Thunderbird rendering and =3D?

Hi, forgive the potential noobishness of this post. When I look at the source of an HTML email template mailed to myself, I see that "3D" is inserted after the = in all HTML tag attributes. E.g., "<a href=3D"myurl">". This is inserted by the "upload & process" feature when creating a campaign. No biggie for Outlook, since everything still displays properly (well, now that I have reverted my design from divs & CSS to TABLES, ffs) but in Thunderbird it looks like this =3D thing is killing all the layouts and formatting. The HTML portion of the message displays, but it displays without any of the tables (shudder), font styles, colors, images, etc.

I honestly have never seen this before and google searches only seem to turn up more source of email messages stored as plaintext on random servers - no explanation. I guess this is some kind of M$ Word / Outlook thing? But how can I disable it - to preserve my template's formatting for proper display in Thunderbird?

TIA!

Andy

Diana Diana, 8 years ago

Hi,

We don't actually change anything other than modifying your links for tracking purposes on upload. I've seen the 3D addition to links added by Word sometimes in the HTML itself. Could you post the code you're actually importing?

Or feel free to send an email into support and we can take a look at it for you.


~*~~*~~*~~*~
D. Potter
Campaign Monitor
RTSAndy, 8 years ago

Sure, I'll post an example here, pre- and post-upload. I figured it might have something to do with the Word HTML interpreter in Outlook but I write the source by hand (of course) and I checked the received email message source in both Outlook and T-bird... here's an excerpt:

Source document:

<body alink="#ee0000" bgcolor="#606555" link="#0000ee" text="#000000" vlink="#551a8b"
style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; color: #666666; text-align: left;">
<br>
<table bgcolor="#606555" width="100%" height="100%"><tr height="100%">
    <td width="10%">&nbsp;</td>
    <td width="100%" style="text-align: center;">
<table bgcolor="#ffffff" width="80%" cellpadding="15" cellspacing="0">
    <tr>
        <td width="25%">&nbsp;</td>
        <td width="50%">
<p style="width:450px; text-align: center;"><img alt="RTS Logo" src="RTS_logo.gif" border="0" height="91" width="273"><br>
</p>
<p style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; color: #666666; text-align: left;">
Dear [fullname,fallback=customer],
<br>

Mailed Document:

<body alink=3D"#ee0000" bgcolor=3D"#606555" link=3D"#0000ee" text=3D"#000=
000" vlink=3D"#551a8b" style=3D"font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sa=
ns-serif;font-size:11px;color:#666666;text-align:left;" >
<br>
<table bgcolor=3D"#606555" width=3D"100%" height=3D"100%"><tr height=3D"1=
00%"><td width=3D"100%" style=3D"text-align:center;" >
<table bgcolor=3D"#ffffff" width=3D"80%" cellpadding=3D"15" cellspacing=3D=
"0">
    <tr>
        <td width=3D"25%">&nbsp;</td>
        <td width=3D"50%">
<p style=3D"width:450px;text-align:center;" ><img alt=3D"RTS Logo" src=3D=
"http://resultstechnologiessolutionsinc.cmail1.com/email/434425/rts_logo.=
gif" border=3D"0" height=3D"91" width=3D"273"><br>
</p>
<p style=3D"font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:1=
1px;color:#666666;text-align:left;" >
Dear Andy Whalen,
<br>


As I mentioned, the received message from campaignmonitor looks right in Outlook 2003. Thunderbird does view the HTML portion of the message (I have 'view body in original HTML' active), but does not recognize any of the table layouts, styles, or other tag attributes. When I send myself an HTML email message directly from Thunderbird to Thunderbird, it DOES recognize all the formatting and styles. The only salient difference between the source when sending via Thunderbird and sending via campaignmonitor.com is those 3D tags (and of course the 'interpreted' links to track click-throughs).

I have not tried this email format on Outlook 2007. It does apparently also cause problems when viewing the message with Entourage.

Thanks,

Andy

RTSAndy, 8 years ago

Bizarre, now I checked the source with Outlook and it is as follows:

<body alink="#ee0000" bgcolor="#606555" link="#0000ee" text="#000000" vlink="#551a8b" style="font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:11px;color:#666666;text-align:left;" >
<br>
<table bgcolor="#606555" width="100%" height="100%"><tr height="100%"><td width="100%" style="text-align:center;" >
<table bgcolor="#ffffff" width="80%" cellpadding="15" cellspacing="0">
    <tr>
        <td width="25%">&nbsp;</td>
        <td width="50%">
<p style="width:450px;text-align:center;" ><img alt="RTS Logo" src="http://resultstechnologiessolutionsinc.cmail1.com/email/434425/rts_logo.gif" border="0" height="91" width="273"><br>
</p>
<p style="font-family:Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:11px;color:#666666;text-align:left;" >
Dear Andy Whalen,
<br>


No 3D things. So perhaps they're inserted by Tbird? Still can't explain why Thunderbird doesn't recognize any of the layout or styles. The text just shows up all as Times New Roman 12pt (default font), no background, no layout, and the two images in the message are just turned into ALT tag text.

I just sent an HTML/plaintext (multipart) message with the exact same formatting via Thunderbird. Looks right in Outlook, no 3D tags in the message source there; looks right in Thunderbird, no 3D tags in the message source tags there either.

The boundary between the message parts in the "me-sent" message is:
--------------000006010903090604050002
Content-Type: text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

The boundary between the parts in the campaignmonitor message is:

--_=aspNetEmail=_3ffa5428a29c46debe26e0404914e3c3
Content-Type: text/html;
    charset="utf-8"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable


Well... I'm in over my head here. I wish I knew what Thunderbird doesn't like about the campaignmonitor message. Also sorta wish I could edit the HTML source in campaignmonitor post-upload instead of re-uploading with every tweak ;)

Sorry if I'm not posting helpful information. You guys are the email gurus! Grateful for any advice...

Oh, one more question: do multipart text/html messages from campaignmonitor typically show up fine in Outlook & Tbird both? Are others having better luck with this?

Diana Diana, 8 years ago

Hi Andy,

That's weird! I can't replicate what you're getting in Thunderbird. It all looks like the same in both Outlook and Thunderbird for me and the source is identical.

Do you have any links with the URL as the link text? Thunderbird is one of the email clients that looks for phishing attempts and will mark your campaign as a scam if you have a URL as link text and it doesn't match the actual URL (which is won't because CM changes your urls for tracking). The scam warning might make things act a bit weird http://www.campaignmonitor.com/help/topic.aspx?t=79.


~*~~*~~*~~*~
D. Potter
Campaign Monitor
RTSAndy, 8 years ago

Holy cow!

It did mark it as a "scam". I clicked "not a scam"... then it marked my message as "junk" (Jeez, low opinion of my design here...). It showed the formatting! Then it tried to block the images even though I have "view full HTML" enabled... poof, there we are! A table-formatted email, with HTML that harkens back to the days of yore, a la '98-'99.

So you're right, it's not campaignmonitor, it's Thunderbird's anti-scam, anti-spam, anti-image triumvirate of helpfulness (protecting us from ourselves) that had me stymied.

Much obliged for the extra pair of eyes on my code, even though the solution was (and typically is) very obvious, and was right in front of me the entire time.

Diana Diana, 8 years ago

Andy,

That was a tough one, I couldn't replicate it so I was grasping at straws :). Glad that was the solution though, just watch your link text (no urls) and that should prevent the scam messages.


~*~~*~~*~~*~
D. Potter
Campaign Monitor
nebelung, 8 years ago

Hi...

Hope you don't mind that I bring this post back, but I am just starting with Campaign Monitor and I am encountering the same issue with equal sign being turned into "=3D". In my case it is not really affecting anything...it basically seems to be ignored as far as I can tell, but I hate seeing it throughout the code and I am curious as to why it would be there.

Here's my situation. I am coding in Dreamweaver CS3. No "=3D" anywhere in the HTML file. I have uploaded it to CM directly from my computer (Macbook Pro OS 10.5) and via the web (Hostway). After sending out the Test message from CM I have checked it in gMail, Safari (via a Hostway account) and Thunderbird (via gMail). Et voila, "=3D" all over the code!

Any updates on this?

Thank in advance.

- Sven

fivemile, 8 years ago

I'm getting this also. I have created my own template which works and delivers well. However, when you carry out a full browser test you can see =3D all over the place in the text only version showing on the blackberry screenshot. If I view the source code on my mail.app I can see =3D in the source code there where it should be =".

Any help would be greatly appreciated as clients will need to use my template and I don't know if it is something to do with encoding that I am getting wrong (I've never had any issues before and I work simply on a mac with Textmate) or whether there is an issue with templates and campaign monitor.

Stormy Stormy, 8 years ago

I think this might actually be a problem with converting encoding sets. 3D is the hex code for an equals sign, so it might be converting it to/from at some point during file changing (ie: from your computer to uploading, or from CM to sending).

My suspicion is that, as it appears to be affecting a minority, that it's to do with the file encoding of the files uploaded to CM (not anyone's fault directly, most people wouldn't even know about it). An initial suggestion would be to copy+paste your code into something that messes about with as little encoding as possible (eg: Notepad), saving the file from there, then uploading this new file.

Fingers crossed!


No-one expects the Spanish Inquisition!
fivemile, 8 years ago

Thanks for the response Guru, here are my further findings and the problem continues...

I am not sure about it being my file setup, although I would gladly be proven otherwise as I need to sort this soon! I am on a Mac and using Textmate which is a program that CM recommend (textmate being a pure text editor just like notepad). I am saving the html template file with UTF8 encoding and including a meta tag of UTF-8 as per other templates I have seen on CM.

The issue is indeed the equals sign. If I review the screenshots created on that first test I can see that Blackberry incorrectly interprets the textonly version 'equals signs' that CM is generating and not me. I don't think the current CM system provides a manual method for generating a text only version from a template, it is automatic. I have pasted the code around my title for the test mailer (called PT Test 4) below. This is the code from raw source in mail.app. I have also included raw source of the body tag from mail.app.

The screenshots for the test I ran show the blackberry with lots of =3D instead of the equals sign that is correctly rendered in the Windows Mobile 5 screenshot on the same test. Since this is not content that I'm generating how can this not be a CM issue?

many thanks for any help - it is greatly appreciated.



--_=aspNetEmail=_99b521e142a846dfbcf76acc61bcc012
Content-Type: text/plain;
    charset="utf-8"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D
PT TEST 4
=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=
etc

and here is the contents of the body tag...

body style=3D"font-family:arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:12px;l=
ine-height:16px;margin-top:0;margin-bottom:0;margin-right:0;margin-left:0=
;padding-top:0;padding-bottom:0;padding-right:0;padding-left:0;color:#000=
;text-align:left;"

Stormy Stormy, 8 years ago

Ahhh, it is possible it's a Mac issue. Which version of Mac OS are you using? I believe there were some encoding issues at one point where Macs defaulted to Mac OS Roman - this is nothing to do with having the correct meta charset tags in the email, it's the actual hard-coding of the file format.

I think Mac OS X is fixed and using UTF-8, but if you're using an earlier OS then I think this will be the culprit.


No-one expects the Spanish Inquisition!
fivemile, 8 years ago

I'm on 10.5.5. I'm still confused about how an auto generated set of text such as the plain text version, where equals signs are being added by CM and not me would be affected by the file format of my template? I can do a test on this easily by using an office pc to create a test template and see if the same occurs. That will at least show that it is or isn't the mac encoding of the uploaded file. back soon!

fivemile, 8 years ago

OK, I've tested this on a PC and I'm getting more convinced there is an issue with CM and not my templates. I also downloaded one of CM templates and the same thing happens. If you send a test having used the templating / content authoring system there is definitely something odd happening with the source code. I've not done screenshots because I can see the error by simply viewing source and text alternative version on my mail.app.

If you view the source code of the HTML version of the template when previewing your mailer just after content populating you can see that the code is clean.

Any help from CM would be much appreciated on this one.

Diana Diana, 8 years ago

Hi,

Other than modifying your links for tracking and adding in a small invisible image (also for tracking) we don't modify your code at all. I just took a look at the source code of a few of my own campaigns in both Firefox and Outlook and I don't see anything other than straight HTML code, no =3D.

Is it just Blackberry that you're seeing issues in? It could be some specific character that the Blackberry is having trouble interpreting.


~*~~*~~*~~*~
D. Potter
Campaign Monitor
Diana Diana, 8 years ago

Hey just from some very quick tests I don't think Blackberry likes equal signs. The = is indeed becoming =3D, that's the only spot I can replicate the behavior in. It could just be Blackberry itself not liking the encoding plus the =.


~*~~*~~*~~*~
D. Potter
Campaign Monitor
nebelung, 7 years ago

I still have the same =3D issue as described above, but as it does not seem to be critical it's not high priority for me to figure out, but here are some additional musings.

We  know that =3D is Hex code for =.

I think the issue is not whether the file is using UTF-8, but rather it's an issue with "Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable" not being decoded properly....

Here's my understanding of quoted-printable encoding.

The equal sign and all characters except printable ASCII characters or end of line characters must be represented by their hex values, and lines greater than 70 or so characters are split, with an = where
the line was split.

These are all things I am seeing in my e-mails. But I don't think they should be there.

Not an answer, but maybe a lead for someone more knowledgeable.

The only other suggestion I have at this point is to try to narrow it down by excluding some variables.

dpotter, if you would like I could post an html file of one of me e-mails somewhere on the map. Than both you and I could upload it Campaign Monitor and send it out to the two of us. If the =3D is in both of our e-mails, its in the source file. If the problem is in mine and not in your's, it must be in how I am uploading it.

Let me know if you (or another moderator) think that it's worth a shot.

Thanks.

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