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  1. #1
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    Outlook 2007 Rendering

    Well, well, well!

    Anyone heard much about it? Those of us that design email templates are up the creek without a paddle when it comes to Outlook 2007.

    For those of you that don't know, Microsoft have changed the renderer of their emails from Internet Explorer to a rolled back version, which doesn't support basic background tags on tables, or even background styles in CSS.

    There is simply no way round it when it comes to designing emails for Outlook 2007, no more gradients etc.... Just solid colour!

    http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa338201.aspx

    I can see why they would want to change from IE 6 as their renderer (security issues) but why not just use IE 7's renderer? It says to me that they just have no faith whatsoever in their product.

  2. #2
    The CSS Clinic is open silver trophybronze trophy
    Paul O'B's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link

    I don't code emails much yet but the ones I have done have always been a pain and now it looks as though it just got worse.

    At least we know what properties they do support but its a shame background images aren't allowed.

  3. #3
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    I just cannot see the reasoning behind it either. Until they come out and say this is why we did this and that, I don't think anyone will.

  4. #4
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    To be honest I thought this would of been a big deal to some people on the board, seems as though they haven't picked up on it yet or the number of designers on Sitepoint which also design email templates are very, very few.

  5. #5
    The CSS Clinic is open silver trophybronze trophy
    Paul O'B's Avatar
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    of designers on Sitepoint which also design email templates are very, very few.
    We don't actually get that many questions on the forums about email so perhaps there are not that many email designers out there. I think email is one of those things that are so awkward to get right that many people steer away from them.

    I have done a number of them for one client and they are a real pain. In the end the only real solution turned out to be using inline styles inside tables. All other versions failed at some point as the client got complaints from various customers as his mailing list was very large.

    You can't rely on any styles being applied as some email clients rip out all but the content. Inline styles and tables for positioning was the system that seemed to work best for nearly everyone.

    Of course outlook7 users are now not going to get any backgrounds which will mean more work changing things to foreground images instead where possible.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul O'B View Post
    Of course outlook7 users are now not going to get any backgrounds which will mean more work changing things to foreground images instead where possible.
    And thanks to the removal of ALT tags from images(!) accessibility is going to take a major hit isn't it!

    But when designing emails, it really is going back to basics. Tables, spacer images etc... Even tags not even used now e.g.

    "<Font></Font>" Bit of a tip is to put a style on them as well e.g.

    "<Font style=""></Font>"

  7. #7
    padawan silver trophybronze trophy markbrown4's Avatar
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    Build a firefox extension to 'generate HTML email from webpage'

  8. #8
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    You do mean alt attributes, right?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Schulz View Post
    You do mean alt attributes, right?
    Just say's ALT in the list provided by microsoft.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbrown4 View Post
    Build a firefox extension to 'generate HTML email from webpage'
    If that ever did happen, it would still not hide the fact that images cannot be used as background images, only solid blocks of colour, or using foreground images.

  11. #11
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    I have a better idea, why doesn't every Web Developer just identify in every newsletter that you must upgrade to Mozilla Thunderbird or a prior version of Outlook to view the e-mail!

    "Do to recent changes in Outlook, Outlook is now 100 times less likely to work with your e-mail newsletters, please download a compatible e-mail client here."

    If enough people do this maybe Microsoft will WAKE UP and get there act together here. Why should we change what we're doing for Microsoft.

  12. #12
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    Interesting article by Campaign Monitor...

    http://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/

  13. #13
    SitePoint Member
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    There are many email designers that are upset. You can find the discussion here: http://www.sitepoint.com/blogs/2007/...ing-in-outlook
    Regards,
    Jurgen Nijhuis
    Argos Media (Dutch)

  14. #14
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    I know! This was the thread that sparked off that discussion!

  15. #15
    SitePoint Enthusiast tiltawhirl's Avatar
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    Question Solutions?

    I know that there are many opinions on this topic. But I am more concerned with solutions. Have any other designs come up with work arounds to achieve the same look as before even when using outlook 2007?

  16. #16
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    With these new changes and so much complication i stopped using outlook long time back


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