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Images in Outlook Signature

Posted on 2010-09-09
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
When sending an email with an HTML signature using Outlook 2007 that has images in it (loaded externally on a public web server), the emails arrive as if the images are attachments. I know I must be doing something wrong because I get marketing emails with images in them all the time that load externally and don't show up in my email client as having an attachment.
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Question by:DVation191
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by:Will Szymkowski
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Might be a long shot but do you have your credentials cached on your computer? If you do this might be why you receive emails with the images in the body. If the Outlook client needs to authenticate in some way to get the image it might stripe it out and send as an attachment.

Have you tried using an image that is stored locally? Then test to see if you get the same results? Also, if this just happens to you, have you tried to create a new Outlook profile from the mail applet in the the control panel? Don't delete the current one you are using just create a new one and see if it works. If it does, continue to use the new one.

Hope this helps~!
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by:DVation191
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For the clients I'm testing the signature in (that is, viewing the email, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and Desktop Clients), they all show the email as having an attachment (the image).

The image is also on a public web server where no credentials are required.

I haven't tried using a local image because everything I've read about how to do this successfully has indicated that the image needs to be set up this way and not attached locally.
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by:Will Szymkowski
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Each email client does has different ways of displaying information. You cannot control this when sending to another user.

Things to consider...
- Anti-virus programs (anti-virus programs web based and non-web based can strip out the image to scan it. It can then re-attach this file as an attachment to the email)

- Format type email is being opened with (if the receiving user is not using HTML to view this email it can also alter how the email is displayed)
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by:DVation191
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I don't disagree. However I do know that I receive plenty of marketing email in all my clients that never indicate that they have attachments. Someone knows how to format these emails correctly, and that's what I'm here to find out.
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by:David Lee
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Hi, DVation191.

Are you sure that the signature is picking the image up from the server and not from the local workstation?  Find the HTML signature file (it'll be in the folder c:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Signatures\) and open it in Notepad.  Find the IMG tag for the image in question.  Does it reference the image on the server?
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by:DVation191
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Yes, in the source of the file the IMG tag references an external source, not a local one.
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by:DVation191
Comment Utility
I'd be curious to hear what happens if you try it yourselves.

Just set up a signature in Outlook then open the .htm file in the Signatures folder and edit it. Don't put anything in there other than a reference to an external image and send an email to a hotmail or yahoo address (ones I know show up as attachments) and see what happens.
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by:David Lee
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Did you actually go look at the html signature file or did you look at it in Outlook's signature editor?  Was the signature created using the signature editor?
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by:DVation191
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I opened the signature.htm file in my text editor to confirm.

I've tried creating the signature both ways - from scratch using a text editor and from within the outlook signature editor itself.


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by:David Lee
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Apologies.  I lost track of this question.

Can you share the signature file with me?
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by:DVation191
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Sorry for the delay, I'll post the file soon.
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by:DVation191
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It starts off looking like this when I put the .htm file in the signature folder. Then the user goes into outlook to change the contact information and then Outlook changes the file to look like the code in the next post.
<table width="558" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px;" >
  <tr>
    <td width="61" valign="top"><img src="http://www.domain.com/signature/sig.gif" alt="" width="61" height="74"></td>
    <td width="497" style="padding-bottom: 3px">
      <span style="line-height:20px"></span><br />
      <p><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 12px; color: #002F5F;">Firstname Lastname</span><br />
        <span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 11px; color: #333333;">Your Title</span><br /><br />
        <span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 12px; color: #333333;">Toll: <span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; font-size: 11px; color: #333;">(800) ###-#### x###</span></span><br />
        <span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 12px; color: #333333;">Direct: <span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; font-size: 11px; color: #333;">(###) ###-####</span></span><br />
        <span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 12px; color: #333333;">Fax: <span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; font-size: 11px; color: #333;">(###) ###-####</span></span><br />
        <span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 12px; color: #333333;"><a href="http://www.domain.com" style="text-decoration:none; color: #333333;" >www.domain.com</a></span><br /><br />
    <span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 12px; color: #002F5F;">OFFICE LOCATIONS: <span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 12px; color: #333333;">locations</span></span></p></td>
  </tr>
  <tr>
    <td>&nbsp;</td>
    <td align="left" valign="top"><a href="http://www.domain.com/" target="_blank" style="text-decoration:none"><img style="display:inline;" src="http://www.domain.com/signature/bestplaces.png" alt="" width="99" height="47" border="0"></a><a href="http://www.facebook.com/companypage" style="text-decoration:none"><img style="display:inline;" src="http://www.domain.com/signature/facebook.png" alt="" width="76" height="47" border="0"></a><a href="http://www.linkedin.com/companies/company" style="text-decoration:none"><img style="display:inline;" src="http://www.domain.com/signature/linkedin.png" alt="" width="72" height="47" border="0"></a><a href="http://www.twitter.com/company" style="text-decoration:none"><img style="display:inline;" src="http://www.domain.com/signature/twitter.png" alt="" width="58" height="47" border="0"></a></td>
  </tr>
</table>

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by:DVation191
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After the user edits their contact info:
<html xmlns:v="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml"
xmlns:o="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office"
xmlns:w="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:word"
xmlns:m="http://schemas.microsoft.com/office/2004/12/omml"
xmlns="http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40">

<head>
<meta http-equiv=Content-Type content="text/html; charset=windows-1252">
<meta name=ProgId content=Word.Document>
<meta name=Generator content="Microsoft Word 14">
<meta name=Originator content="Microsoft Word 14">
<link rel=File-List href="winter2010_files/filelist.xml">
<link rel=Edit-Time-Data href="winter2010_files/editdata.mso">
<!--[if !mso]>
<style>
v\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
o\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
w\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
.shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
</style>
<![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml>
 <o:OfficeDocumentSettings>
  <o:AllowPNG/>
 </o:OfficeDocumentSettings>
</xml><![endif]-->
<link rel=themeData href="winter2010_files/themedata.thmx">
<link rel=colorSchemeMapping href="winter2010_files/colorschememapping.xml">
<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml>
 <w:WordDocument>
  <w:View>Normal</w:View>
  <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom>
  <w:TrackMoves/>
  <w:TrackFormatting/>
  <w:PunctuationKerning/>
  <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/>
  <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>
  <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent>
  <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>
  <w:DoNotPromoteQF/>
  <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther>
  <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian>
  <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript>
  <w:DoNotShadeFormData/>
  <w:Compatibility>
   <w:BreakWrappedTables/>
   <w:SnapToGridInCell/>
   <w:WrapTextWithPunct/>
   <w:UseAsianBreakRules/>
   <w:DontGrowAutofit/>
   <w:SplitPgBreakAndParaMark/>
   <w:EnableOpenTypeKerning/>
   <w:DontFlipMirrorIndents/>
   <w:OverrideTableStyleHps/>
   <w:UseFELayout/>
  </w:Compatibility>
  <m:mathPr>
   <m:mathFont m:val="Cambria Math"/>
   <m:brkBin m:val="before"/>
   <m:brkBinSub m:val="&#45;-"/>
   <m:smallFrac m:val="off"/>
   <m:dispDef/>
   <m:lMargin m:val="0"/>
   <m:rMargin m:val="0"/>
   <m:defJc m:val="centerGroup"/>
   <m:wrapIndent m:val="1440"/>
   <m:intLim m:val="subSup"/>
   <m:naryLim m:val="undOvr"/>
  </m:mathPr></w:WordDocument>
</xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml>
 <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" DefUnhideWhenUsed="true"
  DefSemiHidden="true" DefQFormat="false" DefPriority="99"
  LatentStyleCount="267">
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<table class=MsoNormalTable border=0 cellspacing=0 cellpadding=0 width=558
 style='width:418.5pt;mso-cellspacing:0in;mso-yfti-tbllook:1184;mso-padding-alt:
 0in 0in 0in 0in'>
 <tr style='mso-yfti-irow:0;mso-yfti-firstrow:yes'>
  <td width=61 valign=top style='width:45.75pt;padding:0in 0in 0in 0in'>
  <p class=MsoNormal><span style='mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"'><img
  width=61 height=74 id="_x0000_i1025"
  src="http://www.domain.com/signature/sig.gif"></span><span
  style='font-size:12.0pt;mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"'><o:p></o:p></span></p>
  </td>
  <td width=497 style='width:372.75pt;padding:0in 0in 2.25pt 0in'>
  <p class=MsoNormal><span style='mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p>
  <p><b><span style='font-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";
  color:#002F5F'>Tony Bruschino</span></b><br>
  <b><span style='font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:#333333'>Director
  of Information Technology</span></b><br>
  <br>
  <b><span style='font-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:#333333'>Toll:
  </span></b><span style='font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";
  color:#333333'>(800) ###-#### x###</span><br>
  <b><span style='font-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:#333333'>Direct:
  </span></b><span style='font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";
  color:#333333'>(###) ###-####</span><br>
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  </span></b><span style='font-size:8.5pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";
  color:#333333'>(###) ###-####</span><br>
  <b><span style='font-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:#333333'><a
  href="http://www.domain.com/"><span style='color:#333333'>www.domain.com</span></a></span></b><br>
  <br>
  <b><span style='font-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:#002F5F'>OFFICE
  LOCATIONS: </span></b><b><span style='font-size:9.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";
  color:#333333'>locations</span></b><o:p></o:p></p>
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  </td>
  <td valign=top style='padding:0in 0in 0in 0in'>
  <p class=MsoNormal><span style='mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"'><a
  href="http://www.domain.com/" target="_blank"><span
  style='text-decoration:none;text-underline:none'><img border=0 width=99
  height=47 id="_x0000_i1026"
  src="http://www.domain.com/signature/bestplaces.png"
  style='display:inline'></span></a><a
  href="http://www.facebook.com/domainpage"><span style='text-decoration:
  none;text-underline:none'><img border=0 width=76 height=47 id="_x0000_i1027"
  src="http://www.domain.com/signature/facebook.png" style='display:
  inline'></span></a><a
  href="http://www.linkedin.com/companies/company"><span
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  height=47 id="_x0000_i1028"
  src="http://www.domain.com/signature/linkedin.png" style='display:
  inline'></span></a><a href="http://www.twitter.com/domain"><span
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  height=47 id="_x0000_i1029"
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<p class=MsoNormal><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p>

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Expert Comment

by:David Lee
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Are the graphic files public facing?  If so, can you give me the actual URLs that point to them?  If that's not possible, can you give me the approximate size of each one so I can make a graphic of the same size?
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by:DVation191
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Yes, they are public facing.
The sizes:
bestplaces.png: 99 x 47
facebook.png: 76 x 47
linkedin.png: 72 x 47
twitter.png: 58 x 47
sig.gif: 61 x 74
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David Lee earned 500 total points
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I used the HTML below in the signature file.  All I changed was the URL of the pictures so it points to my server instead of yours.  The screenshot shows the result.
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
<title>DVation Signature</title>
</head>
<body>
<table width="558" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; border: 0px;" >
  <tr>
    <td width="61" valign="top"><img src="http://192.168.1.108/images/sig.gif" alt="" width="61" height="74"></td>
    <td width="497" style="padding-bottom: 3px">
      <span style="line-height:20px"></span><br />
      <p><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 12px; color: #002F5F;">Firstname Lastname</span><br />
        <span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 11px; color: #333333;">Your Title</span><br /><br />
        <span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 12px; color: #333333;">Toll: <span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; font-size: 11px; color: #333;">(800) ###-#### x###</span></span><br />
        <span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 12px; color: #333333;">Direct: <span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; font-size: 11px; color: #333;">(###) ###-####</span></span><br />
        <span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 12px; color: #333333;">Fax: <span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: normal; font-size: 11px; color: #333;">(###) ###-####</span></span><br />
        <span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 12px; color: #333333;"><a href="http://www.domain.com" style="text-decoration:none; color: #333333;" >www.domain.com</a></span><br /><br />
    <span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 12px; color: #002F5F;">OFFICE LOCATIONS: <span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 12px; color: #333333;">locations</span></span></p></td>
  </tr>
  <tr>
    <td>&nbsp;</td>
    <td align="left" valign="top"><a href="http://www.domain.com/" target="_blank" style="text-decoration:none"><img style="display:inline;" src="http://192.168.1.108/images/bestplaces.png" alt="" width="99" height="47" border="0"></a><a href="http://www.facebook.com/companypage" style="text-decoration:none"><img style="display:inline;" src="http://192.168.1.108/images/facebook.png" alt="" width="76" height="47" border="0"></a><a href="http://www.linkedin.com/companies/company" style="text-decoration:none"><img style="display:inline;" src="http://192.168.1.108/images/linkedin.png" alt="" width="72" height="47" border="0"></a><a href="http://www.twitter.com/company" style="text-decoration:none"><img style="display:inline;" src="http://192.168.1.108/images/twitter.png" alt="" width="58" height="47" border="0"></a></td>
  </tr>
</table>
</body>
</html>

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ScreenShot002.jpg
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Author Comment

by:DVation191
Comment Utility
I experience the same results.

It's when the email arrives at various servers such as hotmail or yahoo that the images appear as an attachments.
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Expert Comment

by:David Lee
Comment Utility
That's a bit different.  If the graphics appear properly in the message in Outlook but appear differently in the recipient's mail system, then it's probably not Outlook that's the problem.  It's must be the mail server, the destination mail system, or something like an anti-virus scanner that's the problem.  Outlook doesn't read the HTML, find the IMG tags, and add the items as attachments.  If the graphics work properly on ANY external mail system, then I don't see how Outlook can be responsible.
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by:DVation191
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Maybe I could have clarified my original question when I said "the emails arrive as if the images are attachments". Since Outlook is sending the emails, I would expect Outlook to read them properly as well. However, it's when other mail servers/clients read the email that the images appear as attachments and I'd like to know how to fix this. Again, I receive marketing emails with embedded images all the time from these clients and servers that don't appear as attachments. I'd like to know how to do that.
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Expert Comment

by:David Lee
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I've described how to do that.  There is no other way than placing the images on a public facing web server and linking to them.  I do this all the time and the graphics NEVER arrive as attachments.  I'm not aware of any settings in Outlook that control this behavior (i.e. a setting that tells Outlook to read the HTML, find the IMG tags, and attach the graphics they point to).  Therefore, I have to conclude that it's something about your mail server, the recipient's mail server, or something in between like an anti-virus product.  I'm confident that it is not Outlook.  If it were, then we should see this behavior on ALL messages, not just those to certain email systems.  In fairness I don't use Hotmail or Yahoo.  If you want to send me a Hotmail or Yahoo address, then I'll be glad to send a test message from my system to compare the results.
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by:DVation191
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Alright, let's test your theory.

See the screenshots below. The first email is from myself - from Outlook on my work server to a personal account. You can see the external images appear as attachments.

In the second screenshot, there is a marketing email that contains images, and it does not appear as attachments.

Please send me an email using the template you prescribe to the personal account. The address can be see in the to: field and we'll see how it arrives. Thank you.
screen1.png
screen2.png
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by:David Lee
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Clearly I dropped the ball on this one.  Dvation191, if you want to keep working on this, then we can ask Chris to leave the question open.
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by:DVation191
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I never did get this resolved - if you have any more suggestions I'd definitely be interested in trying.
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by:Chris Bottomley
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I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
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by:David Lee
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EE - Please leave this question open.
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by:David Lee
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I sent the test message to you a few minutes ago.  Here are two screenshots you can use to compare.  One is the original message from my Outlook Sent Items folder.  The other is from Gmail (I copied the message to a Gmail account I have).  Neither version shows an attachment.
Outlook-Sent-Item.png
Gmail-Version.png
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by:DVation191
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I can confirm I see no attachment in gmail or yahoo. However I do see the attachment in hotmail. I suppose I can live with that but if you wan to send your test email to a hotmail address as well I'd like to see the result. You can use tny41181 as the address. hotmail.com is the domain.
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by:David Lee
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I just sent a test message to that address.  Let me know how it looks.  If the images shows up as an attachment, then the problem must be with Hotmail.  It if the image is linked, then it must be something about your email system.
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by:DVation191
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Sure enough, it showed up as an attachment.

"the problem must be with Hotmail" - you would think. But look at the two messages below that from Netflix and NewEgg - both of those are HTML emails with tons of images and they are not showing up as attachments. So it appears there is something deeper going on.

No attachment for netflix and newegg
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by:David Lee
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I agree.  Still I don't see how Outlook can be responsible.  If it were, then the images would show as attachments in all email systems.  Since the other mail systems all handle the images correctly it has to be something with Hotmail and how it handles messages with certain characteristics, from certain domains, from certain senders, or even from certain email clients.  There simply is no setting in Outlook that says "send images in this message as an attachment when sending to the Hotmail domain".  

I just sent two additional test messages to your Hotmail account.  The first is from my Gmail account.  Curious to see if Hotmail handles it okay.  The second is from my Outlook account, but with the image added to the body of the message not as part of the signature.
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by:DVation191
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Both of your additional tests came through with attachments. That rules out Outlook as being the problem.
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by:David Lee
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I've never used Hotmail so I'm completely in the dark.  Does it have something like a safe senders list?  How about an option that allows viewing images inline?
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by:DVation191
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I've added you to my safe list and it didn't change anything.

Further, the images do appear inline and there is no indicator that there is an attachment when you open the email. There's nothing to download like there would normally be in the case of a traditional attachment like a document.

I just continue to be baffled as to how companies are sending email to @hotmail.com addresses and not getting them to show up as attachments.
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by:David Lee
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I'd like to know too.  Can you look at the message header for one of those messages?  Maybe they set something that changes the behavior.  I get messages from NewEgg too, so I'll take a look and see if I can find anything out of the ordinary about it.
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Author Comment

by:DVation191
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I've attached the source of the newegg email - I don't see anything unusual.
source.txt
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Expert Comment

by:David Lee
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As a test add my address to your Hotmail address book.  I read something about images being shown inline when the sender is in your address book.
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by:DVation191
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Okay - added.
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by:David Lee
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Let me know which address you added, or if you added both, and I'll send you another test.
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Author Comment

by:DVation191
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I added your ee earthlink email to my contact list.
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by:David Lee
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Message sent
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Author Comment

by:DVation191
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Still came through with the attachment symbol next to the subject name. Lost cause?
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by:David Lee
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I'm guessing it is.
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Author Closing Comment

by:DVation191
Comment Utility
Thanks for trying.
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