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Outlook 2010 – how does this affect email design?

September 15, 2010

With the release of Outlook 2010 this summer, many email designers have been worried about more problems with the rendering of emails. The reasons for these problems are because both Outlook 2007 and 2010 use Word rendering to interpret the html emails, unlike the most popular versions of Outlook - 2000 and 2003, which use Internet Explorer to render emails.

Microsoft has announced that they are discussing if they will continue with the rendering of emails in Word for future editions of Outlook. In the meantime we need to work with Word rendering.

So what has changed with Outlook 2010?

There is hardly any difference between Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 in terms of rendering, although there is a nice new feature in Outlook 2010.
Most emails viewed in Outlook 2010 will now show a link to ‘view the email in your default web browser’ within the email header information.

Outlook 2010

A nice little feature to add and to make sure that your email does this; you need to add the following code to your email:
<span style="padding: 0px;"></span>

This code needs to be placed at the bottom of your html (still within the closing body tag </body>)

Realistically, when it comes to email design nothing has changed and if Outlook 2010 did render emails using Internet Explorer, designers would still have to code in archaic ways, to make sure your customer emails look as they as supposed to look in as many email clients as possible.

Avoid the following in Outlook 2007-2010

• background images
• animated gif’s
• positioning and display css
• list styles

Posted by Joel Jarman
Tip of the month

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