Text and table cell resizing in Outlook '07 (on laptops?)

Has anyone ever seen (and better yet, learned how to neutralize) cases of Outlook '07 actually changing the size of text and even the width of table cells?

I am getting things like my 13px text being changed to 8.5pt text with span tags, and similarly, things like 20px wide table cells (my margins) getting changed to 12pt wide, or 390px wide cells changed to 3.25"....

Needless to say, it's causing client consternation and is breaking my layouts.

I'm primarily seeing it on people's PC laptops, running Windows 7 and Outlook '07, but have found at least one colleague's laptop that is an exception to that conjecture.

Any ideas out there?

PMcKern, 4 years ago

I have to modify my description: The additional span tags only come in when forwarded from the machines where they layout is displaying badly, like it's cementing in the code what it's doing wrong with the diplay. Good cautionary tale against forwarding, and actually kind of a helpful window into what Outlook is thinking when it displays those badly. Otherwise, the code in the original received message seems to be saying what it should, and looks right when copied out and rendered elsewhere.

roshodgekiss roshodgekiss, 4 years ago

Thanks PMcKern - these are important observations. Forwarding emails directly from the email client can totally ruin otherwise pixel-perfect designs - where possible, we'd encourage using our 'Forward to a Friend' links instead.


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PMcKern, 4 years ago

Yes, but I'm only fine-tuning my question. I've still got some serious corruption of the sizing going on at the receiving end, and the way the code looks upon forwarding just describes the degree of change that's going on. If anyone has any ideas as to how to deal with that, I'd love to know.

PMcKern, 4 years ago

Update: It's a direct result of the ironically labeled "Make it easier to read what's on your screen" control in the Display control panel (in Windows 7--not sure about other versions). If this is set to the standard "small", things will display normally. If it is not, then sizes declared in pixels will be translated as Outlook sees fit into point/inch-based measurements that it likes better, shrinking them in the process.

So far I have successfully translated my text sizes into percentage-based numbers that are not reinterpreted in the same way, and I mean to try the same thing with table cell widths (possibly relying on images to help prop open the cells where I need a fixed-width container and have to call it out in pixels).

FYI, Outlook was doing the same thing to a CM template with size declared in pixels. I had to make sure it wasn't just me missing something.

When I've worked things out more thoroughly, I'll post my findings under a better heading, if I don't see something in the forum on it that I missed before.

roshodgekiss roshodgekiss, 4 years ago

Really appreciate the follow-up here - we'll keep an eye out for any future observations on this :D


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PMcKern, 4 years ago

Failing thus far with percentages for table cells, but maybe just not getting it right.

Resorting to a sort of spacer GIF option where background-color images 1px high by cell-width wide act as struts to keep the columns and gutters at the desired width. I'm putting them at the bottoms of the cells to keep them visually out of the way more for when images aren't in place (except in my sub-divided preheader, darn it...).

FWIW, I'm finding other companies' prefab templates breaking in the same situation. I don't suppose there are many who want to go compensating for a silly situation like this one, but for those who are slaves to an MS Office environment, especially one where a lot of people are compensating for small displays--or even higher-resolution ones that are packing more pixels into less space and giving content a smaller overall appearance--it could be something worth knowing about.

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