text/plain part of multipart message ignored; html part converted instead (Outlook 2003)




I've Googled and read around, and this seems to remain unanswered, so
here goes...

I'm programmatically creating a multipart mail message with a plain
text part and an html part (see below).

Under default Outlook email options, I receive and open the email, and
see the html version, as expected. All good.

I'm then setting Outlook to 'Read all standard text in plain text' (to
test what other users might see).

When the message is received and opened, instead of displaying the
plain text part, Outlook converts the html part to plain text and
displays that instead. This isn't what I want because the converted
html part is messier than the plain text part would be; I want Outlook
to ignore the html part and display the plain text part if a user has
changed that option.

So my question is: why is it ignoring the plain text part and instead
converting the html to plain text instead when the email options are
set to 'Read all standard text in plain text'?
And: is there a different option/setting to make Outlook ignore the
html part and read the plain text part instead?

This is the email I'm sending (between rows of asterisks):

From: name <[email protected]>
Reply-to: author <[email protected]>
X-Priority: 3
X-Mailer: PHP 4.x
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;

This is the non-MIME version

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Disposition: inline
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

This is the plain text version.

Content-Type: text/html; charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

<html>This is the fancy html version</html>


I've checked that this is really what's being sent (yes), and I've
checked the headers from Outlook to see if this is what's received
(yes). I've also tried changing to multipart/mixed, but all that does
is make the plain text part into an attachment; it still converts the
html part to plain text.

My gut is that this isn't something I can get round (other than by
cleverer html coding), but please could someone put my mind at rest and
confirm? Ta.



Sue Mosher [MVP-Outlook]

No, you should simply be more patient. This isn't a chat group.

My guess is that Outlook shows the converted HTML as a security measure. Otherwise, someone could see "clean" plain text and think the message is safe, then show it in HTML and find something quite unpleasant on the screen.

Sue Mosher, Outlook MVP
Author of Configuring Microsoft Outlook 2003

and Microsoft Outlook Programming - Jumpstart for
Administrators, Power Users, and Developers




Glad I'm in the right place, point taken ;o) and thanks for the answer.

I guess I need to look at ways of getting repeating menus throughout
the html email to be hidden somehow when Outlook does the conversion.
If anybody has already done this using clever html and a knowledge of
Outlook's html->text conversion, the solution would be gratefully
received :)


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