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The subject is my best attempt to describe the problem. Here's what we have:

We want to be able to write an HTML email, with images, and send that out to our customers. There's two options for this: Either use a WYSIWYG editor on the website, or use a WYSIWYG editor on their computer, in this case Adobe Acrobat or Microsoft Word. Due to the complexities involved, we'd much prefer the Word/Acrobat route.

So, the next question is, how do we get this online? They could upload a DOC file, which we then somehow convert to HTML; or they could export it to PDF, upload that, and somehow convert to HTML... which based on my research is very difficult.

Which leaves, saving the document as HTML. And then they have to upload the HTML file and multiple image files.

Is there some kind of container file that these programs can save in automatically such that they can save it as HTML, upload this one file, and then we handle it on the other side? Now that I'm writing it I realize the answer is "Zip it" but is there any automatic mechanism for this in either of those programs (or in Microsoft Publisher), or will we have to teach them to do it manually?

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Do you need it to be editable? – Hello71 Jul 26 '10 at 14:15
Once uploaded, I suppose not necessarily... – Andrew Jul 26 '10 at 14:22
up vote 0 down vote accepted

The first choice that comes to mind is MHTML, but I'm not sure how well it's supported. It opens in Internet Explorer 8 (uneditable) and Microsoft Office 2010 on my system, though.

Edit: Office 2010 (not sure about other versions) can natively save as MHTML, though as usual I predict it to generate terrible markup.

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That almost sounds perfect... do you know if it can it be de-encoded easily into its constituent HTML and image parts with a PHP script or Linux command, for automatic processing? We don't want to send the images themselves in all the emails, just a simplified method of uploading the pack... – Andrew Jul 26 '10 at 14:27
Based on a quick Google, MHTML appears to be a forgotten, unfinished standard. – Hello71 Jul 26 '10 at 15:04

The general method with HTML email is to include the bare minimum of image content, and link the rest from the web. You do not want to be sending huge multipart emails, especially not to customers. They won't appreciate it. The standard for HTML email is perfectly fine with loading pictures from the web.

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We wouldn't be; the images would still be linked, but we still have the problem of the people creating the email uploading the images. We'd prefer they not have to upload multiple files, and just one simple package generated/zipped up by Word. – Andrew Jul 26 '10 at 14:18

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