Outlook HTML…. holy shit that’s bad.

Recently, I made up a HTML template to use with some summaries we send out to clients – I thought it would look a bit more professional than our existing text with an attached PDF.

I got the HTML looking nice, plugged it into the VS project, and generated some emails…

<eyes pop from sockets> Holy shit that looks terrible! The rendering is all over the place!

After a bit of poking around the web, I found that the rendering engine for outlook since 2007 has been the word html rendering engine – and to say its an unpopular choice would be a massive understatement.

My campaign looks bad in Outlook

Html Email Outlook Padding | The complete guide for email marketers

Outlook Email Rendering Issues and How to Solve Them

Microsoft defends Outlook HTML decision


I ended up “editing” my html with word, accepting that it was never going to look good, saving the massively increased html “template” – and using that.

It looks nowhere near as good, the HTML content has gone from 1k to 41k and I have learn the valuable lesson of checking before saying “how hard can something really basic like that be?” to coders when they cannot do something that, on the face of it, would seem incredibly basic.

Good work Microsoft – your ability to introduce absurd amounts of complexity for no benefit is second only to the Australian federal government.

One thought on “Outlook HTML…. holy shit that’s bad.

  1. OMG, 2 years later dude and I just made the same mistake with email signatures for a client. “Just use in-line CSS and its standard HTML” they said. They lied. Not even basic-bitch level CSS is supported, they have wacky MS-only tags that subvert normal CSS and HTML rules its just an utter shit-show. God I wish I had read your post before wasting hours. MS, kill yourselves.

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