Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Outlook HTML vs. Printing

Today I noticed how I haven't missed using Microsoft Outlook. I printed an email, but found that all the standard headers were missing - From, Sent, To, and Subject. Additionally, trying to troubleshoot using Print Preview also gave surprising results:

Microsoft Office Outlook - Print Preview is not available for HTML formatted items.

Microsoft's KB 222320 ("Some print options not available with HTML messages") does little more than acknowledging this as a problem.

Converting from HTML to Rich Text format is not an option. HTML is much more standards compliant, even with Outlook's quirks. More importantly, HTML format has much better support by other email clients, and has a smaller message size than Rich Text format.

I didn't find a "great" solution for this. The best work-around I found it to not have Outlook handle the printing of messages at all, even though it involves some extra steps. Simply save the message(s) using File, Save As, then selecting "HTML" for "Save As Type". Open the file in your favorite web browser, then preview and/or print from there.

I experienced this on Outlook 2003 with the latest service packs. The KB article states the issue also exists with 2002 (XP) and 2000. I don't have Office 2007 available to test, but I'd be curious of the results.

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