General Question

gciochina's avatar

Emails sent from Thunderbird look different on Outlook. How can i fix this?

Asked by gciochina (107points) April 8th, 2009

Okay guys. I’ve been using Thunderbird (2.0.21) for quite some time now and i’m very pleased with it (especially the spam filtering engine).

But i’ve got a problem when it comes to using it at the office.

The company is using Outlook 2003. Most of my clients are using Outlook 2003 also. And all emails that i’m sending using Thunderbird will look terribly on outlook (beginning with font and/or font sizes and ending with text alignment/indent.

Can i fix this somehow? Did anybody had this problem before?

I mean, right now, i’m saving the message prior to sending it, and then i’m looking at it via ‘Drafts’ folder to see if there are any differences. I’ve also noticed that sometimes (especially when i copy/paste text) even if select the whole text and set it to ‘smaller’ font size, there will still be text in the email that has a different size. This is very annoying. And worst of all this is very annoying for my clients.

Is there a way that i can make my sent emails look the same on an outlook 2003 email client? I’ve heard that outlook doesn’t fully respect the HTML standards, hence my differences appear. Can i force thunderbird to use the same style?


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6 Answers

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

What does Thunderbird support say? This doesn’t sound like it would be a new problem for them, since so many people use Outlook.

Vincentt's avatar

I’m not too experienced with this, but I believe email clients often are very bad at displaying HTML emails (Thunderbird being an exception, I suppose, being Mozilla’s). What you could do (I don’t know where the setting is located as I only use webmail) is configure Thunderbird to send mail as plain text, but that does mean that you’ll lose all formatting. If you don’t want to do that, it’s at least a good idea to keep the formatting to a minimum, because the more complicated it is, the more trouble Outlook will have displaying it.

btw, regarding “outlook doesn’t fully respect the HTML standards”, that’s the understatement of the century… Microsoft’s web browser already was terrible at respecting the standards, but the renderer for Outlook was even worse, I believe in the past it was even based on Word’s!

Though I might also be exaggerating it a bit ;-)

gciochina's avatar

thunderbird support said:

“The best solution is to send messages that contain no font or style information at all. Then all the people who receive your messages see them using their own font and style preferences. If you try to force your font and style preferences on to other people, then you can end up with conflicts that make your messages look bad.

To achieve this, choose: Tools – Options – Composition – General – Restore Defaults Also ensure that your signature file does not contain style rules that affect the entire message.”

unfortunately this is not an option for me, as the company wants all outgoing emails to look the same…

Right now i’m using outlook only for sending messages, and thunderbird as all-purpose email client. This is very frustrating :(

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

@gciochina, It’s not so much frustrating as it is disappointing. As much as you personally like Thunderbird, it appears to be unsuitable for business communications.

sandbox224's avatar

@AlfredaPrufrock: You’re absolutley right, I’m having the same probelm. I’d love to use TB at work instead of Outlook but the I can’t find a way to make sure that emails I send from TB will render correctly in Outlook.

gciochina's avatar

Okay, just so you know, i’ve found a solution together with the guys at thunderbird support. They’re now working on what seems to be thunderbird 3. There is a plugin for this version called ‘External Editor’ that allows me to use M$Word (for example) in order to edit my emails. I’ve already tryed both products, and they’are both acting up ok.

What can i say… Way to go thunderbird! Again! :D

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