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CHAPTER 31. Using Outlook Express > Choosing HTML or Plain Text as Your Message...

Choosing HTML or Plain Text as Your Message Format

Each time you use Outlook Express to compose a message, you choose whether to use plain text only or to add graphics, colors, and rich text formatting using HTML. If most of your messages go to users of Outlook Express or other HTML-compatible mail programs, rich text formatting can make your messages livelier and more readable. With HTML formatting, your messages look and behave like Web pages; you can specify fonts and their sizes, change text colors, use paragraph styles, and control text alignment. You can add background colors and graphics, bulleted and numbered lists, and hypertext links to other Web pages.

All that fancy formatting is lost, though, if your correspondents use email software that can't interpret HTML. They'll see a plain-text version of your message along with a file attachment that they can open in a Web browser. In fact, there's a good chance they'll be annoyed when they receive your HTML messages because even a simple one-sentence message typically occupies 1K or more of disk space when translated into HTML.


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