Emails Display Differently Depending on the Client Software

Identical emails display differently, depending on your client software. And sometimes the way an email appears–for example, how it’s indented, or the size of fonts–is important.

To illustrate, consider this email. It looks like this when viewed in Apple .Mac, and this in Outlook 2007.

The variation matters. For example, email archiving systems need to be able to reproduce the way an email appeared to people who viewed it; and you’d like large-scale emailers to customers to render in the same way, irrespective of the client software used.

The Email Standards Project is a new industry group, trying to define standard ways of rendering HTML email. It deserves support.

David Ferris

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