# Wednesday, 21 April 2010

One of my pet peeves is software that thinks it's smarter than me. There are times when software does things I wouldn't think of, without asking me, and I find that helpful and I like it. But it can backfire. The worst offender was FrontPage, thankfully now gone. But Outlook has an annoying little habit. It assumes that people who send emails can't really be trusted to format them, so it "fixes" their error for you. In other words, if I send you this plain text email:

Hi,
How are you doing?
Call me when you can.
Kate

Outlook helpfully displays:

Hi, How are you doing? Call me when you can. Kate

Most of the time that's only a petty annoyance. But what about when my code sends:

Monday 1:00
Tuesday 2:30
Wednesday 4:00
Thursday 9:30
Friday 10:00

And you see:

Monday 1:00 Tuesday 2:30 Wednesday 4:00 Thursday 9:30 Friday 10:00

Know what happens then? I do! The user reports a bug that the emails are misformatted. And what's more, when you tell them it's an Outlook issue and send them a screen shot of what to click in Outlook to fix it, they don't thank you. Well, Scott Mitchell has discovered what to do in your code to make Outlook leave your ratsen-fratsen line breaks alone. Just add a space before each newline. Awesome, thanks Scott!

Kate

Wednesday, 21 April 2010 08:49:00 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #    Comments [2]
Tuesday, 27 April 2010 13:33:54 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
In Outlook 2007 you can try "Tools" - "Options" - "Preferences" tab (the first one), then in the "E-mail" section (top one) click "E-mail Options..."

In the new dialog the 4th checkbox reads "Remove extra line breaks in plain text messages"

That should do it :-)
Mihai
Tuesday, 27 April 2010 13:40:51 (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Oh I know how to do it in *my* copy of Outlook. But when my software sends the email, and the end users report this as a bug, telling them how to do it in their copy of Outlook doesn't help. They think the email is flawed. Many times, users don't listen to reason. That's why I'm happy to find a way to change the email itself that will prevent the behaviour. It makes my users happier.
Comments are closed.