HTML and MIME issues when composing or attaching mail in Entourage 2008

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by iisystems, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. iisystems macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    #1
    Hi,

    I have recently switched from Outlook on Windows to Entourage on the Mac. Even though I have combed though Entourage's preferences and everything I can see is marked "HTML" and "display complex HTML in mail", etc.-- I NEVER am able to compose an HTML email.

    As an example, I get an email from eBay. It's HTML, it's formatted-- everything looks fine. If I try to forward this email or reply, it comes up without any tables or formatting. It's not COMPLETELY plain text, but it's damn close. The only formatting which is preserved is BOLD and italic text attributes. My best description of this would be RTF, but even under RTF, more formatting COULD HAVE been preserved.

    As a second example, MY OWN MAIL-- which as you know is just slightly better than plain text-- when I try to forward something I wrote previously as an attachment (from my Sent Mail), it appends with a MIME error and a problem with CR/LF translation. Here's an example of a basic mail message which was sent fine and looks fine in my Sent Items, but here's what it looks like when I attach it to an email:

    ---------------
    > This message is in MIME format. Since your mail reader does not understand this format, some or all of this message may not be legible. --B_3321099930_13535020 Content-type: text/plain; charset="ISO-8859-1" Content-transfer-encoding: quoted-printable Steve, I=B9ve updated the TMQuote launcher program so that when dealers click =B3Reregister software=B2, all static files (except for ZIPCodes) are deleted and then downloaded from the server. The update is in place now (you don=B9t need to publish it) and will be automatically downloaded to each dealer the next time they launch the program. I did not delete the ZIpCode files simply because it is large and I don=B9t want to unnecessarily bog down your Internet connection at the office. If a dealer ends up having a problem with this file, I will update the launcher again, no charge, to also download the ZipCode files. I still believe the underlying problem to be something which was recently pushed down through Windows Update. This at least gives users a quick fix where I don=B9t have to be involved. If you have any questions, just let me know. Thanks!! Best Regards, Scott Shapiro Internet Information Systems www.iisystems.com 954-295-1997 --B_3321099930_13535020 Content-type: text/html; charset="ISO-8859-1" Content-transfer-encoding: quoted-printable Steve,

    I’ve updated the TMQuote launcher program so that when dealers click = “Reregister software”, all static files (except for ZIPCodes) ar= e deleted and then downloaded from the server. The update is in place = now (you don’t need to publish it) and will be automatically downloade= d to each dealer the next time they launch the program. I did not dele= te the ZIpCode files simply because it is large and I don’t want to un= necessarily bog down your Internet connection at the office. If a deal= er ends up having a problem with this file, I will update the launcher again= , no charge, to also download the ZipCode files. I still believe the u= nderlying problem to be something which was recently pushed down through Win= dows Update. This at least gives users a quick fix where I don’t= have to be involved.

    If you have any questions, just let me know.

    Thanks!!

    Best Regards,

    Scott Shapiro
    Internet Information Systems
    www.iisystems.com
    954-295-1997
    --B_3321099930_13535020--
    ------ end attached email sample ------------

    Note the message is actually embedded twice, once as text/plain, totally garbled, and secondly as text/html, slightly more readable, but still with "=" in place of line breaks.

    If I simply forward the same email, all is OK.

    In general, when I compose email, I am not able to place in any non-text content. I can't tell you how much I hate Windows and am glad to finally be free of it after 15+ years (except for VMWare of course!), but I totally took for granted the ability to copy a portion of a spreadsheet from Excel and paste it into an email. If I try this on Entourage, all I get is the raw display text with spaces separating each cell.

    I have scoured the Internet for solutions to this problem for weeks now, but the few relevant posts I am able to find are either unanswered or deal with S/MIME and other advanced topics. For purposes of this post, please consider me a simple caveman. I just want to be able to use my Entourage compose mail window as an HTML container like I was able to do in Outlook.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

    Scott
     
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    You are confusing several issues. I am a little dubious of your use of S/MIME (Secure MIME) because it can be used to thwart virus filters and allow attached malware to reach the recipient.

    At any rate, some of your problems relates to OLE, a Windows-exclusive technology. When you embed parts of an Excel spreadsheet into an Outlook message, you are using OLE. You can do this only in Windows because it OLE is available only on Windows.

    Entourage's support for HTML-formatting is as close as checking the Format > HTML menu item. This is not the same as enabling OLE because OLE is not available on the Mac.

    As for your issue with forwarded messages, you appear to be complaining about standard methods for displaying the forwarded content. In plain text messages, forwarded messages and the original message being replied to are displayed with ">" at the start of each line. There is a ">" for each generation of forward or reply. In the case of formatted email, the forwarded or replied to message has a "|" (vertical line) at the left hand side of each generation. As much as possible, formatting is preserved.
     
  3. iisystems thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    #3
    Thanks very much for your reply and I'm sorry I didn't check in sooner. I'm not sure I agree with your OLE argument as I've never seen a spreadsheet edit-in-place after being embedded in an Outlook email. Nonetheless, AFTER it is sent, it is definitely a flat non-interactive HTML table. Let's put this aside though-- it's not really the important point.

    As for Format-->HTML, yes this is checked. I notice a font change when I uncheck it. My system uses Calibri-11pt when HTML is checked and reverts to a non-proportional Courier-like font where the font drop-down just says "Font". So, like I said, everything I can see in my Entourage settings is already set to HTML.

    Secondly, I understand the use of ">" in email forwards. I'm a programmer and have been emailing since before Windows was actually an operating system. :-0) What I am complaining about are the "=" signs and articulated hex characters in the middle of the text. Please take a close look. Search on "=B3" and you'll see one clearly.

    Finally, I am not using S/MIME, this was just a comment that I couldn't find anything pertinent to my problem on the Internet.

    Thanks again for your help!
     
  4. iisystems thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    #4
    Does anyone have any suggestions? I am still having this problem although all HTML options are enabled in Entourage.

    Thanks!!
     
  5. nadyne macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2004
    Location:
    Mountain View, CA USA
    #5
    Currently, Entourage 2008 has better support for viewing HTML messages than for composing them. Forwarding a HTML message with complex HTML like tables will not result in what you want. To keep complex formatting, you can forward the message as an attachment. I know that this isn't optimal. Fixing it is definitely on our to-do list.

    Regards,
    Nadyne.
     
  6. iisystems thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    #6
    Just looking for the most basic HTML functionality

    Nadyne,

    Thanks for replying. I can live without the ability to forward "complex" HTML inline. However, even the most simple messages get managled-- ones with no tables, just text. Would you mind reviewing my original post? Look closely at the text-- it is littered with "=" and hex characters each time there should be a carriage return. This is my biggest problem.

    Additionally, I'd be happy to forward HTML as an attachment, but my attachments don't seem to be readable by a lot of recipients-- the attachment itself just ends up being embedded in raw format in the text!!

    I'm really going crazy here with this and I have to believe that Entourage couldn't possibly be THIS bad. There must be something wrong with my setup somewhere...

    Thanks very much!

    Scott
     
  7. nadyne macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2004
    Location:
    Mountain View, CA USA
    #7
    It sounds like you've got a server-side issue. What server are you connecting to?

    Regards,
    Nadyne.
     
  8. iisystems thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    #8
    Server issue? Really?

    I'm logging into a normal POP server at godaddy.com. I access this server fine from Windows and on my phone without any issues. It doesn't FEEL like a server issue...

    There's nothing you can suggest looking at in Entourage?

    I would like to take any server suspicion out of the loop if possible. Is there a (known good) Microsoft POP and SMTP server you could give me access to use temporarily to try? If not, I'll pay for a temporary account somewhere to flush this out if you'll see this problem through with me.

    Is this part of your job or are you doing it off-work?

    Either way, thanks very much!!
     
  9. nadyne macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2004
    Location:
    Mountain View, CA USA
    #9
    What's your encoding for the messages? In Entourage, go to the Format menu, then select "character set". If "automatic" is checked, try selecting another format to see if that improves matters -- if it's always happening to people on Windows who receive your mails, try "Western European (Windows)" to see if that works.

    I'm a member of our technical development team. Tech support very much isn't my job. :) I tend to poke into the forums once a week or so (more when we've released an update) to see if there's any conversations that would be of interest to me and my team, and help out where I can.

    Regards,
    Nadyne.
     
  10. iisystems thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    #10
    Encoding

    Nadyne,

    This doesn't seem to make a difference. I tried the Western windows setting and it just resets to automatic after you're done with the one email.

    Is there an Entourage support line at Microsoft where I can pay for support? Of course I have the Home/Student license, so the next question is can I actually call that line?

    Thanks for all your time...

    Scott
     
  11. nadyne macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2004
    Location:
    Mountain View, CA USA
    #11
    With your legal retail purchase of Office:Mac, you get two free calls/emails to tech support. To get the correct telephone number or email address for your region, start off at Microsoft support.

    Regards,
    Nadyne.
     
  12. iisystems thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    #12
    Thanks!!

    This is great! I will call tomorrow and post what they tell me. Either my issue will be fixed or I'll move to another mail program. No more of this disaster either way...

    Thanks again Nadyne!
     

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