Sending an email is the simplest task today in the world of computers, whether on a web-based client or a desktop-based like Outlook Microsoft. You just write your message, specify a subject if you want, enter the email address of the person you want to be the receiver, and hit ‘Send.’ But what’s not so simple is to craft an email message with a more professional feel, the one that immediately catches the eye and sustains the attention of the reader immediately.
Of course, there is no limit to how well you can do this, but here, we are only looking at the basics of creating an email message that is more than just boring text. Today we are taking a look at HTML and Rich-text based formatting and how to use it.
Format your email messages using rich Text and HTML!
The very first thing is rich-text formatting.
To format your text in a better way, click on the “Format Text” tab on the top ribbon. By default, Outlook creates an HTML formatting email. Change it to “Rich Text” (Format text -> Format). Here, you can change the text to bold, italic, change font color, and all sorts of options.
Know that rich-text is only compatible with Outlook and Microsoft Exchange, while HTML formatted and basic text are compatible with most email readers.
Therefore, we rarely recommend rich text unless that’s the only option. There is a security element that can prioritize rich-text as opposed to HTML, but other than that, there are not many benefits.
Besides, all the formatting options (like bold, italics, etc.) that you can apply to rich-text, you can do the same to HTML formatted messages as well without having to manually type the HTML code. From the Outlook “Format Text” tab in the ribbon, if you check these text formatting options, the message below automatically applies them.
Even the links can be added using the graphical UI and given a text to display over the link without manually adding the code, like: <a href=”url”>link text</a>.
Basically, an HTML formatted email is just like an Html webpage that you come across everyday whenever you open a website.
Changing formatting between Rich Text, Plain Text, and HTML
By going to “Format Text” tab in the ribbon, you can change the format from Rich text to plain text or to HTML. Keep in mind that when you select plain-text, all the formatting will be lost. Also remember that rich-text is only compatible with Outlook, but plain text and HTML text are compatible with all email viewers.
But also, as a reminder, how an email appears to a viewer depends on the email viewer and the settings a user has selected. Some of the users have complete turned off the HTML formatting (for safety issue), in which case, your entire email will only appear as a text.
If some of the features are not supported by the plain text, you will get a warning before confirming. Click ‘Continue’ if you are okay with the features that will be lost.
Outlook automatically changes the rich-text emails to HTML when sending to internet recipients. This option can be turned off in settings (File -> Options -> Mail).