• Weird paragraph spacing in Outlook 2010

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    I am using Office 2010 on a Win 7 machine. I send a lot of email to Yahoo groups. When I create the emails they look fine in Outlook but anywhere that I have pressed the enter key there is a four line space in what appears in Yahoo. At the end of a paragraph, if I use a line break, it appears as a double space in Yahoo. I have tried using HTML, Plain Text and Rich Text and this happens in all of them. I’ve notice that this happens when people respond to emails I’ve sent outside of Yahoo as well. I can see all the extra spacing in the quoted part at the bottom of the email.

    Is there anyway to get 2010 to use more normal codes when writing an email? I moved to 2010 from 2003 and this didn’t happen in 2003 (my emails were processed in the normal way – the enter key created a new paragraph, not 4 blank lines). Since I run a small business, it is really awkward for me when my emails look so unprofessional.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.


    Viewing 2 reply threads
    • #1305499

      I think this could be a “no win” situation. Some mail clients discard the style rules Outlook inserted into your message when composing a reply. When that happens, either default HTML behavior is applied, or the recipient’s own style rules are applied.

      To give a more concrete example, I have suppressed the top/bottom margin spacing on my Normal style for messages (see attached image), and I type an extra return between paragraphs for spacing, just as you do. My message looks fine in Gmail on Windows, and in the default Android mail client, but has extra spacing in the Android Gmail client. When someone replies from Gmail on Windows, the reply looks fine in Sent Items, but the style definition is stripped and when I view the reply in Outlook, all the paragraphs have extra spacing, even the blank ones, just as you described. It seems as though webmail and mobile clients are in most cases ignoring or discarding the style rules inserted by Outlook 2007/2010. (Not that they loved Outlook 2003’s formatting much more.)

      Hmmm, let me test something… no, turning off CSS in the options doesn’t change a thing. This is very irritating.

      But what if we don’t manually type the extra paragraphs? If I rely on HTML paragraph margins to separate adjacent paragraphs, then replies that have been changed to plain text won’t have any space between paragraphs. This is why I call it a “no win” situation.

      I suppose we could all switch back to plain text as our standard format. I stuck with it until I got Outlook 2010. But I’ve grown accustomed to being able to format text rather than having to attach a Word document, so… Further study is required.

    • #1305512

      Okay, 2 hours later, I think I have an approach that is better than nothing.

      In Outlook, I set up an event handler that runs after an item is sent. At this point, you can directly manipulate the HTML Outlook has generated, which does not appear to be possible while composing the message.

      First, in the VBE, import the attached module (it’s in a zip archive, so you will need to extract it first) using File > Import File.

      Second, in ThisOutlookSession, paste the following:

      Private Sub Application_ItemSend(ByVal Item As Object, Cancel As Boolean)
      ' This should run only for mail items...
      If Item.Class  olMail Then Exit Sub
      Item.HTMLBody = NewHBod(Item.HTMLBody)
      'Dim doc As Object  ' FOR DEBUGGING ONLY
      'Set doc = CreateObject("word.document")
      'doc.content.InsertAfter Item.HTMLBody
      'Set doc = Nothing
      End Sub

      If you check Debug > Compile, does it compile without errors?

      And if you test it, what do you think?

    • #1305570

      Hi Jan,

      I’m a moderator on a local recycling group that uses Yahoo Groups as it’s host.

      I found the way round this was to use shift-enter when composing emails in Office 2010. It can take a bit getting used but it’s second nature to me now!

      EDIT: Quick update, here are two posts that I sent to my test group, both appear identical in my sent items folder but do appear rather different in Yahoo Groups.

      The difference between the posts is simply using shift-enter in one and enter alone in the other when starting a new line.

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