Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I often use inline images in my e-mails, but this often results in very large e-mail sizes that can quickly fill up hard drive space for my recipients.

If I host the image online, I can link to it without including the image data in the e-mail, but then recipients have to click on the link to see the image.

Is there a way to embed an inline image such that the image data is fetched from the internet when my recipient opens the e-mail?

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can use HTML in your emails and embed an image with the <img> tag. From Outlook, navigate to Tools -> Options. In the "Mail format" tab, Make sure "Compose this message in:" is set to HTML.

example:

<img src="http://cdn.sstatic.net/superuser/Img/wmd-buttons.png">

results in:

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
    
I found out that since Microsoft Office uses a WYSIWYG editor, any html that I try to put in my e-mails is converted to straight text. The help file suggests that I use Microsoft Sharepoint Designer or some other editor. –  Paul Williams Oct 6 '09 at 15:56
    
It actually turns out that Microsoft Office 2007 broke most html functionality by using Microsoft Word's rendering engine instead of Internet Explorer's. Even if I embed images in this way, it appears that they do not work when loaded in Outlook. –  Paul Williams Oct 6 '09 at 18:39
    
so you have to use WYSIWYG either way? –  John T Oct 6 '09 at 18:54
    
It sounds like in the latest version, you have to use the WYSIWYG editor (because they removed the source editor) and that anyone who receives an html e-mail in the latest Outlook will probably have display problems with it. –  Paul Williams Oct 8 '09 at 5:59

I often use inline images in my e-mails, but this often results in very large e-mail sizes that can quickly fill up hard drive space for my recipients.

What kind of images are we talking about? Diagrams? Proofs? And do they really need to be in the e-mail or will they work just fine as a .zip attachment?

I ask only because I've found that 9 times out of 10 the images people want to add don't really need to be inline... its just nice if they are. Its a broad generalization, but working as a programmer in the Education department of a rather large health system does show you a good cross-section of users.


If I host the image online, I can link to it without including the image data in the e-mail, but then recipients have to click on the link to see the image.

Is there a way to embed an inline image such that the image data is fetched from the internet when my recipient opens the e-mail?

You can use an HTML formatted e-mail (all modern clients support it in one way or another) to use a standard HTML image tag to embed the image you have hosted on the web in your e-mail. Directions for this vary from client to client (and to some extent from Outlook version to Outlook version - check out http://office.microsoft.com for directions for your version of Outlook)

Keep in mind that most e-mail clients (Outlook, Thunderbird, GMail, etc.) will initially block the image to protect the users from spammers using the image request to determine if they have a "live" address. If someone doesn't know what's going on they may never know what they are missing. This is a client setting and there is nothing you can do other than include some text explaining what is going on if they don't see an image.

Normally/usually/generally if they add you to a "trusted senders" list (or something to that effect) future images won't be blocked. Useful if this is more than a one-time thing.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

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.