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How can we improve your Desktop Outlook 2016 experience?

Improve Word HTML rendering in email

It's absolutely crazy that in Outlook 2016 we still can't use fundamental parts of the original CSS spec in HTML-based email templates. I'm specifically referring to float, padding, and background-image. It would also be nice to not have to build HTML emails using tables so that they can be responsive.

It's fine by me if Outlook continues to use Word to create/author HTML-based emails, because that's what Outlook users are used to using. However, the display of incoming HTML-based emails should be rendered by a real HTML engine, not Word, especially if those incoming emails weren't originally created in Outlook/Word, such as newsletters sent from MailChimp and similar services.

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Jordan Bradford shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

40 comments

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  • Javier Torres commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It is really frustrating to try to open an e-mail formatted with HTML and CSS and being unable to read it because of outlook's lack of compliance with standards. I have to rely on my iPhone or tablet constantly to read e-mails. Please get rid of the Word rendering engine in Outlook or discontinue this software.

  • ushir@ushirshah.com commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Agreed! I've opened several cases on this with no resolution. The fact that IE is still used to open emails in browsers, and emails from Quartz, Dribbble, LegalZoom, and other popular sites look like **** in Outlook for desktop. They look just fine in Outlook for iOS and Outlook for Web. Outlook for desktop needs to use a proper HTML 5 rendering engine at this point, dump IE as you have already deprecated it.

  • Duncan Wright commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It's very frustrating that the Windows Mail app - which you get for free - is superior at rendering HTML email to a licensed product which costs actual money!

  • Amber Steele commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hi, we started experiencing this problem back in November of 2018. Microsoft has not yet been able to identify a fix, or the source of the problem. Curious if anyone has had any luck with Microsoft Support.

  • Keith commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Herr here! It's crazy that this problem still exists. This is much more important than changing the ribbon and minor fluff. How about fixing fundamental issues that should have been fixed years ago?

  • Rob Kraft commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I got this response from MS: "I have checked that message with my Outlook 2016 in my lab, it doesn't show correctly either. In this situation, I guess the Outlook client doesn't support that HTML format based email. However, from your description, it worked before, so we need to confirm if that email is reformatted by the Exchange Online server as you mentioned the OWA also can't show it correctly. Thanks for your patience."
    Which implies that they are not going to fix it. The problem started occurring for us on November 2, 2018 following a Microsoft Office/Outlook update. The system generating the emails (Nunit) has not changed in 5+ years.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It's 2018 and this problem still exists!!! It also feels like a dead end when a representative from the Outlook In-App support Escalation Team instructed me to vote on this page without providing any real solution to the issue. Going as far as saying that “from a support perspective, Outlook / Word is working as intended.”

  • Jaemi Kehoe commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    You used to use IE. You went through the trouble to build Edge, to catch up in the browser game, but your email platform is still using Word. Thus, your Mac users have superior email support. Why? Popularity is going to follow functionality, and right now, Outlook is still essentially bottom of the list in that regard.

  • Jaemi Kehoe commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Mac users get Outlook rendering with a browser, so why doesn't Windows? Is that not the main market?

  • Oliver commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    When designing Emails with HTML an CSS, Outlook is very special and extremely limited and old fashioned. Most of CSS does not work, and a lot of html-mails are virtually unreadable. Most work is for Outlook, because the rendering machine is 15 year old ****! Even 2013 was much better!

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Missing options for select scale factor, or just "fit sheet on one page/ fit all columns on one page" like Excel for example.

  • Francois Hamel commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This is really a pain when you need to generate reports and send them by email. Always hard to predict how it will render in Outlook and 99% of the time it is broken.

    Only good way is to attach HTML files to the email, which is NOT a proper way of doing things as it prevent users from easily browsing the content rapidly while going through lots of emails.

  • Greg Lombard commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Simply put, why does this work fine in web version of Outlook but not on the desktop licensed product? I am having emails sent from my web platform resolve my logo to huge proportions hiding the message and confusing any recipient using Outlook 2016 desktop version. I can't get support from the web platform provider since this isn't their fault, it is clearly MS refusing to resolve a known problem.

    Very disappointed on something that should have been resolved. Tells me that the lifecycle for desktop licenses is being phased out...

  • Fredrik Forséll commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Yes, word rendering of HTML emails is one of the most flabbergasting and just plain crazy workings of Office. And just to **** us off a bit more, when I "click here to view it in a web browser" it opens in Internet Explorer. That doesn't really help.

  • Gerry commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Can't get rid of a gap that appears below a table in Outlook 2016 on my PC, but that gap is nowhere to be seen in the Outlook app on my Android phone. With the loads of resources at Microsoft's disposal, it is unbelievable that HTML rendering progress in Outlook 2016 still lags like it's IE6. Can't the relevant Office teams work together to fix this? Thank you for listening.

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