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Copying and Pasting HTML Content From Email Messages Into A New Message

Posted on 2008-06-10
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Last Modified: 2013-12-08
I use GMail with Internet Explorer 7 on Windows Vista. Sometimes when I receive an email message formatted in HTML, I want to copy the content into a new message and clean it up or edit it a little before forwarding it. Sometimes this works flawlessly, copying the fonts, font size, font colors, and pictures. But other times it doesn't work at all. When it doesn't work, it only copies the raw text and no pictures. I have experimented with different browsers, like Firefox, and my percentage of success seems about the same: most of the time it doesn't work, but sometimes it does. And this inconsistency sometimes happens in the same surfing session!

What is the key to understanding this issue? I have seen this question explored all over the internet with no concrete answers. Some say disable browser add-ons (doesn't make any difference) or empty the cache (doesn't help either).

I really want to be able to copy and paste HTML content from an email message into a new message. What is the secret to doing this??

I will not award points unless I am able to follow your advice and find success with it. Someone just sent me a nice email of Julie Andrews and her 69th birthday. She had rewritten the words to her "These Are A Few of My Favorite Things" song and it had a nice picture of her. The font was a cursive-looking font. I am not able to copy the text (with font) and her picture into a new message. WHY? Other times, with similar emails, I AM able to. This is driving me crazy. Please, some smart person out there, explain.
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Question by:david323
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13 Comments
 
LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:pigmentarts
ID: 21754341
it all depends on what your pasting it into. if you just cut the text of the page sometimes all the text styles dont get picked up also the email client you are pasting into could override the styles its self. another factor is most emails dont contain the actual image put a link to it a url on a web server.

the only way to get consistency would be to cut and paste the raw HTML code from the email. i am not sure if gmail has a 'show code' mode but this is what you need to use.

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LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:David S.
ID: 21754671
I agree with pigmentarts.

> i am not sure if gmail has a 'show code' mode

Click on the down arrow next to "Reply" at the top-right corner of a message and then click on "Show Original". That will show you the email headers and the message body with any html tags in it.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:pigmentarts
ID: 21754710
thanks Kravimir, forgetting my gmail password i could not check that lol

one other thing to remember is that when you are pasting it into your other email client it needs to be in html view first otherwise you just paste a load of code and thats the way it will be rendered. if that makes sense?
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Author Comment

by:david323
ID: 21755235
We're definitely making progress. The "Show Original" option in GMail does indeed show me the entire code from the <html> tag to the </html> tag. BUT... when I copy and paste from the beginning of html to /html into GMail, and send it to myself, then open it, it only shows code. It doesn't display it normally. I tried both Text and Rich Text modes.

Any other suggestions?
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:pigmentarts
ID: 21755267
thats goes back to my last post you have to make sure that when you re-paste the code you have to paste in the code mode so in gmail you should start a new email and view Show Original if it exists and paste in that
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LVL 42

Accepted Solution

by:
David S. earned 1000 total points
ID: 21755467
Ah. I forgot to mention that Gmail doesn't seem to support inputting HTML markup. You have to either use plain text or the rich formatting mode. You could try configuring Thunderbird to send mail via your Gmail account.

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Using_Gmail_with_Thunderbird_and_Mozilla_Suite
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Edit_HTML_source

Also, you could suggest such a feature:
http://mail.google.com/support/bin/request.py?contact_type=suggest
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Author Comment

by:david323
ID: 21756057
No code mode? then why does it work sometimes? IT WORKS SOMETIMES.
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LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:David S.
ID: 21756200
I mean you can't edit the HTML code used in an email message directly in Gmail. It can send HTML emails though.
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LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:David S.
ID: 21807884
Why delete this? This seems to be one of the times when the answer is that "it's not exactly possible".
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Author Comment

by:david323
ID: 21808109
I hear ya, but that's why I started out saying I would not award points if no one could show me how to do it. I would respectfully ask that you please read the last paragraph in my original post.

thank you.
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LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:David S.
ID: 21809870
Couldn't this just be closed with points refunded?  Someone else might find the information here useful.
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