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How to format an email ?

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    How to format an email ?

    I want to include an itemised list of goods ordered in a confirmation email sent to customers from an RBSWorldpay payment page, ie one or more lines of goods, number, price each, total.

    Can't figure how to get it so the columns are in line and it looks neat. Tried using '\t' in the form field sent to mailer but it doesn't work.

    Can one format an email message ? If you type a message in Windows Mail, even using a fixed width font, tabs don't give a consistent spacing.

    Any way of doing it without passing HTML to the mailer? I understand that has its own problems for viewing in all email clients.

    Cheers.
    Last edited by xoggoth; 8 June 2009, 19:50.
    bloggoth

    If everything isn't black and white, I say, 'Why the hell not?'
    John Wayne (My guru, not to be confused with my beloved prophet Jeremy Clarkson)

    #2
    Oh bum

    Looking at a few emails in notepad it seems that every email automatically contains both a text version and an HTML version. So using HTML tags would end up with tags inside tags in some clients. Bum.
    bloggoth

    If everything isn't black and white, I say, 'Why the hell not?'
    John Wayne (My guru, not to be confused with my beloved prophet Jeremy Clarkson)

    Comment


      #3
      A friend of mine runs the following site, http://litmusapp.com/

      Very popular, should allow you to correctly test what your email will look like in pretty much every concievable email client.

      TM

      Comment


        #4
        a recent entry from the blog

        http://litmusapp.com/blog/email-testing-desktop-app

        TM

        Comment


          #5
          Attachment?
          "take me to your leader"

          Comment


            #6
            Or just send him a link a serve him a webpage.
            If you go via link or the attachment route, PDF is probably most reliable option to ensure consistent display.
            Last edited by xchaotic; 9 June 2009, 10:27. Reason: pdf

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by xoggoth View Post
              Any way of doing it without passing HTML to the mailer? I understand that has its own problems for viewing in all email clients.
              Not really, the vast majority of mail clients will display an HTML mail fine as long as you dumb down the HTML to its simplest form (no CSS or inline styles). Cant think of a mail client that a normal user would use that wouldn't support it?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Durbs View Post
                Not really, the vast majority of mail clients will display an HTML mail fine as long as you dumb down the HTML to its simplest form (no CSS or inline styles). Cant think of a mail client that a normal user would use that wouldn't support it?
                It's easy enough for a user to configure their email client to read all email as plain text even if it was sent/received as html. It will still be readable but doing that will do a good job of stripping any intended html formatting from the original email, however basic that html was.
                Moving to Montana soon, gonna be a dental floss tycoon

                Comment


                  #9
                  Looking at the last 30 mails in my inbox, i's say 85% of them are HTML formatted so if i somehow managed to set my mail client to ignore HTML it wouldn't just be the OP's email that looked ropey, you'd get used to viewing badly formatted messages.

                  Reckon 99% of recipients would view it fine but as someone mentioned earlier, a PDF attachment and plain text mail is the best option, just more hassle to implement.
                  Last edited by Durbs; 9 June 2009, 11:52.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by xoggoth View Post
                    Looking at a few emails in notepad it seems that every email automatically contains both a text version and an HTML version. So using HTML tags would end up with tags inside tags in some clients. Bum.
                    Only emails created by mail clients which create HTML mail. The plain text version is necessary for people like me, who disable all HTML in email (both reading and writing).

                    As far as I'm concerned, using HTML in email is like adding sound effects to your phone calls.

                    Comment

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