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Some screen shots that may be helpful in setting Outlook 97, 98, or XP to send mail as plain text.

It seems that in Outlook 97 and 98, this setting must be done for each addressee (and, if not done "permanently" in the address book, must be repeated for each email).

(George Jones <gjones@bordersgroupinc.com> apparently followed these instructions with some success for Outlook 98. (At the time of writing this, replies were still being sent in HTML.) Based on this, and my recollection that this was for Outlook and not OutlookExpress, I have moved (renamed) the page to http://twiki.org/cgi-bin/edit/Wikilearn/OutlookPlainText.)

Background: I collected the snapshots for Outlook 97 because I thought it was in Outlook that a friend was having trouble sending mail as plain text. Turns out I remembered wrong, it was Microsoft Exchange (I don't know which version -- on an NT 4.0 system).

I also scribbled some cryptic instructions -- since I went to that trouble I transcribed them here -- remember, TIMTOWTDIT.

Since then, Robin (<robin@starfleet.d2g.com>), contributed screen shots and instructions for Outlook XP -- download OutlookXP.zip and view the default.htm file.


Sending Mail from OutlookXP as Plain Text

Download OutlookXP.zip and view the default.htm file -- it walks you through a series of screen shots and instructions.

Sending Mail from Outlook97 (or 98) as Plain Text

See the attached screen shots -- remember, TIMTOWTDIT.

These instructions are for the case where you are sending to someone not in the address book. There must be ways to do the same thing for someone who is in the address book.

From the "message composition dialog" (you know, where you write the message):

  • Fill in an email address in the To: field, and select it (not sure I had to select it)
  • Click on the "address book" icon (looks like an open book)
  • On the "Select Names" dialog, click New
  • On the New Entry Dialog:
    • Fill out all the fields (sorry)
    • Uncheck the box "Always send to this recipient in Microsoft Outlook rich text format". (I think that's on this dialog -- I should look at the screen shots again.
    • There is a radio button (or checkbox -- I forget which) -- choose "In this message only"
    • Click OK
  • Delete the original address from the To: field, leave only the new address "nickname" created by the steps above.

Note: The above instructions are not completely correct, but are close enough, I hope, to remind me of the general idea. I ran into a sort of catch22 -- I was doing this from someone else's machine so I didn't want to add my name to the address book. I called up the message dialog and had to add an address in the To: field before I could get the Select Names dialog to come up. After I was done, I had to delete the original address from the To: field and just leave the new one that was created on the New Entry dialog. (I assume I had to do this -- if not, the email to the original address would presumably be sent in HTML as I had made the change only for the newly created "nickname".) Then, to top everything else off, although the mail appeared to send OK from this computer, it was apparently blocked by a firewall or something and never got to me, so I don't know if it actually produced plain text or not.


  • RandyKramer - 13 Nov 2001
  • George Jones
  • Robin (<robin@starfleet.d2g.com>)
Topic attachments
I Attachment History Action Size Date Who Comment
Compressed Zip archivezip OutlookXP.zip r1 manage 794.7 K 2001-12-09 - 18:04 RandyKramer For Outlook XP, from Robin, view default.htm
Compressed Zip archivezip rhk.zip r1 manage 87.4 K 2001-11-14 - 02:07 RandyKramer Screen shots
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Topic revision: r5 - 2001-12-09 - RandyKramer
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