Thinking of upgrading to Outlook 2003, but ...


B

Ben Amada

I'm still on Outlook 2002. There are 2 things I'm wondering if are
available in 2003. Hopefully 2003 users could share some information with
me.

1. I know in 2003 you can tell Outlook to suppress HTML images -- the
setting is something like "Show messages in plain text". I like the idea of
this setting, but I'm wondering if there is a way to display HTML images on
a per e-mail basis? For instance, I might receive an e-mail with HTML
images from a sender that I trust. Is there something I can click on to
display images for that e-mail? I know Outlook Express has a similar
feature where when it suppresses images, you can click on what is basically
a link above the message that will display the HTML images in the e-mail.

2. When hovering your mouse over a link or image-link in an HTML e-mail,
does the URL that you would go to by clicking on the link display in the
status bar of Outlook? 2002 doesn't do this, but Outlook Express does. I
want to know where I'm going to be directed if I click on the link or image.

Thanks in advance for any insight :)
Ben
 
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V

Vanguardx

Ben Amada said:
I'm still on Outlook 2002. There are 2 things I'm wondering if are
available in 2003. Hopefully 2003 users could share some information
with me.

1. I know in 2003 you can tell Outlook to suppress HTML images -- the
setting is something like "Show messages in plain text". I like the
idea of this setting, but I'm wondering if there is a way to display
HTML images on a per e-mail basis? For instance, I might receive an
e-mail with HTML images from a sender that I trust. Is there
something I can click on to display images for that e-mail? I know
Outlook Express has a similar feature where when it suppresses
images, you can click on what is basically a link above the message
that will display the HTML images in the e-mail.

"Show all messages in plain text" is also an option in Outlook 2002.
You don't need to waste money upgrading to get that feature. However,
you won't find the option listed in the Tools -> Options menu but
instead are stuck with a registry edit to enable that option (i.e.,
OL2003 provided a checkbox control in the options UI for a feature that
already existed for OL2002).

It might be more convenient to use a utility to alter this global
setting. I use Attachment Options (found it at http://www.slipstick.com
which is operated by Outlook MVPs) which not only returns control over
file attachment security to me without registry editing but also
includes the option to enable/disable reading all messages as plain
text.

However, you lose a lot of structure (which is itself content) when you
eradicate the formatting afforded by HTML. I use SpamPal for spam
filtering. It has many plug-ins of which one is the HTML-Modify
plug-in. It can be configured to remove linked images (which can be
used as web bugs or beacons by spammers, or by "services" like MsgTag
that let senders know when you have opened their message). HTML-Modify
also eliminates lots of other nasties in HTML-formatted e-mails
(although some of those features overlap those when using the Restricted
Sites security zone [and at its High setting] for e-mail security).
Embedded images (disposition=inline) are not removed by default
(although you can select to eradicate those, too) because they do not
require connecting to a [spammer's] server to get the image, so have
your good senders paste the image into their e-mail instead of inserting
it. You can eliminate all of this HTML filtering if you whitelist your
good senders in SpamPal. However, this assumes you believe all your
"good" senders are composing the complete HTML message and they are not
inserting any nasties in it, and that they are not simply sending you an
HTML web page where they have nothing to do with its HTML content. I
use the HTML-Modify plug-in and I do *not* use its option to ignore
whitelisted senders. I have lots of "good" senders that are not expert
enough to know what they are actually sending.
2. When hovering your mouse over a link or image-link in an HTML
e-mail, does the URL that you would go to by clicking on the link
display in the status bar of Outlook? 2002 doesn't do this, but
Outlook Express does. I want to know where I'm going to be directed
if I click on the link or image.

I don't know if OL2003 has this feature (for me, there was no bang for
the buck to spend money to upgrade). Why not just right-click and View
Source? Even if you don't know HTML, you can search through the source
for the text of the link in the rendered message and the URL for that
link in the source will be next to the text that was shown for that
link, as in:

Rendered:

"click here"

View Source:

<a href="{URL}">Click here</a>

It's the {URL} that you are interested in. It would have been much
easier if Microsoft had used the status bar to show you the URL when you
hovered the mouse over it, or popup a balloon showing the URL (so you
don't have to bounce your focus between the message and the status
line). It might be a feature in OL2003 but there is a workaround in
OL2002.

The HTML-Modify plug-in for SpamPal also has an option to convert all
HTML to text. This means you will see the HTML-formatted message as
text but with all the HTML tags still there (only handy if you know
HTML). On option that is very handy, however, is "correct spam-like
hyperlinks". Spammers will try to obfuscate URLs by using decimal
values (instead of the dotted-decimal format for an IP address) or other
encoding so the URL cannot be read to let you know where it points. In
OL2002, you would still have to use View Source to see the corrected URL
(and in OL2003 it might show in the status bar but, at least, it would
then be a de-obfuscated URL).
 
B

Brian Tillman

Ben Amada said:
1. I know in 2003 you can tell Outlook to suppress HTML images --
Yes.

the setting is something like "Show messages in plain text".

No, that's a different setting.
2. When hovering your mouse over a link or image-link in an HTML
e-mail, does the URL that you would go to by clicking on the link
display in the status bar of Outlook? 2002 doesn't do this, but
Outlook Express does.

No, it doesn't.
 
B

Ben Amada

Vanguardx & Brian,

I appreciate the additional information you provided. I'll probably stick
with 2002 and may install the Attachment Options add-on which looks handy.
I've heard of SpamPal before, but already have a couple of spam filtering
utilities that I'm using -- unfortunately the utilities I have don't catch
everything, but are very helpful nonetheless.

Thanks again!
Ben
 
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S

SgtRich

Hi SgtRich,
Out of curiosity, how do you make the HTML images display for a specific
e-mail in Outlook 2003?
When you receive a message with images, there is a gray bar at the top of
the screen, informing you that, for security reasons, Outlook has blocked
certain images in the message. If you click on this bar, you have the option
to download and view the referenced images.
--
<<<SgtRich>>>

Email Client: Microsoft Office Outlook 2003
News Client (Text): Forté Agent 2.0 www.forteinc.com
News Client (Binaries): News Rover 9.2 www.newsrover.com
 
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B

Ben Amada

SgtRich said:
When you receive a message with images, there is a gray bar at the top of
the screen, informing you that, for security reasons, Outlook has blocked
certain images in the message. If you click on this bar, you have the
option to download and view the referenced images.

That seems fairly easy to do. Thanks for this information -- I don't know
anyone personally who's on Outlook 2003, so I haven't been able to see how
it works firsthand.

Ben
 

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