Windows Explored

Everyday Windows Desktop Support, Advanced Troubleshooting & Other OS Tidbits

User Request – Create Custom Non-Tiling Email Stationary for Outlook

Posted by William Diaz on August 4, 2010


A somewhat odd request: the user needed to create a custom email background from an existing image. This is usually done by going into Tools > Options > Mail Format > Stationary Picker > New > Start with blank stationary and from here select Picture and browse to the image to be used as the background stationary (Outlook 2003). This creates an htm file in the C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Stationery folder.

The only problem with this is that the image will be tiled. And with smaller images there can be lots of tiling the larger the message is. To work around this, you can make the image larger but, in this case, the image was not high qaulity enough to scale it larger without introducing pixelization into the background image. So the request was to insert the image as background but not tile it.

So, to work around tiling, I edited the htm file created with notepad to introduce the following text into the <BODY> tag: style=”background-repeat:no-repeat“.

This is an example of an htm file created as stationary. The body tag is highlighted; the red text indicates the new tag to be inserted:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN”>
<HTML><HEAD><TITLE>Untitled Stationery</TITLE>
<META http-equiv=Content-Type content=”text/html; charset=windows-1252″>
<META content=”MSHTML 6.00.6000.17063″ name=GENERATOR></HEAD>
<
BODY
style=”FONT-SIZE: 10pt; COLOR: #000000; FONT-FAMILY: Arial; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffffff”
bgColor=#ffffff
background=”C:\Documents and Settings\Username\Winnt\stock-photo-girl-runs-on-sand-5199790.jpg”

style=”background-repeat:no-repeat”><FONT
face=Arial color=#000000 size=2>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV></FONT></BODY></HTML>

You can further modify to, for example, center the image in background by adding “background-position:top center”. In fact, you exempt all the mshtml-Outlook junk and do it from scratch:

<HTML>
<head>
</head>
</head>
<BODY background=”C:\Documents and Settings\Username\Winnt\stock-photo-girl-runs-on-sand-5199790.jpg” style=”background-repeat:no-repeat;background-position:top center”>
</BODY>
</HTML>
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