Messages that include html code or rich text formatting
cause problems for many mail list servers and clients.
Many of the newer email programs (Eudora, Microsoft
Outlook/Outlook Express, Netscape) encourage users to send email
containing multiple fonts, embedded pictures, etc. This is called such
things as "rich text", "styled text", "html
The message sent will contain at least two parts.
The first is a plain text version of the message, the second is the
same text with all the pretty stuff added. If there are pictures or
address cards attached, there will be more.
Some older email programs will show the message and
all the html tags instead of making it look pretty.
Digests for lists really screw up! All the
pretty stuff shows up as html tags and a lot of garbage. This
makes the digest huge, wastes bandwidth, and for the most part makes
the digest useless since nobody will wade through all of that to get
to the real message.
So, how do you prevent this? Simple, configure
your email program to send messages as plain text. Below you should
find the directions for the more popular email programs to make these
If you use Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express to
send email, you have two choices.
(1) You can create an entry in the Address Book for each mail
list. On the Name tab of the Properties entry, there is a checkbox
at the bottom left labeled "Send E-Mail using
plain text only.". This box should be checked.
If you already have an Address Book entry for the
mail list, select the entry in the Address Book and then select
File/Properties and then click the Name tab.
If you create a new entry for the mail list, the
Name tab will be presented to you to fill out.
(2) The other way to send plain text from Outlook is
to first begin the message. Then select the Format menu and click the
"Plain Text" item.
If you use Netscape email, the options are similar.
In the Address Book, the Name tab of an address card has a checkbox
labeled "Prefers to receive rich text (HTML) mail". This box
should NOT be checked. You are presented with this tab when you create
a new card.
If the card already exists, select it in the Address Book and then
select Edit/Card properties.
Alternatively, begin a new message to the mail list then click the
"Message Sending Options" tab in the "Addressing
Area" (select View/Show Addressing Area if you can't see this)
and then select "Plain Text" from the Format option box.
If you use Eudora, select the Tools/Options menu
item, then select "Styled Text". Under the "When
sending mail with styled text (HTML):" heading, check the
"Ask me each time" box. Uncheck the "Send the signature
with styles" box. If you never want to send html mail, check the
"Send plain text only" box. Alternatively, write the message
to eat-lf and before sending (or queuing) it, select all the text in
the message (using CTRL-A or the Edit/Select All menu item) and then
click the "Clear Formatting" button on the formatting bar.
If you can't see the formatting bar, check the "Show formatting
bar" box in Tools/Options/Styled Text page.