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I'm trying to send an HTML email, but the company I'm sending it to has an Exchange server which, by the looks of it, strips out all styling, so regardless of what I do to style it up it turns up unstyled when they recieve it.

Is there a way to configure Exchange to not strip out all styling?

Just to clarify, the reciever is getting the email as a html email as all the table structure is intact, but all inline css stylings and even trying to style using the deprecated HTML way (i.e. cell colour, etc) is getting removed. It just defaults it to normal unstyled cells and tables etc..

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It's not default behaviour for Exchange. You sure the recipient isn't just electing to read in plain text? – Bonus Oct 6 '09 at 11:04
Do you know if this recipient cannot receive any formatted email? (From any sender?) – Arjan Oct 6 '09 at 12:37
Updated the question a little to clarify that the reciever is still receiving an html emailing, but just with all styling stripped out. – Matt Oct 6 '09 at 13:17
And what are you using to compose/send the email? (Ensure you're not using anything that is not in this list: – Arjan Oct 6 '09 at 13:22
HTML email has been created in html editor, previewed in IE7 and send page by email has been used to send the email. Outlook 2007 is used to then send this email. This is where it starts to get wierd. Before i send it in outlook it looks fine, if i send to one of my collegues then it also looks fine (Outlook 2003 and 2007). It's only when we send it to the client (who we know has got an exchange server) that it strips all the styling. – Matt Oct 6 '09 at 13:35

Just to emphasise what Bonus said in the comment. If the recipient has chosen to read all e-mails as plain text there's nothing you can do to override this. I know it's not the case in this situation but they might be using an e-mail client that can't render HTML.

If the e-mail has to be formatted to make sense then you should consider sending a link which the recipient can open in their browser of choice.

NOTE This answer refers to the question as originally stated.

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The asker has now stated that the email does come through with some HTML, only the CSS styles are removed. – Jon Oct 7 '09 at 8:00

I had weird things happen if an anti-virus scans the incoming mail and appends a "no viruses" message at the end, also incidentally destroying the html.

You might check that the said client doesn't have such an anti-virus or anti-spam filtering product installed on his machine.

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Good point! It might even apply to some outgoing message scans as well? (I truly dislike software that appends a "scanned for viruses" to outgoing messages.) – Arjan Oct 7 '09 at 8:48
We've got them to forward the email back to us that they recieved and it appends the email with "Click here to report this email as spam." so it has been checked by something called Mail Control at their end. Anyone had any experience with Mail Control ? – Matt Oct 7 '09 at 9:13
I haven't been able to find any product by that name. You can demystify the situation by asking your client what they're using for mail client & supplier. – harrymc Oct 7 '09 at 13:19
The actual domain which is the link it inserts is actually forwarded onto something called Websense hosted email security. I've not heard of these either though. – Matt Oct 8 '09 at 8:54
It looks like it's Perhaps the client (or you?) could get in touch with their support to find out how to keep the emails intact. – harrymc Oct 8 '09 at 8:59

When sending to colleagues you might actually be sending using Microsoft's RTF, rather than HTML. RTF is often not retained well when sending through the internet, not even when the recipient is also running Exchange.

Did you ever get complaints about winmail.dat attachments? RTF.

(Maybe How to configure Internet e-mail message formats at the user and the domain levels in Exchange Server 2003 might help.)

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We never get any complaints about winmail.dat attachments. How can i confirm if i am sending it in RTF or HTML ? I've seen the link you provided already but that seems to describe problems when trying to send messages from an Exchange server, not being recieved by them. Will probably forward that link on to them so they can have a look at it. – Matt Oct 7 '09 at 9:16
Aha, you're using Outlook 2007 without an Exchange server yourself? The choice between HTML and RTF is some option in the menu bar while composing a new message. When one of those is selected, I think the only other option is Plain Text. When Plain Text is selected, one can select RTF or HTML. Though I am actually not sure Outlook 2007 still supports RTF. – Arjan Oct 7 '09 at 9:32
Yes thats right, we haven't got an exchange server. Just sending it as normal. Will have a look to see if that option still exists in outlook 2007. – Matt Oct 7 '09 at 9:35
Indeed that option does still exist, but the emails are definitely being sent as html, thats the default option, which i have never changed. – Matt Oct 7 '09 at 9:36

It's websense Mailcontrol that causes the issue, the only way to set some form of styling would be to use CSS and make a body declaration, mailcontrol seems to cause all the styling to be removed or ignored. I've seen it a few times in my line of work

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