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How to Send a Plain Text Message in Outlook

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In Outlook, you can send messages using rich HTML formatting and even include images inline. But not everybody can or wants to receive emails using such formatting.

Fortunately, Outlook can send plain text emails, too. They don't allow you to use custom fonts and such, but at least you can be sure everybody receives them perfectly legible.

Send a Plain Text Message in Outlook

To compose and send an email using but plain text in Outlook:

  • Click New Email in Outlook.
    • You can also press Ctrl-N, of course.
  • Open the FORMAT TEXT ribbon.
  • Make sure Plain Text is selected in the Format section.
  • If prompted Some of the features in this document aren't supported by plain text e-mail.:
    • Note that some formatting and inline or background images will be lost.
    • Click Continue.
  • Continue composing the message and eventually click Send.

Send a Plain Text Message in Outlook 2000–2007

To send a message in pristine and pure plain text from Outlook 2002–2007:

  • Select Actions | New Mail Message Using | Plain Text from the menu in Outlook.
  • Create your message as usual.
  • Click Send to deliver it.

(Updated May 2014)

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