What is HTML versus Plain Text

  timothywilliam 16:59 27 Apr 2003

Could someone explain to me in simple terms what exactly HTML is in the context of Outlook Express 6 using XP ?

In my hobby of Genealogy I send and receive a lot of files as attachments, text, photos and charts. I am irratated by those who send me an E-Mail in reply with their attachment as an Icon in the Subject column at the head of the mail and the same thing is repeated in the body of the message. Whether this add times to download the Mail I do not know. I now hang my head in shame as I have just realised that is exactly as I have been sending as a Mail to them !
So going into OE>Tools>Options I see I have the chance to change the basis of outgoing mail from HTML to Plain Text and when I do this the Send Picture With Message automatically greys out. It seems logical to me I should alter the option to Plain Text but I am not sure if it will affect anything other than the bells and whistles of HTML, whatever they might be.
Thanks for any advice.

  -pops- 17:06 27 Apr 2003

As you have realised, HTML is with all the fancy bits on, plain text is just that. Even though you cannot send pictures with the message, you can still send them as attachments.

Note: if your recipient has his machine set up as plain text, it doesn't matter how fancy and decorated you send your message - it will be received plain thus, you would be wasting all your efforts.

Most businesses are set to receive in plain text to lessen the possibility of virus transmission.

I always have mine as plain text and sent anything else as an attachment which can then, if necessary, be easily virus checked at the other end before opening.


  Megatyte 18:55 27 Apr 2003

As pops says.

The download is not any bigger as it is filtered once it is on your local machine.

Many people recommend that plain text is preferable to HTML as it minimises the risk of virus infection but, as far as I am concerned, as long as you have a reliable and updated AV running HTML is fine. I have my preview activated and use HTML and have never had a virus slip through. Of course, I have recieved them, but my AV has never loosed me down(McAfee).


  Megatyte 19:00 27 Apr 2003

Recieved?. I've also received them!


  Ironman556 19:15 27 Apr 2003

Some email programs will let you send in rich text, you can play with colours and different styles then if you want/need to. Nothing as fancy as HTML, but you can make things look a little nicer if you want. I don't know if you'd be wasting your efforts in the same way you would be with HTML though, or if more people are set up to recieve rich text.

  Ironman556 19:23 27 Apr 2003

It's contagious! recieve = receive

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