How to Make Email Stationery Templates in Outlook Express

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You can save email designs you have created in Windows Mail or Outlook Express for later re-use.

Emails So Meticulously Designed…

Windows Mail and Outlook Express let you compose emails so pretty and stunning—with background images, background music, artistic fonts, and impressive coloring— it would be a shame to use them only once.

…They Should Be Saved for Re-Use

Fortunately, the formatting can be preserved and used for future messages. Save the message as email stationery and you can apply it to all your emails easily.

You can save any message you are composing as a .eml file and modify it to serve as a template for future emails. This always works and preserves the formatting under all circumstances.

But more natural and flexible is another way. Windows Mail and Outlook Express let you save your email as genuine stationery easily—like the stationery you can download and install. This method is not without flaws, but we'll master them.

Create Email Stationery Easily in Windows Mail or Outlook Express

To save an email you are composing as stationery for future messages in Windows Mail or Outlook Express:

  1. Create a new message in Windows Mail or Outlook Express.
  2. Format it the way you want your stationery to look.
    1. You can use a background image, for example, or apply background sound. Of course, you can also change the font size and color or even use more advanced HTML and JavaScript tricks via editing the source.
    2. If you have a letterhead designed in Word, for example, or an HTML template for your website that you want to use in your email stationery, try copying and pasting it into the message.
  3. Select File | Save as Stationery... from the message's menu.
  4. Type the name you desire for your new stationery under File name: (you need not be concerned with file extensions; just type the name of your template as you want it to appear).
    1. Windows Mail or Outlook Express has taken you to your default stationery folder automatically. You can choose any other folder as well if you so desire.
  5. Click Save.
    1. If you have not used a background image, Windows Mail or Outlook Express will ask you whether you want to create stationery that will appear blank. Just go ahead and click Yes. They know why they are asking, but we know what we are doing, too.
  6. Now select Message New Message Using | Select Stationery... from the main Windows Mail or Outlook Express window's menu.
  7. Click on the stationery you just created with the right mouse button.
  8. Select Open With | Notepad from the menu.
  9. Highlight everything between and including the "<BODY>" and "</BODY>" tags.
  10. Go back to Windows Mail or Outlook Express.
  11. Press Cancel in the Select Stationery dialog.
  12. In the message we just saved as our stationery, make sure the Source tab is visible.
  13. Go to the Source tab.
  14. Highlight everything, again, between and including the "<BODY>" and "</BODY>" tags.
    1. If the "<BODY>" tag at the beginning has additional attributes such as "bgColor=" in it, that's okay.
  15. Select Edit | Copy from the menu.
  16. Go to Notepad.
  17. Select Edit | Paste from the menu.
  18. Now choose File | Save from the menu.
  19. Close Notepad and the message in Windows Mail or Outlook Express.

Voilà. You have just created stationery that perfectly reflects what you want your emails to look like.

Using Your New Stationery

Now you can create new messages using that stationery, or maybe even make it your default template for all new emails in Windows Mail or Outlook Express.

(Tested with Windows Mail 6 and Outlook Express 6)