Chapter 5. Formatting Your Email Messages


  • Understanding message format options

  • Changing text formatting

  • Working with paragraph formatting

  • Using themes and styles

  • Changing the message background

An email message does not have to be limited to plain text. Outlook provides you with the ability to create messages with rich formatting, including different fonts, images, charts, and a variety of other elements. No longer is email just for sending simple messages—an email can be, in essence, a small document with all of the impact that is possible with advanced formatting.

Message Format Options

Outlook can create three types of email messages. The type of a message affects the extent to which you can apply formatting to the message. To a lesser extent the type of message also affects who can and cannot read the message. The three types of messages are

  • Plain text: The most basic type of message, plain text can be read by everyone, no matter how old their email program, but cannot contain any formatting.

  • HTML: This stands for Hypertext Markup Language, and is the same technique used to format web pages. HTML provides an excellent set of formatting options, and can be read by essentially any modern email client.

  • Rich text: The rich text format, sometimes referred to as RTF, was developed for word processors. It provides more powerful formatting tools than HTML but can be read by a limited set of email clients, including Outlook and Exchange.

Which format should you use? There's rarely ...

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