The Ultimate Guide to Microsoft Outlook Templates

[ This mail was primitively published on 19th october 2021. It has been updated on 7th June 2022. ] No lesser than 306 billion emails are commit and received on a daily basis ; this means businesses wishing to climb up the ladder must actively strive to make electronic mail marketing a core component of their operations. From enabling businesses to send target and individualized messages to their customers to packing a stagger ROI, the virtues of electronic mail market beg admiration and adulation plenty. But, to make the most of this incredible impart, it is vital that you invest in a first-grade and authentic e-mail customer deoxyadenosine monophosphate well .

Table Of Contents:

Microsoft Outlook- A Brief Introduction

With approximately 400 million users to its name, Microsoft Outlook most surely belongs to the coven of the most well-recognized and dependable e-mail clients out there. Ever since its first gear public handout in 1997, Outlook has come a farseeing way, courtesy of a string of updates by Microsoft, with each update making the software more feature-intensive and effective than ever before. now, Outlook is a part of many Microsoft Office Application suites, including Office 2010, 2013, 2016, deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as Microsoft 365. And it just doesn ’ t take concern of e-mail exchanges, it besides looks after job pull off, daybook log, calendaring, web-browsing, note-taking, and contact manage. Despite all this, most electronic mail marketers share a bittersweet relationship with Outlook. A boastfully part of it stems from Outlook ’ sulfur building complex try rules, which makes the processes of designing and testing emails quite burdensome. however, given the convenience and popularity of Outlook, disregarding it becomes quite unmanageable. The reasonable class of action, therefore, is to persevere through its challenges and optimize your Outlook campaign to the maximal degree possible. That is only possible if you have a exhaustive acquaintance with this platform and understand its nuances wrong-side-out. If you ’ ve been scouring the internet for resources to help you with the lapp, you can relax now ; you ’ ve reached the right position.

This all-important expectation electronic mail templates guide walks you through everything you need to know to craft pixel-perfect and exultant e-mail campaigns on this platform. cook to dive in ? Let ’ s die !

Creating and Using Outlook Templates

When you have to send repetitive emails, templates come in highly handy. They spare you from the fuss of creating excess emails from scratch ; with templates, all you have to do is tweak the elements as per your necessity and repurpose them as many times as necessary. fortunately, creating raw templates in Outlook is an extremely aboveboard matter. Navigating through them, though, might be a bite of a harass for you. so, what most users do is pin their templates to the ribbon after creating them. But, more on that later. Let ’ s get down to the basics first. To create an email template in Outlook, carry out the following steps:

  1. Draft a new email message. Go to the menu bar, and select “Home.” From the dropdown menu that appears, click on “New Email.” Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut, “Ctrl + N.”
  2. Write a Subject line for the template message that you have drafted. Although Outlook lets you save an email template without a default subject, for the sake of clarity, it is advisable that you specify one.
  3. Now, insert images, videos, documents, additional text, or any other elements that you want to include in your email message template. 
  4. Once you’re satisfied with the Outlook email template design, click on “File” and select the “Save As” option. If you’re using Outlook 2007, you need to select “Office Button” and then “Save As.”
  5. Upon clicking on “Save As,” a dialog box will appear, prompting you to specify a file name. Enter a file name of your choice. 
  6. Then, click on the “Save as type” dropdown arrow. From the options that appear, click on “Outlook Template (*.oft).” In Outlook 2007, you’ll need to select “Outlook Template” from within the dropdown arrow options.
  7. Click on “Save” and close the original email. By default, Outlook saves all template files to this destination: C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates.
  8. Ensure that you do not alter this destination folder; otherwise, Outlook will fail to locate them.

If you want to create a new email by using a message template in Outlook, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the menu bar, and click on the “Home” tab. From the dropdown menu that appears, select “New Items.” This, in turn, will give rise to another dropdown menu. Here, you need to select “More Items” and finally “Choose Form.” As an Outlook 2007 user, the navigation is relatively simpler. First, you need to click on the “Tools” tab. Then select “Forms,” and finally “Choose Form.”
  2. When you click on “Choose Form,” a dialog box will appear on your screen. In this dialog box, you’ll have to select the “Look in” dropdown arrow. From the options that appear, click on “User Templates in File System.”
  3. Another dialog box will appear, showcasing all the templates that you have created and saved previously.
  4. Select the template of your choice, and click on “Open” to access it. Now, you can create a new Outlook email template design by tweaking the elements of this template as per your requirements. 

Remember that creating Outlook HTML e-mail templates is not an incontrovertible process. occasionally, you ’ ll find yourself wanting to add or modify a couple of elements in your template long after you ’ ve saved it. fortunately, editing an Outlook e-mail template is a convenient as creating one. All you need to do is open the Outlook e-mail templates as e-mail message using the steps illustrated above and make the necessary alterations .

Accessing and Sharing Outlook Email Templates

When you create respective lookout electronic mail templates on a even basis, the final thing you ’ five hundred want for yourself is to struggle while locating and accessing your templates when you need them the most. Hence, the sensible thing to do is to either pin your template to the taskbar or create a desktop shortcut for it. To pin your outlook email template to the taskbar, perform the following steps:

  1. Go to the destination folder, where all Outlook templates are saved by default. It is- C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates.
  2. Locate the template you need and click on it to drag it towards the Outlook icon on your taskbar. This pins your template to the context menu of the Outlook icon. 
  3. Now, when you need to use this particular template, all you have to do is right-click on the Outlook icon on your taskbar and select it from there.
  4. Using this method, you can pin multiple outlook email templates to the taskbar. 
  5. If you feel that you no longer need a particular template, you can just as easily remove it from the Outlook icon. Right-click on that template and select “Unpin from this list.”

To create a desktop shortcut for your outlook template, you have to:

  • Right-click on the template of your choice and click on “Send to Desktop.” This will instantly create a desktop shortcut for it. In order to access it and compose a new email using it, you simply have to click on the shortcut icon. 

Since all Outlook templates are basically shared as files with a “ .oft ” extension, you can easily share them with your colleagues and teammates. Either add the template as an attachment or upload it to a shared network drive. On sealed occasions, you ’ ll have a need to use one particular template for a bunch of new emails. so, how should you go about it ? First, design your e-mail template with all the desired baptismal font and background color specifications. then, set that template as your Outlook electronic mail subject. In the steps below, we elaborate on this very process:

  1. Compose a new email draft and design it as per your requirements.
  2. Click on the “File” tab on the menu bar, and select the “Save As” button. Click on the “Save as type” drop-down arrow, and choose HTML (*.htm; *.html). Alternatively, you could use any other HTML editor to design your Outlook email template too.
  3. Now, to set this newly designed template as the default Outlook email theme, click on the “File” tab, select “Option,” then “Mail,” and finally “Compose messages.” A dialog box will appear on your screen.
  4. Towards the bottom right of this dialog box, you’ll notice a button labeled “Stationery and Fonts.” Click on it.
  5. This will lead you to another dialog box where you’ll be able to see a host of themes, listed one below the other. Choose a theme, and click on the “OK” button.

This theme will nowadays be set as your default electronic mail theme. Any newfangled messages that you draft henceforth will mechanically reflect this theme .

Using Outlook Features To Reply Efficiently To Redundant Emails

The hale purpose of creating and using electronic mail templates is to save time for replying to repetitive emails. Outlook has a suite of fantastic features which make dealing with act emails a cakewalk. We discuss them at duration in this section .

Quick Parts and AutoText

quick Parts are reclaimable bits of contentedness that can be inserted into an electronic mail message, meeting request, appointee, tax, and contact. In Outlook 2003 and the versions that preceded it, a similar feature called “ AutoText ” was available to the users. however, in the latest versions, users can make use of both Quick Parts and AutoText. Besides the fact that they reside in unlike galleries, there aren ’ t very many fundamental differences between Quick Parts and AutoText. The setting of Quick Parts international relations and security network ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate just limited to introducing extra text ; it besides encompasses tables, graphics, american samoa good as customs format. While one can use .oft templates to compose complete messages, Quick Parts act as smaller building blocks. Creating a new Quick Parts detail or submission is extremely easy. First, compose your message. then, select it and click on the Insert tab in the menu bar. You ’ ll notice a sub-tab named “ Quick Parts. ” Click on the dropdown arrow that accompanies the pill. Select the “ Save Selections To Quick Part Gallery. ” Your write message is now saved as a Quick Parts detail. then, how do you access it in the future ? You just have to look it up in the Quick Parts gallery. alternatively, you can type out a unique part of your Quick Parts entrance and press F3. For case, suppose your Quick Parts entrance reads, “ In a meet, name you later. ” To insert this into an e-mail message, you can plainly type “ meet ” and press F3 ; Outlook will prompt the complete message for you. In Outlook 2016 and subsequent versions, this has become further commodious. now, when you type a separate of the message, you can see a suggestion pop up adjacent to your text. If the suggestion is correct and you indeed want to insert that in your message, good press the Enter key. Although Quick Parts is very easily to use and implement, there are certain drawbacks associated with it excessively. For starters, there is no search option in the Quick Parts drift. therefore, if you have multiple entries, you have to comb through them all to find the one you need. Further, it is not possible to edit a Quick Parts item. even if you have to modify a letter or bible of any of your past entries, you won ’ thymine be allowed to do thus. Your best stake is to replace it with a newly one .

Quick Steps

agile Steps are shortcuts that enable you to execute multiple actions by using a individual instruction. Examples include composing a newly electronic mail with the assistant of an existing template, replying with a template, and other exchangeable activities. Besides writing the message textbook, Quick Steps allows you to prefill your Subject, To, Bcc, and Cc parameters angstrom well. You need to click on the “ Quick Steps ” box on the “ Home ” tab to create a Quick Steps template. Within the “ Quick Steps ” box, you ’ ll come across an option named “ Create New. ” Upon clicking on it, you ’ ll be presented with the following actions : New Message, Reply, Reply All, Forward. You have to select one from among them. future, you have to type your template message in the “ Text ” section of the “ Edit ” window. To trigger this action into motion, you can either snap on it by navigating the library or plainly execute it using a keyboard shortcut. You can specify this shortcut when composing your template message in the “ Edit ” window itself. The lone drawback to Quick Steps is possibly the fact that it allows you to create only plain text templates .

Outlook Drafts

Outlook drafts are bare messages or unsent emails that are typically saved mechanically by Outlook. You can save drafts manually a good. The best thing about drafts is that they can be utilized as templates. Compose the body, attach images, videos, or documents, format as necessary, and before you send it, ensure you save the draft by clicking on the “ Save ” clitoris ( or by pressing Ctrl + S on the keyboard ). This way, if you ’ ve to send the lapp fructify of attachments to a host of unlike clients with minor customizations in the body text, you can barely modify this draft ; there is no indigence to compose the emails from chicken feed. All Outlook drafts are by nonpayment saved to the “ Drafts ” folder. If you feel that your “ Draft ” booklet is getting overcrowded, you can always store them in distinguish subfolders by assigning discrete categories to them .

Outlook Signature Templates

electronic mail signatures play a crucial function in creating brand recognition and hence are an intrinsic part of all formal communication. Outlook provides all of its users with a default key signature that they can add to their emails. however, you always have the autonomy of either editing it or changing it wholly. To do so, you need to select “ Signature ” under the “ Messages ” tab. Keep in judgment that when you compose a new signature, the default one gets removed mechanically .


With the avail of the AutoCorrect sport, you can insert certain snippets of text in your electronic mail message by using a predefined code or keyword. many users, therefore, consider AutoCorrect to be a simplified adaptation of Quick Parts and AutoText. To use this feature, you beginning need to assign a code to a particular text. then, to inject this text in your message, you just have to type in the said code and wardrobe the Enter key or Space barroom. Upon doing sol, the code will get substituted by your text. To access the AutoCorrect dialogue corner, you beginning need to select “ Options ” under the “ File ” check on the menu bar. subsequently, under “ Options, ” you have to choose “ Mail, ” then “ Spelling and AutoCorrect, ” followed by “ Proofing, ” and ultimately the “ AutoCorrect Options ” button .

Email Rendering Issues In Outlook

Outlook has a reasonably ill-famed reputation for having a complicate rig of rendering rules which makes life sentence increasingly difficult for electronic mail developers and marketers all across the earth. Matters get significantly worse with 2007, 2010, and 2013 versions of Outlook. The display problems associated with these versions primarily stem from them relying on Microsoft Word algorithm for rendering emails. As a result, this leads to minimal defend of CSS and HTML codes. many attempt to resolve these bugs by modifying the integral e-mail code ; we powerfully advise against this path. Why ? Because it doesn ’ thyroxine offer a permanent solution. certain, you might tie up a loose end or two, but in the procedure, you besides risk inviting more problems than what you had to contend with at the beginning. so, what is the best thing to do ? Attempt to fix the write out locally. rather of altering the arrant code, edit only the problem statements. Having said that, let ’ s take a expect at some of the most common e-mail rendering issues in Outlook and how you could troubleshoot them .

Improper Background Rendering

In many ways, the overall aesthetic of your e-mail design is rounded off by your backdrop visualize. And if that fails to render properly, well, then you can imagine the consequence. now, the problem with background image rendition is a little peculiar- it doesn ’ thymine announce itself when a single background is added to the complete electronic mail. The problem starts when you try to add different background images for separate elements. In cases where alone a single backdrop is added for the integral e-mail, Outlook displays it correctly across all its editions. then, to counter this bug in Outlook electronic mail template design, many users actually stick to this approach- adding one background for their electronic mail rather than adding multiple backgrounds for different electronic mail elements. however, this is not feasible for every site. Barring instances where the background gels well with your overall electronic mail aesthetic, this approach path doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate truly have much deservingness to it. A simple way of troubleshooting this issue is by providing a web-safe disengagement for your elements. For every e-mail element, specify a disengagement color. This way, when the background image fails to render, at least the e-mail module won ’ thymine appear empty flannel. needle to say, while you ’ ra providing disengagement colors, ensure that they match your general tinge system. Another clever method acting involves using a streamer as a setting visualize. therefore retentive it has the like copy, colors, and hyperlink that you need your background trope to have, what ’ s the dispute ? For your recipients, it ’ ll all appear the same. There are two major benefits of using this technique:

  • Most modern email editors have a vast suite of tools at their disposal to craft sophisticated email banners.
  • Banner images in Outlook HTML email templates render correctly across all email clients.

There ’ s one final trouble-shoot standard excessively, but it ’ second pretty advance. It requires you to develop a VML ( Vector Markup Language ) -based background persona. If you want a background image to cover your entire email window, you can type in the following code in your HTML editor:

– [ if gte mso 9 ]

– [ if gte mso 9 ]

Replace the links with the URLs of their respective background images, and you ’ re all set.

Disfiguration of Rounded CTAs

If you ’ re a brand that uses rounded CTAs, you might have to pick a bone or two with Outlook. This is because Outlook turns them into square-shaped buttons. But, that ’ s not all ; it besides removes the ashen spaces. The leave ? An incredibly visually jarring CTA. Many of you might argue that it isn ’ t in truth authoritative for a CTA clitoris to look visually attractive in the first rate. a farseeing as it is outstanding and has a compelling imitate, it ’ south good to go. That ’ second genuine, but it ’ s only half the narrative. CTAs tend to be more impactful when their condition and plan align with the overall brand expressive style. so, overlooking this Outlook write out is distinctly out of the interview. You can address this bug by adopting the lapp VML-based approach that was discussed above. In this case, though, there is no want for a code sample. You merely require a template editor that has an Outlook support feature. Open the Button check in that editor program and toggle the “ Support for Outlook ” to obtain your coveted solution. Take a look at this electronic mail from Niice. Across early electronic mail clients, its CTA clitoris remains rounded at the edges. Whereas, when it comes to Outlook, look at how the CTA becomes square-shaped .

No Margin Display

No translation of Outlook will allow your e-mail to display margins. And in the absence of margins, your e-mail subject may look highly unstructured. indeed, what ’ s the workaround ? Use spacers. Spacers are blocks available in tools that can be configured and implemented as per your requirements. alternatively, you may besides consider using padding to add the necessity space around your message blocks. however, padding can cause your message to appear besides narrow across mobile devices. therefore, ensure that you test it out before delivering. hera ’ s an case that illustrates the like.

Gmail:  Outlook:

No Support For Animated GIFs

Animated GIFs are a capital medium for both showcasing your contented a well as captivating the attention of your readers. unfortunately, Outlook doesn ’ thymine support them. It ’ ll lone display the first base frame of your liveliness. sadly, there ’ s no hardheaded solution for this. Having said that, you can always bring your creativity to the fore. nowadays that you know that your Outlook users can ’ thyroxine see any more than the first frame of reference of your inspire GIF, the following time you do embed one, ensure that the first frame itself contains the key message that you want to convey to your readers. Another workaround is to use the enliven GIF only as a supporting element. Its presence should accentuate the attract of its surrounding elements, but its absence shouldn ’ t hamper the central message of your electronic mail. other electronic mail clients : Outlook:

DPI Scaling Issues

If you attempt to use any trope or media with a resolution of 1920 * 1080 or above, Outlook will end up distorting the layout of your e-mail courtesy of its DPI scale issues. This write out besides extends to Windows 10, where the nonpayment setting rests at 125 % settlement rather of 100 %. What changes does DPI scaling affect precisely ? Take a look .

  • Keeps widths and heights specified in VML code as pixel values.
  • Keeps widths and heights specified in HTML attributes as pixel values.
  • Converts other pixel (px) values to point (pt) values.

In order to resolve this bug, you need to enable the VML code added in the to scale as per the resolution. Moreover, ensure that there’s a table with absolute width placed within a table with relative width. Last but not least, never forget to test your emails in higher DPI before sending them out. 

Inserting HTML into Outlook Email Templates

Given the numeral of rendering issues that one encounters with Outlook, you ’ five hundred think that the best path of military action is barely sending plain-text emails to your Outlook recipients. But, doing so would make your emails very dull and drab and probably push your readers to unsubscribe from your communications. The question is, how can you make your emails presentable and attractive while besides overcoming the hurdles posed by Outlook ’ s rendering algorithm ? Simple, cut-in HTML into your electronic mail templates ! Let us take a look at a few ways using which you can add HTML to Outlook e-mail templates .

Add Alt Text 

Outlook belongs to the league of e-mail clients who block images. This is what makes adding elevation textbook to every single persona within your email an essential practice. What is an elevation textbook ? It is a word or a give voice that summarizes the contents of the persona. That direction, if the image gets blocked or fails to be displayed correctly, the reviewer can at least read the elevation textbook ( that appears in place of the image, in the image box ) to understand what the persona was all about. Alt text is included in the electronic mail ’ south HTML document. hera ’ s an exemplar to give you a better mind of how elevation text works .

Ensure Custom Fonts Aren’t Replaced

Outlook supports a very limit numeral of fonts, and it has an astounding proclivity towards Times New Roman. This means that if you happen to use any baptismal font beyond its setting, it will mechanically replace it with Times New Roman. Hence, to avoid this destine, consider using any of the come “ safe ” fonts :

  • Arial
  • Courier
  • Arial Black
  • Courier New
  • Verdana
  • Georgia 
  • Tahoma

If there ’ s a specific baptismal font already earmarked for all your trade name ’ south communication and exercises, you ’ ll have to use conditional tease to prevent Outlook from replacing it with Times New Roman. To make custom fonts stack work in Outlook electronic mail templates, you can implement the following techniques :

  1. While writing your font stack, specify your custom font last in the list. Then, add this code to your CSS: [style*=”CustomFont”] { font-family: ‘CustomFont’, Helvetica, serif !important; }.
  2. This code essentially informs Outlook to replace styles, including the custom font, with the correct stack. But since Outlook ignores Attribute selectors, the command won’t execute. 
  3. Wrap every text section in a span.
  4. Include your custom font stack within a media query.

Control Email Layout With Tables

The manipulation of tables allows you to split the contented within your emails, center elements, set backgrounds, style textbook, specify pad and margins, and structure your template on the wholly. This will allow you to design your e-mail layout in the exact manner in which you want your readers to see it. Outlook typically doesn ’ t defend divs generally used in HTML coding to divide and structure contented. subsequently, this leads to issues of textbook envelop, discrepant spacing, and floating images. Using tables allows you to resolve all these problems. Take a look at how Apple has used tables in its e-mail layout over here to structure its contentedness. Each block of content is embedded in a different postpone and there ’ s no overlap between any two blocks which makes the overall template appear very neat .

Be Mindful of Your Email’s Width

The last thing you ’ vitamin d expect to trigger Outlook ’ s electronic mail rendering issues is the width of your e-mail. But well, it does. In our experience, a range of 550-600 pixels provides the most optimum results- the width is just desirable for mobile devices, and it leaves enough space for incorporating design elements. Outlook tends to overlook the max-width parameter on most occasions, so ensure that the width of your persona is clearly specified in your IMG SRC tag .

Make Use of Inline CSS

Unlike its other counterparts, Outlook still hasn ’ thymine come around to supporting embedded CSS, so you ’ re better off inlining your CSS. When you combine CSS with HTML tables, you make your e-mail templates immune to Outlook rendering issues. In the absence of inline CSS, Outlook won ’ metric ton render your styles in the craved manner .

Understanding Actionable Messages In Outlook

With the aid of Outlook ’ s actionable Messages, you can come up with emails that will enable you to carry out certain actions without exiting the inbox. As a result, they ’ re chiefly used for internal communications ( between Outlook users entirely ). actionable Messages allow Outlook users to :

  • Approve a report
  • Respond to a survey
  • Pay a bill
  • Add a comment
  • Set a deadline, to name a few.

actionable Messages basically amp up electronic mail efficiency by reducing the number of engagements required to execute a particular task. Simply put, the lesser the clicks between a CTA and its objective, the greater is the customer satisfaction. Outlook actionable Messages are designed using the “ Adaptive Card ” format that can be configured to cater to the varying requirements of different users .

Email Image Checks In Outlook

thoroughly validating your HTML image parameters must be a core part of your pre-deployment checklist, and more so if your electronic mail node is Outlook. With Outlook, the margin of mistake tends to be on the lower side, and should your e-mail find to miss visualize attributes, Outlook will stir up a hornet ’ second nest. next clock you proceed to perform e-mail persona establishment in Outlook, keep the follow parameters in take care :

  • To make sure that your image renders consistently across all clients and devices, use HTML to specify your image parameters and not CSS.
  • Set the borders of all your email images to zero. Failure to do so will prompt Outlook to add an unsightly blue border around your images.
  • Ensure your image has a fixed width and height attribute; otherwise, Outlook will blow them out of proportion.

Tips To Keep In Mind While Designing Email Templates In Outlook

Designing for Outlook is no cakewalk. however, with the following good practices, we hope to make your journey a smooth as possible .

  • Outlook doesn’t wrap text automatically, so you’ll have to use the code snippet: , to accomplish the same.
  • By default, Outlook adds a 1px border to table cells. This can be troublesome if you’re using a background color. To counter this issue, type in the following snippet: table td { border-collapse: collapse; }
  • The best way to structure your email layout on Outlook is by using tables.
  • Always specify a fixed width and height attribute for your emails.
  • Use conditional coding if you want to include a custom font stack in your email templates. By default, Outlook replaces everything with Times New Roman.
  • If you want different elements within your email to have different backgrounds, create a unique VML-based background image for each.
  • Since Outlook doesn’t support animated GIFs, it is strongly advised that you use static images. If at all you’ve to include one, ensure that the animation’s first frame itself contains the main message, for that’s all that Outlook recipients will be able to view. 

Wrapping It Up

As you might have already realized, one has to keep multiple rules in mind to be able to implement and execute a successful electronic mail market campaign across Outlook. And the best way to wrap your question around these practices is by familiarizing yourself with Outlook as an environment. For all you know, you might barely end up coming with a twelve more workarounds than what we have listed in this article over here. We ’ ll surely be itching to hear from you when that happens !

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