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.
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!
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
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
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
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.
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.
Not that it doesn't render properly - it doesn't render AT ALL!
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.
Colin - commented
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.