In my work as a developer I sometimes find myself sending details emails with screenshots to illustrate some point or problem. The content of these screenshots is often text. So knowing that PNG is much better at handle compression of images with text, I save my screenshots as PNG and insert them into my email. However whenever I check my sent mail, the images are clearly being sent as a JPG because they look horribly compressed.

I'm using Outlook 2003 as my email program. Is there some setting I can change to make Outlook send inline images as PNGs?

  • I regularly take screenshots with the print screen key and paste them into emails. Gmail copes fine, sending lossless PNGs. However Outlook sends them as splodgy jpegs :( This is Outlook 2013 Preview – Colonel Panic Sep 26 '12 at 15:24

This isn't very helpful, but as far as I know, as one who sends a number of screen caps, there is no way. Outlook/Exchange always converts it to jpeg, and I haven't found a way yet to change that.

Sorry; I wish it could be done.

  • Yeah that could be very well be the answer. I am glad (well not glad) that I am not the only one annoyed by this. – James McMahon Aug 21 '09 at 19:17

Outlook 2007 does convert png24 to jpg as well. However, png32 are inserted as a png and are fine.

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    How do I create png32 when pasting from clipboard? – dma_k Oct 29 '13 at 20:24

Do you have the full Microsoft Office 2003 suite installed? If so, you can use Word 2003 as your editor and use it to inline the PNG image.

To use Word as the editor select Tools -> Options -> Mail Format and then click "Use Microsoft Office Word 2003 to edit e-mail messages". Now, open a new message, click into the body of the message, and click Insert -> Picture -> From file.

In my experience this will preserve the image as a PNG file in the outgoing message. Note that I have only tried this using Rich Text messages and haven't experimented to see what will happen with HTML messages.


The issue is not with the exchange server itself, it's with the outlook text editor. Anytime an image is modified using the outlook editor, it will get automatically converted into a JPEG once sent. But unaltered pngs that are pasted inline will be preserved, both in sending and receiving emails from outlook.

Here's a simple test of emails sent through the outlook client. Blurry is okay (since I've zoomed in a lot), but artifacting is not:



Since you're using Outlook 2003 this won't be very helpful for you but I've found that Outlook 2007 doesn't convert inline png images to jpg.


I never had a problem with screenshot quality in Outlook 2003. I often send emails with inline screenshots and they always looked exactly as the source PNG. Maybe the problem is the source program. I use Irfan View and copy the images from there and paste them into Outlook. At home I use XnView Don't know if that helps but could be worth a try.

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    The issue is that Outlook converts the pictures to .jpg, not the source program. You can test that opening the email in web browser and save the picture... – Nicu Zecheru Aug 26 '09 at 14:19
  • @släcker: I am using Outlook 2010 with xnview and Greenshot – in both cases the result sucks. – dma_k Oct 29 '13 at 20:28

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