How to Enable Plain Text for Outlook Web Emails

Outlook, like most modern email services, uses HTML as the default format for composing messages. While this is great for sending messages with different fonts, styles, and images, there are still advantages when sending messages using plain text.

Advantages of plain text emails:

  • Formatting and Styling: Plain text emails are universally supported by all email clients. They ensure a consistent and predictable display, regardless of the recipient’s email platform or settings.
  • Accessibility: Plain text emails are inherently more accessible since they rely solely on text. They are generally easier for screen readers to interpret, making them a more inclusive choice for communication.
  • Spam and Security: Plain text emails are often considered less risky in terms of security. They are less likely to trigger spam filters, and recipients may perceive them as more trustworthy since they lack the dynamic and potentially exploitable elements of HTML.
  • Bandwidth: Plain text emails are old-school lightweight and load quickly since they consist only of text characters. This can be useful for recipients with slower internet connections or those accessing emails on mobile devices with limited bandwidth.

Enabling plain text messages for Outlook web:

So let’s take a look at how to enable the plain text message format for Outlook web:

Login to Outlook web and click on the gear icon.

accessing Outlook web settings

Then, choose Mail > Compose and reply > Message format.

Message format settings in Outlook web

From the drop-down menu for the Compose messages in option, select Plain text.

Switch to plain text format

Click Save for these changes to take effect. 

From now on, when composing messages, you will find that the formatting and styling options at the top of the message window are disabled as the messages are composed in plain text. 

Text styling and formatting is off when using plain text
[Plain text message format enabled]

When HTML is enabled, these options will be visible again.

Text styling and formatting is on when using HTML
[HTML as the message format]

Happy emailing.

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