How do I send email in "Plain Text"?

Configuring Mail Clients to Send Plain Text

To view a sample of what styled text looks like to many list readers.. click HERE

Please see this article:
Plain Text methods

Or this article:
http://www.expita.com/nomime.html


What is wrong with sending HTML or MIME messages?

There are a three main reasons for NOT doing this:

  1. Many E-mail and Usenet News reader programs, usually the mail and news reader programs that come with browser packages, allow users to include binary attachments (MIME encoded) or formatted text within their E-mail messages. They even allow HTML that is normally used in web pages. This makes URLs into clickable links and it means that graphics can also be included in E-mail messages. While this makes your E-mail interesting and pretty to look at, it can cause problems for other people who receive your E-mail because they may use different E-mail programs, different computer systems, and different word processing programs, whose files are often not fully compatible with each other. Any of these can cause trouble with attachments. Most of the time all they see is the actual HTML code behind the message. In some cases, the message is nothing but strange looking text.

    When you send an attachment, like a word processor file, to have it appear on the other end as the exact same type of file the recipient must have hardware and software that can read that file. For example, if you attach a Microsoft Word file, and the recipient of your message is using a word processor that can't open MS Word files, that person isn't going to be able to open your attachment and they are less than likely to be very happy about it.
  2. HTML or MIME messages are larger and more wasteful than simple text messages. Using HTML or MIME in E-mail messages makes the messages larger in size by some two thirds. These will take longer to download and they take up more storage space than standard E-mail messages. E-mail storage is important because many people retain copies of messages they receive and in the case of mailing list digests, the individual messages are combined in one large message and sent to the user at the end of the day. In addition, the mailings lists archive the messages for periods of up to 6 months to enable users to search for particular postings at a later time.
  3. HTML or MIME messages leave or include unwanted files (attachments) on the machines of the recipients of these messages.

Plain text is how your messages should be formatted when sending E-mail to mailing lists and Usenet newsgroups or to any other recipient. Though this rule is not yet cast in "Netiquette" stone, it is a good policy to follow if you want quick and informative responses to your questions and wish to avoid being "flamed" as a clueless newbie.

HTML is meant for the WWW; not for mailing lists, Usenet newsgroups postings, proper business E-mail correspondence and preferably not for personal E-mail unless the recipient is expecting it.

MIME encoded mail is used to send attachments that consist of pictures, sound files, spreadsheets, word-processing documents, zip files, or other binary files to recipients that have and use the same operating system, the same word processing program and a common E-mail program such as Eudora, Pegasus, Netscape, or Outlook.

MIME attachments are not wanted on mailing lists, Usenet newsgroups postings, business E-mail correspondence, and preferably not for personal E-mail unless the recipient is expecting it.

For background information see "Netiquette Guidelines"

To see what actual HTML/MIME mail looks like in UNIX Pine, see examples section.



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