Outlook 2007: Display an HTML file in an email messageJanuary 21, 2011
A colleague wanted to know how to insert an HTML file into an Outlook 2007 email so that everything in the file was displayed in the body of the email. They did not want to send the HTML file as an attachment. The HTML file already existed and it was a basic form with a Submit button that linked to a person’s email address.
This is not my area of expertise, but I said I’d find out. I knew you could do something similar in earlier versions of Outlook. I also suspected they may have to use Word to create the HTML file, but I wasn’t really sure.
Off to the internet…
I did a little digging and it seems that Microsoft changed things in Outlook 2007 regarding sending HTML emails (the first section of this article explains it: http://www.email-marketing-reports.com/iland/2007/01/outlook-2007-and-html-email-design.html)
There is a workaround (also from that article), but it DOESN’T work with forms, and that’s what this team wanted to do – put an HTML form into an email. I tried the workaround method and while it put in the text correctly, it broke all the form fields and the submit buttons. Here’s that method:
- Open the HTML file in Internet Explorer.
- In Internet Explorer, turn on the menu bar if it’s not already displayed (Tools > Menu bar)
- Go to File > Send > Page by Email.
- A new Outlook email message will open with the HTML file embedded in it.
So while this may work for an ordinary HTML file, it wasn’t a solution for a file with a form in it.
I also suggested these alternatives to my colleague:
- Put the HTML file up somewhere on the corporate intranet and send users the URL (this would also work for the general internet too)
- If the form is also for those outside the corporate intranet, consider using something quick, cheap (free), and super easy to use like http://www.surveymonkey.com/. You can keep the survey private and just send out the URL to those who need to complete it.
- If it’s a simple Q&A form, with set choices for answers, then Outlook has a polling option that may be of use: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/create-polls-in-e-mail-messages-and-review-the-results-HP010080425.aspx
[Links last checked January 2011]