Adventures in Mobile Marketing

Designing for Web Emails: Outlook Web Access

(continuation of article here: “Designing for Web Emails”) Outlook Access for Web (OWA) merited a completely new post, as it behaves differently on PCs than Macs. I took three screen shots of the same, consistent template sent to the same account, accessed by PC and Mac, and via Firefox and IE 6.0.

Mac & Firefox
Mac OS X and Firefox 2

Images blocked:
Outlook Blocked

Images loaded:
Outlook rendered

On Firefox & the Mac, the images are blocked and CSS blocked. When loaded into the email post window, the CSS is still blocked and does not render. Note: the user can link out to a web page to view the rendered message perfectly. I believe this is a way of “securing insecure content”. See below for how this works on a PC and in a more native environment.


Outlook Web Access (OWA) loaded

On the PC, there is a pop-up box asking if “secure and insecure content” should be loaded. When accepted, the entire message renders well (limited CSS in TD tags, a table, and an external image).

Status on Outlook Compatibilities with HTML and CSS
In January it was all over the news about Microsoft regressing and using Word’s inferior HTML rendering engine The list of incompatibilities, lifted from this SitePoint article by Kevin Yank, are:

* no support for background images (HTML or CSS)
* no support for forms
* no support for Flash, or other plugins
* no support for CSS floats
* no support for replacing bullets with images in unordered lists
* no support for CSS positioning
* no support for animated GIFs

My template doesn’t use any of those elements, so it has proven its durability with OWA. The key to having a template work across all of the webmail browsers is to use the lowest common denominator- and at this point, I believe Gmail has beat out Outlook significantly.

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Written on Wednesday, 25. July 2007 at 13:51 In the category images off, techniques. Follow the comments via RSS here: RSS-Feed. Share on FriendFeed

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  1. [...] Web Outlook Access (See new post: “Designing for Web Emails: Outlook Web Access”.) [...]

    Pingback: Adventures in Email Marketing » Designing for Web Emails | – 25. July 2007 @ 2:05 pm

  2. [...] and <br> tags instead of margins and padding. For more examples, take a look at this post on Outlook Web Access by [...]

    Pingback: CampaignMonitor – Email rendering issues and fixes for Outlook Web App (OWA) | The eMail Guide – 15. September 2011 @ 7:09 am

  3. [...] and <br> tags instead of margins and padding. For more examples, take a look at this post on Outlook Web Access by [...]

    Pingback: Email Rendering Issues and Fixes for Outlook Web App (OWA) - Proven Sell – 09. September 2019 @ 1:00 pm

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