Coding HTML email for preview pane

Posted on 2009-12-16
Last Modified: 2012-05-08
I send HTML based email to my clients and want to use a graphic image to produce my letterhead at the top of the email.  However, when I test the message in the MS Outlook Preview pane I see the code for the graphic, and I do not want to.
In this example that I have posted, InsWeb is using graphic files, but in the TOP pane there is text that does not exist in the bottom.  Does anyone know how to accomplish this?  This would solve my problem as the email displays properly in the BOTTOM pane, but the url for the image files is what they see in the TOP pane.
Question by:callstate
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    Outlook does block automatic picture downloads in emails for privacy and security reasons.

    Displaying or displaying images/pictures for a HTML message is controlled by the settings on the client's side (Outlook on your client's computer), not on the server side (i.e. the server sending your bulk email).

    Per Microsoft Outlook 2007.... you can control whether Outlook automatically downloads and displays pictures when you open an HTML e-mail message.

    Go to: Outlook 2007 > Tools > Trust Center > Automatic Download

    Also, here is the reason why Outlook blocks automatic picture downloads in emails:


    Author Comment

    I understand the pic being blocked by the client, that is not the issue.
    If you look at the top preview in the scrrenshot ... there are two lines of text that appear in the top preview pane but not in the bottom preview pane.  
    LVL 3

    Accepted Solution

    Okay, I see now what the problem is. The screen-shot you attached did not display the actual HTML code of the email message. I duplicated the behavior on my system using the HTML code of your email, and that helped me to see exactly what you're talking about.

    Again, the clients (your target audience) can turn off the "AutoPreview" feature on Outlook to avoid seeing the code of an HTML email message in the "AutoPreview" window. It looks like even the Outlook user can only turn on or off the whole "AutoPreview" feature, but not customize how the message preview is displayed. In any case, the control is again with the clients, not with us -- the author's or email senders.

    On the server side (email sender's), you can probably employ some trick in HTML coding so the Outlook "AutoPreview" show some meaningful text from your email, instead of showing 3 lines of unappealing HTML code.

    Here is one such idea. See if it helps.

    Author Comment

    That did it!  THANKS! - Jim

    Author Comment

    Netozai - I asked this question before and got no usuable answer ... if you post a comment on that question I'd be happy to award the points to you! - Jim

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