We all have those people who decide to put a ton of junk mark-up in their emails and make it nearly impossible to read. What I'd like to have is a rule in Outlook 2010 that as soon as an email comes from a certain person (or probably group) it automatically converts it to plain-text instead of html. Any ideas?

  • It would be better to do this on the server, but I understand that's not always feasible. – Justin Dearing Aug 10 '12 at 20:43

If you are concerned about the display and do not really need to convert see here for instructions to "Read as Plain Text" http://support.microsoft.com/kb/831607

  • Hrm that's much simpler, and doesn't alter the original messages. – Justin Dearing Aug 10 '12 at 23:03
  • is there a way to use that with a rule, or somehow tie it to just one person? – aron.duby Aug 11 '12 at 15:06
  • @aron.duby the method described here is global, not for one user. Use my VBA method, perhaps creating a copy of the image laden message to just apply it to one user. – Justin Dearing Aug 12 '12 at 3:21

I "solved" this same problem by assigning a mail rule to pick up only the specific problem email/s, and moves it to "Junk". In junk, all emails are converted to plain text.

Thus I read these problem emails in my junk folder, which is much better than the status quo of outlook "not responding" for a minute every time I accidentally preview the problem email.

EDIT: I also added a notification alert to the mail rule so that I wouldn't "miss" the email


You can edit a message with VBA. According to the MSDN, if you set the _MailItem.BodyFormat property to olFormatPlain it will discard all formatting.

This article on using VBA as a more powerful alternative to the Outlook filtering rules should set you in the right direction.


A rule that incorporates the VBA required can be found here, with ItemAdd and NewMailEx alernatives.


Sub ConvertToPlain(MyMail As MailItem)
Dim strID As String
Dim objMail As Outlook.MailItem

strID = MyMail.EntryID
Set objMail = Application.Session.GetItemFromID(strID)
objMail.BodyFormat = olFormatPlain

Set objMail = Nothing
End Sub

For the ItemAdd and NewMailEx solutions you can limit the conversion by testing for the SenderName or SenderEmailAddress like this.

If objMail.SenderName = "Mailer, HTML" Then
    objMail.BodyFormat = olFormatPlain
End if

You can find the SenderName with this. (For unknown reasons one of my senders does not have a SenderEmailAddress.)

Sub Addresses_CurrentItem()

Dim olMail As Object

On Error Resume Next
Set olMail = ActiveInspector.currentItem

If olMail Is Nothing Then
' might be in the explorer window
    If (ActiveExplorer.selection.Count = 1) And _
     (ActiveExplorer.selection.Item(1).Class = olMail) Then
        Set olMail = ActiveExplorer.selection.Item(1)
    End If
End If
On Error GoTo 0

If olMail Is Nothing Then

MsgBox "Problem." & vbCr & vbCr & "Try again " & _
"under one of the following conditions:" & vbCr & _
    "-- You are viewing a single email message." & vbCr & _
    "-- You have only one message selected.", _
Exit Sub
End If

If TypeOf olMail Is MailItem Then

Debug.Print "  Sender    : " & olMail.SenderName   
Debug.Print "  SenderEmailAddress: " & olMail.SenderEmailAddress & vbCr

End If

End Sub

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