISP, and they don't believe the conversion is the issue. My reading indicates it's part of the problem.

    So I've examined e-mails others have sent me through their Outlook 2002 installation, and we all have the same thing - broken URLs due to wrapping.

    I've tried setting the (so obvious) Tools --> Options --> Mail Format --> Internet Format --> Plain Text Options --> Automatically Wrap At character limit to 132 (max), but it doesn't make any difference. The context help implies there's a check box that will turn off wrapping, but it's just not there. You can't erase the wrap value (30 to 132 is the range) to prevent wrapping.

    I searched through Slipstick, Google, and a bazillion related places. The only thing I found out is that I'm not alone. I'm quite surprised in all the newsletters I've received I can't recall anyone presenting this as a problem, let alone detailing the solution. (I must have just missed it, but it's weird.)

    I tried the stuff suggested in http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=278134 (registry hack to override the encoding method), but nothing has changed. My lines still break at 72 chrs. I haven't bothered changing back to the default value of Encode Intelligently.

    I'm quite sure earlier versions of Outlook supported Quoted-Printable encoding, and I can't imagine why it isn't in 2002.

    Arrgh! Any suggestions (other than trashing OL or switching to HTML)? Thanks!

    Neman

  2. #2
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    Re: Unwanted line breaks in sent e-mail wrecks URLs (2002 SP2)

    Not a solution, but you're right about quoted-printable (at least in OL2K). It's one of the encoding options under MIME. The other two are none and Base64. The wrap text entry is faded out unless "none" is selected, but there is no other means to toggle it. Without access to OL2002, my guess is that MS has just relocated the option to keep you on your toes.
    <font face="Comic Sans MS" color="blue">TimOz</font>
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Unwanted line breaks in sent e-mail wrecks URLs (2002 SP2)

    In Outlook 2000, base64 encoding cures this. However, some spam filters view base64 encoding as an attempt to evade spam filtering and award your message demerits (or worse!). Thus, I rarely use it now. If you search here for base64, you might find some related threads.

  4. #4
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    Re: Unwanted line breaks in sent e-mail wrecks URLs (2002 SP2)

    Hi TimOz. Thanks for your note. My attached GIF shows that the dialog doesn't have the option to turn off text wrapping, but they left the option on and never took the context help topic away.

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    Re: Unwanted line breaks in sent e-mail wrecks URLs (2002 SP2)

    Thanks jscher2000. I tried that using the Registry setting I mentioned above, and it didn't work (in terms of preventing line breaks). I checked the headers, and sure enough, "X-MIME-Autoconverted: from base64 to 8bit by optimal2.optimalweb.com" was there, so it did indeed switch to base64. I appreciate the try!

  6. #6
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Unwanted line breaks in sent e-mail wrecks URLs (2002 SP2)

    Based on much Googling, I have concluded as follows: Your mail host uses SendMail versions 8.8.x or later and has enabled 7->8 bit MIME conversions in the configuration file (e.g., M mailername, F=9). The only reason I can think of for this feature is to reduce the number of bytes in the transmission. However, maybe there are reasons I don't know about.

    This issue isn't on the bug list at http://www.sendmail.org/ so I guess either it's considered a feature or it was fixed at some point later than what your ISP is using. Try pointing your ISP at the configuration file and seeing if my hunch is correct. I think they will be reluctant to change the setting, though. Not least because SendMail has to be stopped and restarted.

  7. #7
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    Re: Unwanted line breaks in sent e-mail wrecks URLs (2002 SP2)

    Wow. I am truly impressed. Wow. How on earth did you figure that one out?
    I will forward this to my ISP and see what they have to say. I must admit, it still smells like Outlook 2002 to me, because plain text e-mails I receive from other Outlook 2002 users also exhibit line breaks. Thanks, and I'll let you know what my ISP says!

    Neman

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