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How to Always Send in Plain Text to Certain Email Addresses in Outlook

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Do you know somebody who prefers plain text email to rich HTML formatting and — with almost religious fervor — tries to convert you to sending your emails in plain text only from Outlook? Do you sometimes mail addresses that forward to devices which cannot display rich formatting? Do you want to satisfy both but still not give up your rich default formatting abilities and prefer not to remember to change the format each time?

In the Outlook address book, you can set specific email addresses to prefer plain text. Outlook will then automatically convert message to these addresses to plain text only — no matter the format you use to compose the message.

Always Send in Plain Text to Certain Email Addresses in Outlook

To make sure Outlook always sends emails in plain text to certain addresses:

  • Select Contacts in your Outlook's navigation pane.
    • You can also press Ctrl-3.
    • In Outlook versions up to 2007, you can also select Go | Contacts from the menu.
  • Locate and double-click the desired contact.
  • Now double-click the email address that can receive plain text only in the top right section of the contact's General tab.
    • You may have to click the down button next to the Email (or E-mail) field to select an alternate address.
  • Make sure Send Plain Text only is selected under Internet Format (or Internet format:).
  • Click OK.
  • Close the contact's window.

(Updated June 2012)

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