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Plain-text messages in Outlook

Is there an easy way to force Outlook to always send messages as plain-text?

No, really.

The basic checkbox option works fine for brand-new messages, but if you reply to an HTML message, then Outlook will ignore your wishes and reply in HTML. If you then select plain text, Outlook asks you if you are really sure you want to do this.

I hate HTML mail.  That simple feature created the necessary conditions for e-mail viruses, and the folks at both Microsoft and Netscape cannot possibly repay society for all the damage they've done.

I don't want to add to the mess.  Ever.

Short of not using Outlook (my first choice, but not always possible), what can I do?

David Jones
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Put a signature in apologising and saying it's Microsoft's fault.

Mike
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Have you turned on the "convert to plain text format" in the "Outlook Rich text Options" section of Options|Mail Format|Internet Format ?
Since you hate HTML, have you also turned on "Read all standard mail in plain text" option in Options|E-Mail Options ?

Just me (Sir to you)
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

After you hit reply, there is a menu option Format / Plain Text. That will convert the message into plain text.

DJ
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

B-b-b-but, without HTML email you wouldn't get the erotic pictures that help break up the monotony of other spam content.

FREE PENIS ENLARGEMENT
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

" "Read all standard mail in plain text" option in Options|E-Mail Options ?"

Thanks, Just Me that part fixes the html.  Reply's to formerly html email are text.  Beautiful. 

Mike
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

"add to the mess" ?

I suppose that sending out HTML formatted emails is, in and of itself, the very same thing as a virus attack, eh?

While you're at it, you should never drive:  people die in car accidents all the time.  Oh and don't flush the toilet because raw sewage sometimes ends up in drinking water.  Don't write on paper, a lumberjack has probably been killed at some time or another because a tree fell on him.

And of course, don't feed the ducks.

muppet
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

BTW: does anyone remember an email virus that relied on HTML mail?

Just me (Sir to you)
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

"I hate HTML mail.  That simple feature created the necessary conditions for e-mail viruses, and the folks at both Microsoft and Netscape cannot possibly repay society for all the damage they've done."

HTML does nothing of the sort - it's simply a document layout format, and really just offers a modern RTF. No big deal. The first step towards an exploit is when email writers decided that using HTML for document layout wasn't enough - for some reason emails had to have scripted content (as far as I know Microsoft was the only one to do this).

As a sidenote, Outlook 2003 is worlds better - by default images are not downloaded*, so you don't have to worry about web bugs and spam reception (and viewing) confirmation, and scripting is completely disabled. I feel no discomfort reading email in HTML with 2003.

Dennis Forbes
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Just Me,

What version of Outlook are you using?

My Outlook does not have the options you mention.  All I have is Options|Mail Format|Send in this Message Format.

I am using Outlook 2000 9.0.0.2711.

David Jones
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

2003 SP1

Just me (Sir to you)
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

I also hate HTML mail.  No particular reason, just because.

Just because most of the time, plain text is all that is necessary.

Just because plain text contains no URL links which get loaded - which BTW, is an often used trick spammers use for validating your email address.

Simpler is better when simpler fulfills its purpose.  I think I have the settings turned on in Outlook to send plain text email - but it continues to send HTML in many cases.  Ho well.

hoser
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

I hate HTML mail too.  I mean, why all the images and fonts? 

And what about all those people with sounds and colors on their computers?  Wastes of bandwidth!

My greenscreen and lynx suits me just fine.

Crackhead
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

I prefer plain text mail for lots of reasons, but one which still convinces me is the inclusion of webbugs.

For those that haven't come across it before (and you will have albeit unknowingly), a webbug is an IMG tag which actually collects information on you and when you opened the email.  Some browsers will prevent this if its across different domains, not all will.  Some browsers will disable IMG tags in mail.

Since, whilst not being paranoid, I'm not particularly interested in events firing just because I happen to view an email reading everything in plain text removes that possibility.

Simon Lucy
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Outlook 2003 blocks webbugs by default.

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

I have been using Chilton Preview: http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Peaks/8392/ . It's a plugin for Outlook (not OE) to display all messages in plain text in the preview area, and it works very well. It's also free :-)

Antti Kurenniemi
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

"Just because most of the time, plain text is all that is necessary."

Life would be pretty boring if we all had this attitude. We'd still only have 10inch black and white TV's , and listen to muci on 8 track.

HTML emails are simply a progression of the email format, live it embrace it ! Get your self a life

just an idea ?
Friday, August 20, 2004

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