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I need to convert an email newsletter into an html page without having to reproduce it. The problem is that the sender is technologically hindered. Here is how he generates the email:

In MS Word, he opens a previous template, updates any new text, provides all sorts of formatting and spacing, and then sends the email from inside Word (the best I can figure out from speaking with him). It's likely some sort of Word-Outlook deal he's actually doing, but I do know he's using Word to do it.

I receive the email, along with its 1990s formatting, and need to convert it into an html document to put it on a website each week. He wants the formatting to be exactly like he provided. Getting him to generate the HTML directly from Word is not much of an option.

I have tried copy and paste from the email into Word, directly opening it in Word, copying into several HTML editors, and several other things, but nothing seems to retain the formatting, spacing, and tables that are used. The only workaround we have found is if he emails me the actual .doc file, and I use that to generate the html manually. However, he usually forgets to send it and I then have to manually request it, which may take several days to get it live.

Can anyone think of a better way to do this?

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What is stopping you from opening it in word and saving as html? – MrStatic Jul 5 '10 at 20:18
It is sent as an email, not as an email attachment. Once I open an email file directly in Word, it loses most of the formatting. As I mentioned previously, getting him to email the actual .doc file has proven to be problematic. – drharris Jul 5 '10 at 20:21
What formatting features do you need? Does the formatting change each week, or just the content? – Andy Jul 5 '10 at 20:28
The formatting changes each week, and therein lies the problem. It's everything from line spacing to paragraph borders to fonts and font styles. In particular, the borders for certain paragraphs disappear unless I generate from the initial .DOC file. – drharris Jul 5 '10 at 20:32
up vote 0 down vote accepted

However technologically 'hindered' this chap is, I think you're going to have to change the way he's sending you the data. Given that he's already familiar with Word, and that you've had success when you received a .doc file, I'd say that's the path of least resistance.

he... sends the email from inside Word

As you mention, that's not entirely specific. I can think of two ways he might be doing that.

  1. Use Outlook to write the mail as normal, and it's configured to use Word as the default editor.

  2. Use Word to write the email and then use Send To.

Whichever way he's currently using, I'd guess the way forwards would be for him to do something closer to the second option. Specifically

  1. Compose the mail from within Word.

  2. Use the Send To functionality but choosing Mail Recipient (as Attachment).

This ought to solve the issues? You don't mention what version it is, but there's some instructions for 2002 - 2007 versions at It's really not a difficult task to do, and I'd encourage him to do it as described, but if there's a lot of resistance, you can also just wrap it up in a macro, put a big button with an obvious icon on one of the toolbars, and tell him to just click!



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Well, this is the way we're doing it now, but as I mentioned, the hard part is when he forgets to do it, and there is a several day delay in getting it live. I do like the idea of a macro, but will likely take it a step further and make an addin where he will only have to click a button for it to upload itself directly via FTP. – drharris Jul 6 '10 at 15:17
Sounds good. If it's a regular email, eg. every Tuesday, you could use an automatic notification system to help you out. Maybe an email reminding him shortly before it's due and/or an email after it's due telling him the file hasn't been uploaded (or the email with attachment hasn't been received). – Andy Jul 6 '10 at 15:45

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