By default, you compose new Outlook messages in HTML mode. Even though you do not see actual HTML tags and do not have to edit them, it is HTML that makes your messages look like traditional documents. Thanks to the code that underlies the text, you can use various fonts and special effects, create bulleted lists, and paste pictures in the body of your message. HTML offers broad formatting opportunities and works just fine in all email clients that support it – unless your recipient prefers viewing new messages in plain text.
Quick tip! Some Outlook 2016 users complain that Outlook does not display incoming HTML messages properly. If you have encountered this problem too, here is a quick fix: go to Options in File, proceed to the Mail section and untick ‘Reduce message size by removing format information not necessary to display the message’. Remember to restart your Outlook for the changes to take effect.
Alternatively, you can create messages in plain text. The mode does not support bold, italicized or underlined text – or any text formatting at all, for that matter. The same goes for pictures – the only option is to send them as attachments. On the plus side, your recipients are guaranteed to see the message the way you created it, regardless of their email client and preferred settings.
To switch into the plain text mode in the new message window, go to the Format Text tab and select the Plain Text option on the left. If you would like to set Plain Text as the default formatting mode, you can do it in File > Options > Mail. Scroll down to ‘Compose messages’ and select Plain Text as the preferred format.
To select plain text as the preferred format for all new messages, go to File > Options and choose Plain Text in the Mail section under ‘Compose messages’.
If you have received a message in plain text, the reply message will be in plain text by default, regardless of your email client settings. To create a reply or forward the message in the HTML mode, click ‘Pop out’ to edit your reply in a separate window and select HTML under the Formatting Text tab.