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table watermark in microsoft outlook

Discussion in 'CSS' started by ptah, Jul 2, 2005.

  1. #1
    hi,

    i am trying to create a watermark in a particular cell of table that i need to use as a microsoft outlook signature. with the following code,

    .txtArea{
    width: 598px;
    height: 320px;
    font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
    font-size: 12px;
    color: #000000;
    text-decoration: none;
    background-image: url(txtAreaBgrnd.gif);
    background-position: bottom;
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    }

    i am able to see it in internet explorer and when i am typing out an email, but the watermark vanishes when opened. i assume this is because the file name 'txtAreaBgrnd.gif' changes to a different name when embedded in the sent mail. how should i get over this shortcoming?

    thanx,
    SEMrush
    ptah
     
    ptah, Jul 2, 2005 IP
    SEMrush
  2. hyperman

    hyperman Peon

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    #2
    The best way to solve this problem in a HTML email is to store your image on your web server instead of trying to send them with the email. You'll have the added benefit of reducing the weight of the email by not including your images. Also, you'll be able to determine the number of people who read the email by looking at the web server log for the txtAreaBgrnd.gif file.

    .txtArea{
    width: 598px;
    height: 320px;
    font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
    font-size: 12px;
    color: #000000;
    text-decoration: none;
    background-image: url(http://www.yourwebserver.com/newsletter/images/txtAreaBgrnd.gif);background-position: bottom;
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    }
     
    hyperman, Jul 2, 2005 IP
  3. hyperman

    hyperman Peon

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    #3
    The best way to solve this problem in a HTML email is to store your images on your web server instead of trying to send them with the email. You'll have the added benefit of reducing the weight of the email by not including your images. Also, you'll be able to determine the number of people who read the email by looking at the web server log for the txtAreaBgrnd.gif file.

    .txtArea{
    width: 598px;
    height: 320px;
    font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
    font-size: 12px;
    color: #000000;
    text-decoration: none;
    background-image: url(http://www.yourwebserver.com/newsletter/images/txtAreaBgrnd.gif);background-position: bottom;
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    }
     
    hyperman, Jul 2, 2005 IP
  4. J.D.

    J.D. Peon

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    #4
    Not true. All modern email clients block external graphics because they help spammers to figure out that the email was actually opened. The graphics has to be sent along with the email and and then you can send a special protocol identifier to identify the image. For example, the image tag would look like this:

    <img src="cid:123123675$467872874">

    , where the numbers point to the part of the email containing the image (identified by the Content-ID header).

    The best way to try this out is to send and email to yourself with an embedded image and look at the output.

    J.D.
     
    J.D., Jul 2, 2005 IP
  5. hyperman

    hyperman Peon

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    #5
    I have many clients sending newsletter to hundred of recipents with the images on a web server without any problem at all. Which email clients block images if it's in well formed HTML document ? And most commercial newsletter I receive also use this technique.

    The problem is that it's not an image tag, it's a background-image in a stylesheet...
     
    hyperman, Jul 2, 2005 IP
  6. J.D.

    J.D. Peon

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    #6
    Outlook, Outlook Express. Hidden images is a common technique used by spammers and any respectable mail client will block them. Webmail client will probably show them (although there's a setting in FF that will block images that come from a different website as well).

    It doesn't matter. You can use cid: anywhere where a URL can be used (some mail clients may not be compatible with cid inside CSS, though).

    J.D.
     
    J.D., Jul 2, 2005 IP
  7. fryman

    fryman Kiss my rep

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    #7
    Even programs like incredimail block images
     
    fryman, Jul 2, 2005 IP
  8. hyperman

    hyperman Peon

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    #8
    Why most of the mailing list I subscribe to are sending HTML email with the images on a web server ? I've just check 5 HTML emails from big corporation and institutions and all their images are on a web server. And my Outlook express is not blocking them... the original poster for this thread is not trying to add an hidden image, he's trying to add a watermark in a table with CSS.

    I thought the CID was attributed automatically by outlook express when you created an HTML email with an image directly in Outlook. How have you manage to do that for an image URL in a stylesheet ?
     
    hyperman, Jul 3, 2005 IP
  9. J.D.

    J.D. Peon

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    #9
    May be your current version used your old installation's settings. The default now is to block this content. Some large corporations, such as some ISPs, still didn't get the message and send their mail with external references. What can you do - they often don't know what they are doing. If you want to check this setting in your OE, check Tools > Options > Security > Download Images > Block images and other external content in HTML email.

    An image is an image - whether hidden or not, it reveals to the sender that the message was opened. This constitutes a security violation and will always be blocked by respectable mail clients.

    Outlook Express does this just fine - you may need to do a bit of manual editing for this, though. Enable HTML source edit in OE (View > Source Edit) and click on the Source tab at the bottom of the new message window. You will get to the message HTML. Now you can add CSS styles, referencing local files like this:

    body {background-image: url("c:\temp\image.jpg");}

    When you send this message, OE will add the image as an attachment with a unique content ID and will replace the CSS body property to refer to this image. Try sending a message like this to yourself and see how it works.

    Outlook Express is one of a few clients that allows to do this - many others ones simply can't do this (e.g. Outlook, Thunderbird).

    J.D.
     
    J.D., Jul 3, 2005 IP