Outlook 2007 and HTML email
By Mike Irving - Published: 16/11/2007

Those of us that regulalry send HTML emails, or have websites that send HTML Newsletters will have been surprised by Outlook 2007 in recent months.

The lastest version of Microsoft's flagship Email program has now got it's own HTML rendering engine, rather than using that of IE. This has been done to improve the editing of emails, and sounds great in theory, but it is actually quite restrictive.

The rendering engine appears to have little or no support for floating DIVs or use of "background-image" in CSS. Infact, if you do have HTML newsletters, you may find that their layout has become a bit of a dogs dinner in Outlook 2007.

The solution? Well, while it's not ideal, the solution is to go back in time, dis-regard accesibility and convert your nice DIV layouts back to TABLE layouts.

Also, you can forget about using background images in CSS, so either use on-page images, or background-color. In short, this may mean simplifying your layouts somewhat.

Will Microsoft improve their new rendering engine? Probably, but don't expect any significant improvements in the near future.

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