Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
    Posts
    339
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Best Mail Format (Outlook 2003)

    Does anyone know where I can find a comprehensive comparison of the various mail formats in Outlook 2003 and the benefits and drawbacks of each. We are planning a corporate deployment and want the least painless mail format.

    So far I know that HTML will not allow (easily) for links to files to be attachments, and that it doesn't print attachment names.
    There are issues with RTF files and the winmail.dat attachment stuff
    Every forum I subscribe to recommends NEVER to use Word as an email editor (regardless of what mail format you use)

    Plain text doesn't appear to have any problems but that will never fly with the users.

    Fore warned is fore armed.... I just basically want a matrix of the benefits and drawbacks of the various mail formats to present higher up the chain to management.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Silicon Valley, USA
    Posts
    23,112
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 93 Times in 89 Posts

    Re: Best Mail Format (Outlook 2003)

    I don't know whether there is such a thing on the web, but we have had a number of threads here on the Outlook board. Generally speaking, I recommend plain text for everything: all mail readers can handle it, no security risks from HTML message bodies, no privacy leaks due to web bugs. But if you need special layout (e.g., a table) in your message body, or want to control the font in which the message is read, HTML is the next best format. RTF is the least compatible with mail readers other than Outlook.

    Regarding your notes:

    > So far I know that HTML will not allow (easily) for links to files to be attachments,
    I don't understand what this means.

    > and that it doesn't print attachment names.
    The attachments are listed as of Service Pack 1 to Outlook 2003 (version 11.6359.6360).

    > There are issues with RTF files and the winmail.dat attachment stuff
    Programs other than Outlook often create such an attachment, yes, because they don't properly parse RTF/TNEF.

    > Plain text doesn't appear to have any problems but that will never fly with the users.
    Remind management how much time can be wasted playing with fonts, colors, background graphics... maybe it can be effectively discouraged. Also, you do have "group policy" to enforce some constraints (maybe, we don't).

  3. #3
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
    Posts
    339
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Best Mail Format (Outlook 2003)

    Thanks for your help.... I had looked on the web but couldn't find anything and the stuff on the board, while good doesn't really give me what I want.

    If your mail format is HTML in order to insert a link to a file, rather than the file as an attachment, you cannot browse but rather have to type in a html type reference. The users would be very unhappy.

    I am with you on plain text but it is unlikely to be accepted.

    Thank you once again for your help

  4. #4
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Silicon Valley, USA
    Posts
    23,112
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 93 Times in 89 Posts

    Re: Best Mail Format (Outlook 2003)

    I feel really dumb that I don't see what you mean here:

    > If your mail format is HTML in order to insert a link to a file, rather than the file as an attachment,
    > you cannot browse but rather have to type in a html type reference.

    A link to a file located on one of the company's network file servers? I only use plain text and HTML, and I see no difference between them in this regard. Are you referring to a feature of RTF format that has a different way of inserting a link to a file?

    As you probably know, Outlook attachment security blocks .LNK files by default, so I typically type or paste in the UNC path (serversharefolderfile.doc). In a plain text message, it is automatically recognized as a link. If there are spaces, the path needs to be enclosed in <angle brackets> or the link will will not work on the receiving end. One could, in theory, write a procedure to allow users to browse for the document and insert the path for them. I say in theory because it's easy in Word and not everything that's easy in Word works in Outlook. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> But maybe such a macro would help overcome just a little bit of resistance.

  5. #5
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
    Posts
    339
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Best Mail Format (Outlook 2003)

    HI ya, yep didn't realise it was just as difficult to insert a link using plain text.

    In earlier versions of Outlook, you could go to the "insert file" and from the insert file dialog from the "insert" button next to the file name there was an option to insert as a link ... this has now been removed.... It used to insert the UNC path

    It is a real pain as it leaves our only option as RTF as we promote sending links around the organisation rather than a number of copies of the document.

    Don't think the macro or add-in solution would work as this is a very large and diverse organisation and any changes to "standard" set-ups strongly discouraged because of supportability issues.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Silicon Valley, USA
    Posts
    23,112
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 93 Times in 89 Posts

    Re: Best Mail Format (Outlook 2003)

    Actually, we have an add-in that interfaces with our document management system to insert "links" that pull up document profile screens. I wrote it for Outlook 2000/Windows 98-2000 for myself, and with a few recompiles it is now running on Outlook 2003/Windows XP on all desktops. When you have the pleasure of supervising IT, you can pull a few extra strings to make your life (and everyone else's life) easier. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

  7. #7
    3 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
    Posts
    339
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Best Mail Format (Outlook 2003)

    Thanks for your help... I will mention the add-in route but don't think it will fly.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •