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How to view and compose messages in HTML

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip

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Posted: 5 Dec 2001

We've had several questions from readers who want to send HTML e-mail that looks like web pages. We certainly can't blame you for wanting that. We love HTML. It's dynamic, it's colorful, it's so, well, webish. Here is a typical letter:

Phil B. wrote: Is there a way to put in raw html source code so the resulting message that is sent via e-mail looks like a web page? In Outlook Express I can edit the source and copy in some html text. Can I do this with GroupWise?

Here's the scoop. It's very easy to compose items in HTML. If you have Internet Explorer 4.x or higher installed on the same computer as GroupWise, you can compose messages in HTML. An HTML toolbar over the Message box gives you HTML options such as text formatting, text color, lists, inserting lines and pictures, inserting a background image, and inserting links.

The HTML view is the default view, so even simple text messages are composed in HTML. In fact, you have to turn it off if you want to go back to plain old (non-webish) text. To compose items without using HTML, open an item > click View > Plain Text.

You can view items in GroupWise that have been composed in HTML from other users or from Web-based information services. You can click any links that are included in the item and jump to the linked Web sites.

Other Suggestions

Gregory Bell

You can create your HTML document in an HTML editor, open a new GroupWise mail message in HTML view mode, then press F11 (or File | Retrieve) to retrieve the HTML file you created. There are still some limitations associated with this method, in that you cannot include style sheets or background images, although the background image can be inserted after file retrieval via the mail view's HTML toolbar option. You can include CSS style parameters but the downside is that they must be inserted inline with the parent code you are modifying, for example the following is modifying the properties of an <A HREF></A> code:

<A HREF="" STYLE="font-family: Arial, Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: small; font-weight: bold; text-decoration: none; color: #2B4FA4">What's New</A>

The other configuration issue is that the images and URLs references should not be made relative within your HTML document, i.e. you need to explicitly specify the full path to the image or the target URL.

For example, for images you can write your HTML source as follows:

<IMG SRC="" ALT="Advansys Header" WIDTH="178" HEIGHT="28">

(the above refers to a graphic on a web server)


<IMG SRC="file:///c:/web/images/advheader.gif" ALT="Advansys Header" WIDTH="178" HEIGHT="28">

(the above refers to a graphic stored on the workstation local drive).

To retrieve the images correctly into the GW mail message, you cannot use:

<IMG SRC="/images/advheader.gif" ALT="Advansys Header" WIDTH="178" HEIGHT="28"> .

When you include URLs in the message, they should point to the full URL, such as:

<A HREF=""> .

Another technique for capturing existing web pages, is to simply use the mouse to select a section of a web page in Internet Explorer and copy/paste it into a blank GW mail message HTML view. You do need to watch where you start and end your web page selection because sometimes you may miss the necessary (hidden) HTML codes. In addition, if you wish to preserve the graphics, you may need to edit the location of the graphic manually after pasting into the mail message (you will need to determine the graphics URL).

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