How to stop Outlook/Winmail from removing line breaks as e-mail se

Discussion in 'Microsoft Outlook Discussion' started by Jochen Wezel, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. Jochen Wezel

    Jochen Wezel Guest

    I want to send a plain text email by code to receipients using Outlook or
    WinMail.

    Unfortunately, Outlook and Winmail remove line breaks automatically -
    catastrophically.

    Can I add a header to the e-mail to stop outlook/winmail from doing some
    automatic magic regarding the line breaks? Or is there another way to force
    Outlook/Winmail to stop removing any linebreaks automatically?
     
    Jochen Wezel, Jun 2, 2009
    #1
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  2. Jochen Wezel

    VanguardLH Guest

    Jochen Wezel wrote:

    > I want to send a plain text email by code to receipients using Outlook or
    > WinMail.
    >
    > Unfortunately, Outlook and Winmail remove line breaks automatically -
    > catastrophically.
    >
    > Can I add a header to the e-mail to stop outlook/winmail from doing some
    > automatic magic regarding the line breaks? Or is there another way to force
    > Outlook/Winmail to stop removing any linebreaks automatically?


    It is an option setting on the user's host in their copy of Outlook
    (don't know what is WinMail since there is no MS product by that name).
    Your e-mail does not get to control how the recipient configured their
    e-mail account. Would you want someone doing that to you? Do you also
    configure your Outlook to use the Internet security zone (instead of the
    Restricted Sites security zone) so anyone sending you an HTML-formatted
    e-mail can run scripts on your host?

    Rather than send in plain text format, you could use HTML. Then enclose
    your code fragment inside <PRE>texthere</PRE> tags. That will render
    the HTML so that whitespace is honored as it is entered inside those
    tags.
     
    VanguardLH, Jun 3, 2009
    #2
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  3. Jochen Wezel

    Jochen Wezel Guest

    Re: How to stop Outlook/Winmail from removing line breaks as e-mai

    > (don't know what is WinMail since there is no MS product by that name).
    WinMail is the email application of Windows Vista.
    --> this problem is very special to Microsoft email applications.

    > Your e-mail does not get to control how the recipient configured their
    > e-mail account.

    It has nothing to do on how to configure general e-mail settings. It is the
    question how to control automatisms regarding appearance of content. For some
    reasons, automatisms make sense, but not in all reasons. So there is the need
    to be able to switch off this automatism if you know it's not working
    properly within special situations.

    > Rather than send in plain text format, you could use HTML.

    This is an option (or let's say a workaround) in many situations, but not a
    real solution. I'm interested in a real solution.
    Only 1 argument of several ones why a real solution is required: the SPAM
    detection engines do another ranking if you use text-only, html-only or
    text+html-mails.

    "VanguardLH" wrote:

    > Jochen Wezel wrote:
    >
    > > I want to send a plain text email by code to receipients using Outlook or
    > > WinMail.
    > >
    > > Unfortunately, Outlook and Winmail remove line breaks automatically -
    > > catastrophically.
    > >
    > > Can I add a header to the e-mail to stop outlook/winmail from doing some
    > > automatic magic regarding the line breaks? Or is there another way to force
    > > Outlook/Winmail to stop removing any linebreaks automatically?

    >
    > It is an option setting on the user's host in their copy of Outlook
    > (don't know what is WinMail since there is no MS product by that name).
    > Your e-mail does not get to control how the recipient configured their
    > e-mail account. Would you want someone doing that to you? Do you also
    > configure your Outlook to use the Internet security zone (instead of the
    > Restricted Sites security zone) so anyone sending you an HTML-formatted
    > e-mail can run scripts on your host?
    >
    > Rather than send in plain text format, you could use HTML. Then enclose
    > your code fragment inside <PRE>texthere</PRE> tags. That will render
    > the HTML so that whitespace is honored as it is entered inside those
    > tags.
    >
     
    Jochen Wezel, Jun 3, 2009
    #3
  4. "Jochen Wezel" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    >I want to send a plain text email by code to receipients using Outlook or
    > WinMail.
    >
    > Unfortunately, Outlook and Winmail remove line breaks automatically -
    > catastrophically.


    When using Plain Text, you have no control over the formatting that the
    recipient sees. The display is controlled on the receiving side.

    > Can I add a header to the e-mail to stop outlook/winmail from doing some
    > automatic magic regarding the line breaks? Or is there another way to force
    > Outlook/Winmail to stop removing any linebreaks automatically?


    Outlook (I haven't tested Windows Mail) does not remove line breaks on the way
    out. It can, however, remove them when receiving. Tools>Options>E-mail
    Options>Remove extra line breaks in plain text messages.
    --
    Brian Tillman [MVP-Outlook]
     
    Brian Tillman [MVP - Outlook], Jun 3, 2009
    #4
  5. Jochen Wezel

    VanguardLH Guest

    Re: How to stop Outlook/Winmail from removing line breaks as e-mai

    Jochen Wezel wrote:

    >> (don't know what is WinMail since there is no MS product by that name).

    > WinMail is the email application of Windows Vista.
    > --> this problem is very special to Microsoft email applications.


    Microsoft has always referred to this product as Windows Mail. Example:
    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-vista/features/mail.aspx, and
    WinMail is not used anywhere. WinMail is a colloquialism employed by
    some users of the product.

    WinMail, as another example, could refer to a 3rd party product called
    WinMail Viewer, that is used by recipients of e-mails where an Outlook
    sender chose to compose using RTF format that no other e-mail client
    supports. When you said WinMail, that was the first product that I
    thought of because that word is actually in the name of that product.

    >> Your e-mail does not get to control how the recipient configured their
    >> e-mail account.

    > It has nothing to do on how to configure general e-mail settings. It is the
    > question how to control automatisms regarding appearance of content. For some
    > reasons, automatisms make sense, but not in all reasons. So there is the need
    > to be able to switch off this automatism if you know it's not working
    > properly within special situations.


    So, again, you want to change what the recipient see despite what
    configuration they have chosen for their e-mail client running on their
    property. Scripts aren't allowed in e-mail for the same reason.

    >> Rather than send in plain text format, you could use HTML.

    > This is an option (or let's say a workaround) in many situations, but not a
    > real solution. I'm interested in a real solution.
    > Only 1 argument of several ones why a real solution is required: the SPAM
    > detection engines do another ranking if you use text-only, html-only or
    > text+html-mails.


    All HTML-formatted e-mails should contain 2 MIME parts: a plaint-text
    MIME part and an HTML MIME part. Not all e-mail clients can read
    HTML-formatted e-mails, or users have configured their e-mail clients to
    always show e-mails in plain-text format. The text MIME part ensures
    that your e-mail is viewable by as many recipients as possible. It is
    improper to compose an HTML-formatted e-mail without including a
    plain-text version. Hotmail was like that for a long time but, as I
    recall, they redeemed themself by eventually including both MIME types.

    If some anti-spam filter is adding spam weight to an e-mail that
    contains both text and HTML MIME parts than the author of that software
    hasn't a clue how HTML-formatted e-mails are supposed to be composed, or
    the user of that software misconfigured it.

    About the best you can do if you decide to stick with plain-text e-mails
    is to put a notice at the top of your e-mail notifying the user to NOT
    have their e-mail client remove duplicate blank lines. Of course, in
    Outlook, a yellow infobar already comes up to warn the user that Outlook
    has removed the extra blank lines.

    Since you don't want to use HTML, sending a .pdf, .doc, .txt, or other
    file as an attachment that contains your code is probably not a viable
    solution to you. However, I suspect your recipients would probably want
    your code as an attachment rather than inside the body of the e-mail.
    For example, when they reply, they're going to have to do a lot of
    snipping out of that code that isn't needed in their reply.

    Personally I don't see how code is any harder to read when it is
    single-spaced with just a blank line for whitespace to provide
    legibility than to double up, or more, on the blank lines. Reading
    books, and even reading code, is a lot tougher when they're
    double-spaced. You could, for example, place a single period character
    at the start of the blank lines (if that doesn't interfere with whatever
    is the data you are providing inside the e-mail). That wouldn't be a
    blank line so it won't get removed as duplicate whitespace. I haven't
    tried inserting just a tab character (which appears invisible to the
    user) to see if that might qualify the line as non-blank to circumvent
    the duplicate whitespace removal.

    Of course, the removal of duplicate contiguous blank lines is a feature
    in Outlook. Who know what another e-mail client might do with your
    e-mail regarding whitespace.
     
    VanguardLH, Jun 4, 2009
    #5
  6. Jochen Wezel

    Jochen Wezel Guest

    Re: How to stop Outlook/Winmail from removing line breaks as e-mai

    Yes, there are many possible workarounds for handling specific situations.
    My task is to develop a solution that works in general/all situations.

    So, text shall be text and no attachment, adding periods to some line
    requires a logic specifically for the content logic of a special e-mail
    message. The text is no long text, it is just a simple mail with around 10 or
    20 lines. Easy to read and to understand if it is displayed directly. But it
    must appear in a format so that the eye can realize the structure of the
    small table inside or the structure of the document realized by paragraphs.

    All workarounds always have a negative point with it. For a general
    solution, it is not possible to work around any issues. It just has to work
    smoothly.


    "VanguardLH" wrote:

    > Jochen Wezel wrote:
    >
    > >> (don't know what is WinMail since there is no MS product by that name).

    > > WinMail is the email application of Windows Vista.
    > > --> this problem is very special to Microsoft email applications.

    >
    > Microsoft has always referred to this product as Windows Mail. Example:
    > http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-vista/features/mail.aspx, and
    > WinMail is not used anywhere. WinMail is a colloquialism employed by
    > some users of the product.
    >
    > WinMail, as another example, could refer to a 3rd party product called
    > WinMail Viewer, that is used by recipients of e-mails where an Outlook
    > sender chose to compose using RTF format that no other e-mail client
    > supports. When you said WinMail, that was the first product that I
    > thought of because that word is actually in the name of that product.
    >
    > >> Your e-mail does not get to control how the recipient configured their
    > >> e-mail account.

    > > It has nothing to do on how to configure general e-mail settings. It is the
    > > question how to control automatisms regarding appearance of content. For some
    > > reasons, automatisms make sense, but not in all reasons. So there is the need
    > > to be able to switch off this automatism if you know it's not working
    > > properly within special situations.

    >
    > So, again, you want to change what the recipient see despite what
    > configuration they have chosen for their e-mail client running on their
    > property. Scripts aren't allowed in e-mail for the same reason.
    >
    > >> Rather than send in plain text format, you could use HTML.

    > > This is an option (or let's say a workaround) in many situations, but not a
    > > real solution. I'm interested in a real solution.
    > > Only 1 argument of several ones why a real solution is required: the SPAM
    > > detection engines do another ranking if you use text-only, html-only or
    > > text+html-mails.

    >
    > All HTML-formatted e-mails should contain 2 MIME parts: a plaint-text
    > MIME part and an HTML MIME part. Not all e-mail clients can read
    > HTML-formatted e-mails, or users have configured their e-mail clients to
    > always show e-mails in plain-text format. The text MIME part ensures
    > that your e-mail is viewable by as many recipients as possible. It is
    > improper to compose an HTML-formatted e-mail without including a
    > plain-text version. Hotmail was like that for a long time but, as I
    > recall, they redeemed themself by eventually including both MIME types.
    >
    > If some anti-spam filter is adding spam weight to an e-mail that
    > contains both text and HTML MIME parts than the author of that software
    > hasn't a clue how HTML-formatted e-mails are supposed to be composed, or
    > the user of that software misconfigured it.
    >
    > About the best you can do if you decide to stick with plain-text e-mails
    > is to put a notice at the top of your e-mail notifying the user to NOT
    > have their e-mail client remove duplicate blank lines. Of course, in
    > Outlook, a yellow infobar already comes up to warn the user that Outlook
    > has removed the extra blank lines.
    >
    > Since you don't want to use HTML, sending a .pdf, .doc, .txt, or other
    > file as an attachment that contains your code is probably not a viable
    > solution to you. However, I suspect your recipients would probably want
    > your code as an attachment rather than inside the body of the e-mail.
    > For example, when they reply, they're going to have to do a lot of
    > snipping out of that code that isn't needed in their reply.
    >
    > Personally I don't see how code is any harder to read when it is
    > single-spaced with just a blank line for whitespace to provide
    > legibility than to double up, or more, on the blank lines. Reading
    > books, and even reading code, is a lot tougher when they're
    > double-spaced. You could, for example, place a single period character
    > at the start of the blank lines (if that doesn't interfere with whatever
    > is the data you are providing inside the e-mail). That wouldn't be a
    > blank line so it won't get removed as duplicate whitespace. I haven't
    > tried inserting just a tab character (which appears invisible to the
    > user) to see if that might qualify the line as non-blank to circumvent
    > the duplicate whitespace removal.
    >
    > Of course, the removal of duplicate contiguous blank lines is a feature
    > in Outlook. Who know what another e-mail client might do with your
    > e-mail regarding whitespace.
    >
     
    Jochen Wezel, Jun 4, 2009
    #6
  7. Jochen Wezel

    Jochen Wezel Guest

    Re: How to stop Outlook/Winmail from removing line breaks as e-mai

    Hi Brian,

    > When using Plain Text, you have no control over the formatting that the
    > recipient sees. The display is controlled on the receiving side.

    yes, this exactly is the point that leads to these problems. It wouldn't be
    a problem if the automatism would work more intelligent and don't break down
    a required document structure. After the automatism, the document must keep
    easy to read for the eye, easy to see the structure of a document, easy to
    read some small table data.

    If this is not possible, you have done one major mistake: you have "thought"
    as developer for the user. The central mistake of it is: the developer can
    never realize the full reality at the user's side; so, this leads to many
    frustration at the user's side if it doesn't work as expected. Alternatively,
    you can say: the mistake was to provide an automatism which hasn't been
    tested enough.

    That's why I request to either
    1. switch off the automatism per default (it should better be enabled
    manually by a check box in the email options)
    2. provide a possibility for the senders (developers who know about what
    they're doing and who know how the e-mail shall appear) to switch off the
    automatism by an additional mail header if they know that the automatism
    (which won't work in all situations as perfect as the authors hoped it to do)
    crippled the document structure.

    Since these automatisms are included into outlook since Outlook 97 (as far
    as I know), the fix should apply to all versions starting with Outlook 97 as
    best. But at least Outlook 2007 is a must.

    Thanks,
    Jochen

    "Brian Tillman [MVP - Outlook]" wrote:

    > "Jochen Wezel" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >
    > >I want to send a plain text email by code to receipients using Outlook or
    > > WinMail.
    > >
    > > Unfortunately, Outlook and Winmail remove line breaks automatically -
    > > catastrophically.

    >
    > When using Plain Text, you have no control over the formatting that the
    > recipient sees. The display is controlled on the receiving side.
    >
    > > Can I add a header to the e-mail to stop outlook/winmail from doing some
    > > automatic magic regarding the line breaks? Or is there another way to force
    > > Outlook/Winmail to stop removing any linebreaks automatically?

    >
    > Outlook (I haven't tested Windows Mail) does not remove line breaks on the way
    > out. It can, however, remove them when receiving. Tools>Options>E-mail
    > Options>Remove extra line breaks in plain text messages.
    > --
    > Brian Tillman [MVP-Outlook]
    >
    >
     
    Jochen Wezel, Jun 4, 2009
    #7
  8. Re: How to stop Outlook/Winmail from removing line breaks as e-mai

    "Jochen Wezel" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    > That's why I request to either
    > 1. switch off the automatism per default (it should better be enabled
    > manually by a check box in the email options)
    > 2. provide a possibility for the senders (developers who know about what
    > they're doing and who know how the e-mail shall appear) to switch off the
    > automatism by an additional mail header if they know that the automatism
    > (which won't work in all situations as perfect as the authors hoped it to
    > do)
    > crippled the document structure.


    If you think a change is needed in Outlook, then you'll need to contact them.
    Posting in this newsgroup doesn't accomplish that because Microsoft employees
    rarely read this newsgroup and it's not an official support channel. Again, I
    don't believe Outlook (on the sending side) has anything to do with this and
    you'd have to make changes in ANY of the myriad clients your recipients use.
    --
    Brian Tillman [MVP-Outlook]
     
    Brian Tillman [MVP - Outlook], Jun 4, 2009
    #8
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