Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I was just writing a proposal for a client and I was using markdown with vim as an editor. I then convert the markdown to a PDF and send that to the client. This works okay but I would like to have a little more control. So I was thinking of just writing it in html since almost everybody has a browser.

Are there any downsides to emailing documents as html?

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The downside is that you enter the hell of HTML render engines. Some use Gecko, some use WebKit, some use W3M or Lynx, some use IE, some use the Outlook HTML-fu. In the end you have more control about how the HTML looks on your side, but none of how it looks on your client's side.

Why don't you convert the HTML to PDF?

share|improve this answer
The html I am writing is very basic with a few lines of css to get sans-serif, line-height and padding. I like your point about me having more control on my end but it doesn't actually matter if the other side will just render it crappy anyway. – Pickels Mar 15 '12 at 11:10
convert your html to pdf then, if your html+css is pretty basic it will look good enough. and the other side will be happy with pdf :) – akira Mar 15 '12 at 11:19

People like the simplicity of one thing : 1 file. If you write any kind of non-trivial html you are going to use multiple files - for the css and images. Hopefully you don't intend to include javascript in a proposal, as it would certainly raise a red-flag of suspicion (as in, is this person trying to do something under the covers?). Also a browser implies publicly viewable files - even though this situation is entirely on the client's machine, it gives the feeling of non-privacy.

share|improve this answer

You would have to teach the client something new and potentially scary depending on their level of computer literacy. "Do what with my browser? Open file? Why didn't you just send it to me in word? How can I look at my OWN computer with a web browser? Whats a tab?" yadda etc. Don't confuse the client! What's wrong with txt? (Ha Ha... personal opinion. I know a salesman wouldn't go for txt)

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.