While our templates are designed to look good in all email clients, there are some common campaign display issues that can crop up when a subscriber views an HTML email in Outlook, especially in 2007, 2010, or 2013 versions. This is because those three versions of Outlook use Microsoft Word to render emails which offer limited support for HTML and CSS.
In this article, we'll discuss common display issues that users have experienced with Outlook and our recommendations to troubleshoot these issues.
Margins do not display
All versions of Outlook (except for Outlook.com) and Gmail do not support margins. Instead, we recommend using the spacer widget:
You can also try padding in order to create space around your content blocks. Padding is supported in every version of Outlook and other popular email service providers. You can add padding to a content block by selecting that content clock in the email designer and clicking the Options tab located on the right-hand side of the screen. However, it's important to note that padding may make your content appear narrow when viewed on a mobile device.
Line height is not consistently supported
Outlook 2007, 2010, 2013, and Office 365 do not consistently support line height. Some versions of Outlook will support the percentage value of line height (eg, 140%) while others support a whole number (eg, 4). If you’re creating an email from scratch and writing your own CSS, we recommend providing both values. If you’re using the drag-and-drop email designer, this is automatically set for you.
Outlook does not support “Justify” text alignment:
Unfortunately, there isn’t a fix to force Outlook to support justified text alignment.
Images appear distorted
Outlook will not scale down images that are 1000 or more pixel wide. Instead, the image will be displayed at its actual size, causing the width of your template to expand and become distorted. We recommend using images that are between 400 and 650 pixel wide. For more tips on adding images to your campaign, see this help document.
GIFs appear as flat images
Animated GIFs are supported in the Outlook 365 desktop client, Outlook mobile apps, and Outlook.com.
Outlook 2007, 2010, and 2013 will not show animations. Instead, they will show only the first frame. If your GIF has an offer, headline, or call-to-action, make sure it's included in that frame. For instructions on adding a GIF to your email, click here.
Background image does not display
Background images not displaying is a common issue with many different email providers. We recommend providing a fallback color in case your email is viewed on a version of Outlook that does not support background images.
This only applies if you are creating an email with your own HTML, the drag-and-drop email designer does not support background images.