How to email blog posts from Outlook

Suppose (just for the sake of discussion) you wanted to share some blog postings with a group of people at work – and the company email system uses Outlook 2003. Sending HTML email with the blog posting seems like it would be a nice way to do it. But getting Outlook to send properly-crafted HTML emails is surprisingly difficult

Following a hint I learned from the web, here is the procedure I came up with.

  1. Launch Outlook.
  2. Go to “Tools > Options > Mail Format” and set the email format to HTML while disabling the use of Microsoft Word for editing emails.
  3. Go to “View > Toolbars > Web” to enable the web toolbar.
  4. In the web toolbar, navigate to the page containing the HTML you want to send. If the page you are sending is not an existing blog post, you can write it by hand in the HTML editor of your choice then navigate there.
  5. Go to “Actions > Send Web Page by E-mail”.
  6. This will launch Outlook’s terrible, almost unusable HTML editor. Fortunately, it will prefill it with the content of your web page, so if the web page was correct then you should be able to fill in the headers (subject and To) and just hit “send”. I found some character set problems (e.g.: EM dashes replaced with patches of line noise) so you may want to watch out for these.

I still recommend creating a sample and sending it to an email address beforehand. Test every link and image to make sure that they’re working before you send out the mass mailing.

HTML email in my Outlook

Comments

5 Responses to “How to email blog posts from Outlook”

  1. mcherm on 2008-04-18 8:28 am

    A few more details for publishing THIS website.

    First, log out. Then view the article to be published (in Firefox). Use “File > Save page as” to save the html and supporting files. Then edit the CSS file by adding the following at the bottom:

    /* ——————————————– ADDED FOR EMAIL —————————————– */
    #sidebar {
    display: none;
    }
    #header {
    display: none;
    }
    #navbar {
    display: none;
    }
    #footer {
    display: none;
    }
    .postinfo {
    display: none;
    }
    #content {
    width: 93%;
    }

  2. mcherm on 2008-05-05 7:38 am

    Apparently tabs in front of the values set in the css make a difference? At any rate, the second time I tried this it needed a lot of fiddling before it worked. Once I’ve figured out what is actually making the difference, I’ll write it up.

  3. mcherm on 2008-05-12 7:23 am

    After messing with it even more on my next attempt, I think perhaps the problem lies in copying the comment line from the blog entry above… it is getting pasted in the form of some odd character other than a simple minus sign. If the next attempt at a mailing goes smoothly then I’ll try writing up the instructions neatly.

  4. mcherm on 2008-06-27 7:21 am

    Thanks to some changes, I now add “?stylesheet=outlook” to the end of the URL for my blog.

  5. How to email MY blog posts from Outlook : Dragons in the Algorithm on 2008-09-15 8:40 am

    [...] How to email MY blog posts from Outlook [...]

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