Outlook 2007 and background CSS

According to Microsoft documentation there is no support for background CSS properties or the background attribute on element tags in Outlook 2007.

( http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa338201.aspx )

Does this mean there is no way to include a background image that will display in Outlook 2007?
I note that in some of the templates there is code referencing background images - is this not Outlook 2007 non-compliant?

Dave Dave, 9 years ago

Hi and welcome jasc. Unfortunately I've got bad news for you. Outlook 2007 doesn't support background images in any shape or form. They are supported by almost every other email environment, but if you've got a large percentage of your subscribers opening your email in Outlook 2007, I'd recommend making sure your design doesn't rely on background images to get the message across.

jasjc, 9 years ago

Thanks for the comments Dave,
I would say that given Outlook is the defacto email client  and 2007 will become more and more relevant in the short term that no one can ignore designing with it in mind. Surely this will have enormous ramifications both for new and current projects. It seems amazing that anyone would 'retrograde' their software.
I am also thinking there will be issues with repeating image strategy. Situations where you dont know the exact width or height to be filled but you want an image to stretch. For example a designed border around a break out box with a paragraph of varying length. I believe % values in the dimensions attributes of the img tag would not be consistently supported.

strattonc, 9 years ago

Feel your pain, jasjc. This is a pretty draconian measure by MS and surely going to cause some headaches trying to support older templates. Good thing I didn't throw out that copy of the HTML 4 Bible that's been weighing down my shelf all these years.

Of note, the MSDN article also says Outlook 2007 does not support the ALT attribute for images. Can anyone confirm this? This really is a double whammy...

damienbuckley damienbuckley, 9 years ago

Microsoft can shove it man.  Seeing as its the technology going backwards, Outlook 2007 users will have to make do with a graceful degradation to text-only - we're employing CSS based image replacement in our templates or they can use the 'web-version' link.  We don't design for Internet Explorer 4 these days do we and I'm certainly not going to start using tables again.  As if Microsoft hasn't caused enough problems for the web community over the years (and still today) with IE6. I'll happily include some text hidden behind a background image making this deficiency in Outlook 2007 clear ala the first web standards 'upgrade your browser' messages.

It just doesnt make sense - particularly for a company already on the ropes as far as operating systems and browsers go.  Just another reason to give Windows the boot.

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