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.
This problem is a literal nightmare for me. Microsoft any update on this?
This problem for all email designers is a living nightmare that never ends. I can spend 1 hour designing an email that works in all email clients except Outlook. I then spend another 4 hours working on all the fixes required to get the email to render properly in Outlook. Even then, its a compromised design because of this backwards rendering engine. You could fix this tomorrow. Why don't you?
A very simple HTML form was being displayed fine from within Outlook and from at least Outlook 2007 and to Outlook 2016 until version 1704 came along in which Drop-Down boxes within the HTML code stopped operating.
We rely a lot on customizations working as HTML forms appearing within Outlook when setting the Home page for folders to a URL.
A drop-down is a very elementary component of an HTML page and I cannot see any security implications from its use. I do not fathom why this has stopped working in the latest release of Outlook (Build 8067.2032 Click-to-run).
Is there some new security-related switch that has to be used to restore the usual functionality in our HTML forms or is this is a newly-introduced bug?
Jimmy Goathim commented
Better yet, they should give up on the Microsoft Word rendering engine and switch to webkit. As a web developer, the Word-based versions of Outlook give me nightmares. The IE versions were at least manageable. ANYTHING is better than Outlook 2016.
There is something seriously wrong with Microsoft if they think this is OK. It's 2017 folks.
Blake Niemyjski commented
Why are you even using words rendering engine, why not use edges? This is absolutely insane that in 2017 we still have to worry about ie6 era rendering issues.
M. Rouillard commented
How come are we still obliged to hack inline css and use tables in HTML emails to get only a half decent layout because of Word 2007's "rendering" engine? It's more like a machine to travel back 10 years in time!!! Unbelievable!!!
Craig Donovan commented
Please get rid of the word formatting for emails - it's ridiculous that this is still ongoing in 2016! Just make everything HTML rendered instead of complicated encoding and everybody's lives will be made much easier.
I fully agree with the concerns raised by this issue. I would add that it appears e-mails opened in any browser on Outlook.com suffer the same problem (e.g., newsletters from MailChimp that use the Border or Margin properties to create spacing around an image). That's a bizarre consistency -- preserving this bug into Outlook.com, but it means Microsoft has obviously taken steps to replace how their web site handles HTML so it fails in the same way as the Outlook application.
Simon D. commented
In a few days we have 2017 and Outlook is still not able to show incoming HTML correctly. That's incredible. Please fix this! Many newsletters are displayed incredibly ugly.
Another issue is that if an HTML email has white text and a black background then when you reply Outlook changes your text to black but the background of the reply remains black so it can't be read.
Microsoft are innovating in so many other areas that they seem to have overlooked the more basic issues.
I'm on the Office Insider programme but the HTML rendering is just the same complicated mess that it has been for many years (to a time when this was acceptable).
They can't even fix this reply box to work with modern browsers!
Michele Lougheed commented
It is crazy that Outlook PC is not up to date with modern standards. I constantly have to explain to my team that "that's another Outlook bug"... While there are many workarounds, it costs so much time to research and implement workarounds to cater to Outlook. The latest one I've discovered is that text in <p> tags defaults to Times New Roman when the original HTML email is forwarded, so emails don't maintain their style. Very disappointing that users have just come to expect lower standards for this email program.
It looks like my idea was merged with this one (the first time I added it it was deleted) which is why it is written more as an idea than a reply.
But I totally agree with this and the fact that the rendering is completely inconsistent between Microsoft's various Outlook/Mail apps makes this all the more difficult to deal with.
The fact that we most use a technology (VML) in the latest 2016 version that was deprecated 5 years earlier in 2011
to achieve even basic formatting is pretty poor.
They can't even get this user voice website to render correctly in their own Edge browser so there is probably no hope in this ever getting addressed!
urrently Outlook for Desktop uses Microsoft Word to render html email meaning you must add VML (a technology deprecated in 2011) to created nicely formatted emails which does not support any sort of responsive design.
This is holding back creativity in the design of HTML email formatting with Outlook lacking basic formatting present in most other email clients.
Worse still, support for HTML varies greatly between the Outlook apps with Outlook 2016 for desktop the worst and Outlook for iOS offering much better support.
I posted this idea previously and it was deleted so if you delete again please can you explain why my suggestion is not valid?
In addition, in Edge this suggestion box is only 17 characters across and 4 lines high on a desktop computer and pressing the Facebook login button refreshes the page so I had to type all this again.
Claudiu Lazar commented
Receiving e-mails in HTML is not supposed to be such a drag when we are supposedly using the world's best communication tool. Displaying a HTML signature should not be a problem - if both my phones (Android and IOS) can and also clients like Thunderbird can so could you. Please fix this as soon as possible.
Jeff Baxendale commented
This reality is a daily nightmare
John Doggett commented
Add a Code style to the Style dropdown in the ribbon. The Code style should provide useful distinction, and a fixed width font.
Jonathan Descelliers commented
Give use the means to fully format and style emails using HTML and CSS.
Basic autocomplete for HTML tags and CSS would be great.
Brett Schuster commented
Its unequivocally ridiculous that basic box model CSS properties such as width and height aren't supported as well. Microsoft, seriously listen to this one.
All Microsoft products that render HTML need to follow web standards. Right now you are costing people time and money by not using established standards established by the CSS spec.Special Microsoft code has to be used to render correctly. Nearly 20 years of the and designers are still stuck using tables thanks to your software.
This is actual a bug, or possibly several :(.
I set a "Font Style" in an email, by setting the text how I would like, then "Right Click -> Create a style". In this case, set Font, Paragraph and Border Styles, to replicate a <CODE Block>.
Style Name = Code
Font = Courier New, Size: 10pt
Paragraph Indentation = Left: 1.27 cm
Border = Box 1/2pt, Shading: "White, Background 1, Darker 15%"
I tick the box, " Add to Styles Gallery", and select the Option "New documents based on this template”.
Now I see the following issues, some of them all the time, others occasionally.
1) The font size is always overridden to 12pt in an Email. When I go back to edit the style, it is set to 11pt, which is still not 10pt. I can update, but this seems to make no effect. This is hugely annoying as I then need to re-select the text and set to 10pt.
2) A border is not always drawn around the paragraph. I can’t determine why this is the case.
3) The style sometimes appears on the Styles Gallery, sometimes it doesn't. I can’t explain when/why this is, although possibly due to different modalities (i.e. replying within the main Outlook window, popping out the email into its own Window, creating a new email, working on a draft, etc), but even here, the Style Gallery is sporadic. I need to be able to right click the text, then “Styles”, and for my “code” style to always be present. If the style is missing in the Style Gallery, I click the “Apply Styles” button to bring up the dialog box, I can enter the style name “Code”, and the style will apply (with the caveats listed above), however, the “Code” style does not actually appear in the dropdown box. If, of course, the Style does appear in the gallery, it is also listed in the “Apply Style” drop down.
The same thing has occurred on multiple machines now.