You have probably experienced this scenario:
On your desktop Outlook you open an email that a coworker sends you from her phone.
You notice that the formatting looks sparse, but you don’t think much about this until you start to compose your reply. Your signature looks different than usual, you can’t format text, or change fonts… even doing something simple, like making a word bold or italic, is impossible as a good portion of the ribbon is greyed out and unselectable. What is going on here?
When your coworker emailed you from her phone (or tablet), most likely the formatting of the entire email changed over to Plain Text. This means minimal to no formatting and no images, even for your responses to her email.
How to Fix
Want to hear the good news? You can fix this in two clicks.
Important: first, be sure that you are replying in a popped out message pane. We talk about this Pop Out view a lot in Outlook Essentials training, and how it opens up a whole new world of opportunities in the Outlook ribbon. This button lives right above the Send button in the Reply preview pane.
Okay, are you ready for the two steps?
- Go to the Format Text Tab
- In the Format group, change the selection from Plain Text to HTML by pressing the HTML button.
Go back to your Home and Insert tabs, and you will see that all of your options have returned. Happy day! Heads up though, if your signature is set to automatic, you may need to reinsert your signature to bring back the formatting in the signature.
I hope this tip prevents some frustration for you in the future. No exercise files today, unless you would like me to send you an unformatted email from my phone to test out this setting… if so, you know where to find me!
2 thoughts on “Outlook Formatting Woes: Replying to Email Sent from a Phone”
Your blog is great and the little exercises are helpful. I hope I have time to spend on them. There is so much to learn. Thank you.
I am so glad it has been helpful!
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