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Re: [BKARTS] =20s and such

the =20 is a result of the use of using a word processing program to compose an email message, all of which will insert some kind of formatting codes. Sometimes when sending formatted email (as HTML) these will contribute to the look of the email. However, I have the list set up so as not to accept HTML, i.e. only plain text is allowed.

This is for several reasons:
The last time this issue came up, I asked how people felt about HTML email and the response was strongly in favor of "plain text."
People read messages using a wide variety of programs including plain ol' telnet and HTML messages are illegible to them.
There are viruses and malicious code which can be embedded in the HTML and cause problems.
Images which could then be included dramatically increase the use of bandwidth and are not compatible with the Archive.

Below are some useful tips on composing from <http://www.nesox.com/document/Formatting%20Email%20Marketing%20Messages.asp> showing it is possible to learn from marketers...

Digests can compound this problem.

As to why all messages are coming to you this way, I have no idea and have not encountered this problem. Our sysadmin folks were also not able to offer any suggestions. For comparison, check the messages in the archive at <http://www.philobiblon.com/> in the sidebar at left.

Hope this helps.


3. Automated formatting and HTML tags

A message composed in a word processing program will contain numerous hidden formatting codes, which can show up in odd ways if you merely paste the message into an email window and send it. For example, you can end up with an annoying "=20" at the end of each line.

Likewise, if you try to send out your message in HTML, many recipients will see all the HTML tags, making the message hard to read. If you're going to send HTML email, make sure that all your recipients are able to receive HTML-formatted email, or that you have technology that can deliver the right format to the right user.

Generally speaking, you are safer if you send all email marketing messages in plain text. To produce a plain-text message, compose it in a program that creates pure text, such as Notepad. Microsoft Word does not create pure text documents, even if you "Save As ¡­" text.

If you want to use Word or another word processor to create a text document, first save the document in text, then close it and open it in Notepad (or other text editor). Now save it again in Notepad. Notepad will now save a pure text document, with no formatting. Close the document and re-open it in Notepad. You will now have a pure text document to send out. Paste this into your email window or Web form to send it out.

In summary, to avoid formatting problems, take these precautions when creating email messages:
* Create and send documents in plain text
* Limit your lines to 60-65 characters, including spaces, with a hard return at the end of each line
* Compose in a fixed-pitch font
* When creating tables or other graphics, stick to simple designs that will render properly in any font
* View your message with both proportional and fixed pitch fonts to identify any formatting problems
* Avoid HTML email unless you can be absolutely sure all recipients will receive the right format


Peter D. Verheyen
Bookbinder & Conservator, PA - AIC
The Book Arts Web & Book_Arts-L Listserv
The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist

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