How to Print an Email with Background Images in Windows Mail

close-up of a printer in an office
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Most of the wonderful stationery creations you can use to enrich your emails in Windows Live Mail, Windows Mail, or Outlook Express use background images for much of their effect.

When you send somebody a wonderful email using pretty stationery, they can see the glory on the screen, but if they want to print it, the background image is gone and much of the email's grace with it. What can you do?

If the recipient uses Windows Live Mail, Windows Mail or Outlook Express, there is a way to make it print background images. Windows Live Mail, Windows Mail, and Outlook Express use the print settings of Internet Explorer, and Internet Explorer does not print background images by default because they usually waste a lot of ink while making the printout hard to read. This default can be changed (if only to print an email), though.

Print an Email Including Background Images in Windows Live Mail, Windows Mail or Outlook Express

To print a message with its background images in Windows Live Mail, Windows Mail or Outlook Express:

  1. Open an Internet Explorer window.
  2. Select Tools | Internet Options... from the toolbar (or Tools | Options... from the menu).
  3. Go to the Advanced tab.
  4. Make sure Print background images and colors is checked under Printing.
  5. Click Apply.
  6. Open the message you want to print in Outlook Express.
  7. Select File | Print... from the menu.
  8. Choose your options and click Print.
  9. Optionally, change the Print background images and colors back to the off default in Internet Explorer.