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Send Complex HTML Emails from a Mac Without Needing a Script

Updated on November 28, 2010

Here’s what you need:

  • Mac OS
  • MS Entourage (part of MS Office)
  • A free Yahoo email address.

You may be surprised to hear that new Macs and their email programs are not set-up to send HTML emails, and the previous tricks (Outlook Express, etc) are no longer available for Mac. Some people will not be bothered by this, because they think HTML emails are a bad idea anyway, and that’s fine – in some cases they are.

Sometimes, however, an HTML email is needed and just makes better sense. For example, if you promote something on a yahoo group, HTML emails look fantastic and make it a thousand times easier for a reader to figure out what you’re promoing. It was for this reason I spent roughly 48 nonstop hours trying to figure out how to manage this. In my search, I came across a few touted methods which just didn’t work for me, for one reason or another.

Some suggested uploading your html email to a server and then mail it via Safari. This probably would have been ok, but I couldn’t upload my html to a server with the program I was using, and I didn’t feel like setting up an FTP program. Some suggested downloading one of several scripts designed for sending HTML emails from MS Entourage. This was supposed to be easy – but it simply did not work for me.

I also found a method which suggested altering 2 very simple settings in Entourage – and that was all you’d need to do. Well, this was true to a point; I was able to send html emails to myself and to yahoo email addresses – but when mailing gmail or yahoogroups directly, it resulted in nothing but code showing up. Which, obviously, defeated my purpose!

Now, I’m not a computer programmer, and I have only a very basic knowledge of html. I have even less knowledge about Macs, as I’ve only had one for a few months. I am, however, a very determined person when I set my mind to something, and after two days of nonstop trying, I discovered a very easy way to send my html emails to yahoogroups – or anywhere else – from my Mac, and have them render correctly.

No scripts were required, nothing extra whatsoever.

Here’s how you do it:

1. First you need to set up Entourage for html. Bear in mind, once you do this, it will automatically apply this to all outgoing mail. That means you will either need to change this setting back each time you want to send a regular email, or it means you keep it this way and only use Entourage for sending HTML emails. Personally, I do the latter because don’t use Entourage otherwise.

2. Next, use Tom Granger’s instructions and make the following changes. Open Entourage → go to the toolbar and select Tools → select Accounts → choose applicable email account → select Options. Once you have the Options box open, click under Header and a box will appear. Type “content-type” in this space. Next, click under Value and another box will appear. Type “text/html” in this space. When you’re done, click Ok.

3. Now you’re ready to insert your html. Open a new message and insert your html. Remember, it needs to either begin with a Doctype header, or <html>. And, of course, it will need to end with </html> or you’ll just be sending lots of code.

4. But! Before you click send... Pull down the Format menu in the toolbar and make sure “HTML” is unchecked. In this form, you should be able to email a number of addresses and have the email render correctly.

5. If you want to email a yahoogroup, gmail or any other recipient who will only see code when they open it, there is one more step, and it’s very easy! All you have to do is email the html to a personal yahoo address – it will render correctly. From there, simply forward it anywhere you like, and voila! It should render correctly for everyone else, as well.

If all of this sounds like a great big hassle, it’s not.Once Entourage is set up correctly, you will not have to go through all of this each time. You’ll only have to make sure that "HTML" bit is unchecked in the Format menu. Yahoo will receive the email correctly, and from there it can go anywhere you like.

So, to recap:

  • Set Entourage up
  • Insert HTML into an email
  • Uncheck HTML option before sending
  • Receive it at your Yahoo address
  • Forward to anyone else.

Note: If you really need the email to be delivered from a business address, as opposed to a yahoo address, you can add one extra step: Forward it to the email address you want to use, and then forward it to your intended recipient, and it should still render. HOWEVER! Test it first! Sometimes emails can wind up with bizarre symbols at this stage. Good luck and happy emailing!

xx Isabella

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