Outlook: Your quick ‘n dirty WYSIWIG HTML editor

I often need to write short 'n sweet little HTML docs explaining things, that I then upload to a sharepoint server for sharing with my team. I like using HTML because the documents are small, should load quickly in the browser and shouldn't require loading any other applications.

In these cases, I don't need to do anything fancy I don't like starting another application for such a quick purpose; I just want a very simple WYSIWIG editor. Outlook to the rescue. You can save HTML email in Outlook, but it adds the To/Cc/Bcc fields to the HTML, which are ugly if all you want is the content from the body... but if those fields are blank, that's not a problem:

1. Create a new HTML message (not using word as the editor 😉
2. Add the desired HTML to the body
3. File | Save As and save it as HTML

When the To/Cc/Bcc fields on the message are blank, it won't include them in the HTML file. So you get just the body of the “message“.

And with the more recent versions of Outlook, you can save directly from the mail to your sharepoint server. Just enter the URL to your sharepoint site in the Save As dialog and Outlook will connect to it and show you the list of document libraries.

Comments (4)

  1. Louis Parks says:

    I’d always just code the HTML by hand. I don’t trust Word (Word is my editor in Outlook) to make decent HTML.

    Slightly offtopic – I’d like to edit the HTML emails that I send out. Is there a way for me to do that or am I stuck with whatever Outlook/Word think the underlying HTML should be? In OE, there is a way to code it by hande (though OE will reformat it somewhat). I don’t know how (if?) to do this in Outlook.

  2. KC Lemson says:

    Manual HTML is too time consuming for me, particularly in cases where I am using a lot of lists and bullets… I don’t really care about the HTML being decent or not, as long as it renders fine in the browser =)

    I do not know of a way to edit the HTML of emails, other than by inserting an existing HTML file as text: http://blogs.msdn.com/kclemson/archive/2003/11/11/53902.aspx

  3. Juan Miguel Venturello says:

    Hi KC, thansk for the help the other day through email, forgot to say thanks and regret it. A short question, is there a quick way (like using a macro I can assign to a toolbar) to change between Word and in built-in editor, without going through preferences?


  4. KC Lemson says:

    Glad I was able to help.

    I believe that ‘use word’ setting is stored in the registry, so yes it’s theoretically possible to write a macro that would flip the state of that registry key and then activate it from a toolbar. I’ve only ever done registry access through VB, not VBA, so I’m not 100% sure this is possible. See if http://outlookcode.com has any tips.

    Also, if you use one of the editors most of the time, you can have that as your default and go to Actions | New Message Using | (the other editor) for the one-off occasions.

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