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Setting your E-mail program to plain text

by Roxanne Pierce
1999/01/12

 

Click the Tools menu, then Options.  In the resulting window, in the left hand column headed "Category", scroll until you find the "Styled Text" icon, and click on it. In the new window on the right side, click on the box marked "Discard styles" before sending messages.

Also, the "quoted printable" method of character encoding (used by Europeans in order to type letters with accents and umlauts) can cause some funny formatting for some mail readers. If you do not need to type these European characters, you should turn off the "quoted printable" option. Click the Tools menu, then Options, then the Sending Mail tab, and remove the check mark from "May use quoted-printable".

 

Click the Tools menu, then Options. "In the resulting window, in the left hand column headed "Category", scroll until you find the "Styled Text" icon, and click on it. In the new window on the right side, click on the button marked" Send plain text only.

  Also, the "quoted printable" method of character encoding (used by Europeans in order to type letters with accents and umlauts) can cause some funny formatting for some mail readers. If you do not need to type these European characters, you should turn off the "quoted printable" option. Click the Tools menu, then Options, then the Sending Mail tab, and remove the check mark from "May use quoted-printable".

 

Netscape 4.xx
Netscape Messenger included with Communicator

The default setting for Netscape Messenger, the email program in Netscape Communicator, is to send email using HTML formatting. To change this to Plain Text, which is text with no formatting, do the following:

Click the Edit menu, then click Preferences. In the resulting window, open Mail & Groups in the left hand window pane by clicking the + next to that heading or by double-clicking the words "Mail & Groups". Click the word Messages, also in the left hand window pane. At the top of the window on the right, in the Messages Properties area, clear the checkmark from "By default, send HTML messages."  

Netscape Messenger can also be configured to send "Address Book Cards" (also referred to as "vCards") with your email. These are attachments, which show up as strings of unreadable code on mailing lists. To turn these off: Click the Edit menu, then click Preferences. Open Mail & Groups (as described above.)  Click the word Identity in the window on the left. At the bottom of the window on the right, clear the checkmark from "Always send Address Book Cards"

 

Click the Tools menu, then click Mail Options. In the resulting window, click the Send tab. In the Mail Sending Format area click the check box next to Plain Text. In the same window, click the Settings button. In the new window, in the Message Format area, click MIME. In the box next to "Encode text using:" select None. Clear the checkmark next to 'Allow 8-bit characters in headers.'

 

The default setting for Outlook Express is to send email using HTML formatting.  To change this to Plain Text, which is text with no formatting, do the following:

Click the Tools menu, then click Options. In the resulting window, click on the Send tab. Remove the checked circle for HTML by clicking in the Plain Text circle. Click the button labeled Settings next to the Plain Text circle. In the new window, make sure MIME is checked, and not UUENCODE. Also in that window, make certain the drop-down box labeled "Encode Text Using" is set to None, and that there is no checkmark next to "Allow 8-bit characters in headers". The line wrap should be set at 80 characters or less (the default of 76 is fine).  Do this also for News Options if you send e-mail from there.  Outlook Express can also be configured to automatically send "Business Cards" (also referred to as "vCards") with your email. These are attachments, which show up as strings of unreadable code on mailing lists. To turn these off: Click the Tools menu, then click Stationery. In the Signature area in the resulting window, click the Signature button. In the Personal Business Card (vCard) area of the resulting window, clear the checkmark next to "Attach card to all outgoing messages."

*Note for users who wish to send the occasional vCard: After composing a new email message, and before sending it, click the Insert menu on your email message window, click on Insert, and then click Business Card. This will include the Business Card with that message only.

 

OUTLOOK 97
(without Office 97 Service Pack 1)

The original version of Outlook 97 (the one without the Office 97 Service Pack 1 installed) automatically formats all messages you send when you hit the "Reply" button in Rich Text Format, which then shows as an attachment on a mailing list (or in any email program other than Microsoft Exchange or Outlook). This "Reply bug" can be fixed in any of the following four ways:

  1. Install the Office 97 Service Pack 1, available from the Microsoft web site.
  2. Download and install inetmail.exe from the Microsoft site, which updates Outlook 97.
  3. In the E-mail box, double-click the email address. Clear the "Always send to this recipient in Windows Messaging Rich-Text Format" check box. (Note: This must be done *each* time a message is sent via the Reply button.)
  4. Download and install "RTFGuard", written by Ben Goetter http://www.angrygraycat.com/goetter/widgets.htm This will alert you when a message is about to be sent with RTF formatting, giving you the option to discard the formatting before sending.

If you are using your Outlook 97 address book to send messages to the mail list, make certain you do not have Rich Text Format selected for that address book entry: Open the Personal Address Book, double-click the recipient's name, and then clear the "Always send to this recipient in Windows Messaging Rich-Text Format" check box.

 

OUTLOOK 97
(with the Service Pack One and/or the Outlook Upgrade patch)

Click on Tools menu, then click on Options. In the resulting window, click on the Internet Email tab. Make sure MIME is selected (by clicking in the circle next to it), and not UUENCODE. Make sure there is no check mark in "Allow 8-bit characters in headers". The line wrap should be checked, and set at 80 characters or less. The character set should be US ASCII.  If you are using your Outlook 97 address book to send messages to the mail list, make certain you do not have Rich Text Format selected for that address book entry Open the Personal Address Book, double-click the recipient's name, and then clear the "Always send to this recipient in Windows Messaging Rich-Text Format" check box.

 

OUTLOOK 98
(Corporate/Workgroup version)

There are at least two very differently configured versions of Outlook 98, depending on whether the user has set it up as a "Corporate/Workgroup" version or as an "Internet Only" version. The following instructions for sending email without formatting is designed for the "Corporate/Workgroup" version.  The default setting for Outlook Express is to send email using HTML formatting.  To change this to Plain Text, which is text with no formatting, do the following:

Click on the Tools menu, then Options. In the resulting window, click the Mail Format tab. At the top of that window, in the Message Format area, use the drop-down box next to "Send in this message format:" to select Plain Text.   Then click the Internet E-mail tab. In the Internet E-mail Sending Format area, click the circle next to MIME. Make sure the box next to "Allow 8-bit characters in headers" is unchecked. In the drop-down box entitled "Encode text using:" select None.

 

OUTLOOK 98
(Internet Only version)

There are at least two very differently configured versions of Outlook 98, depending on whether the user has set it up as a "Corporate/Workgroup" version or as an "Internet Only" version. The following instructions for sending email without formatting is designed for the Internet Only version.  Click on the Tools menu, then Options. In the resulting window, click the Mail Format tab. In the top section of that window, in the Mail Formatting area, open the drop down box and select Plain Text. Now click the Settings button directly below the Plain Text drop down box. In the resulting window, select the MIME option and open the drop down box entitled "Encode Text Using" and select NONE.

 

 

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