Microsoft Outlook allows you to create three types of messages, HTML (HyperTextMarkup Language (he language of the internet)), RTF (Rich Text Format), and TXT (Plain Txt). HTML and TXT have defferent advantages and disadvantages whilst RTF is a Microsoft exclusive format. This article will provide an brief overview and show how to change formats.


HTML is the language of the internet. Most content you find is written or compatible with HTML. When you create a message in Outlook, the default format is HTML. This format supports text formatting, numbering, bullets, alignment, horizontal lines, pictures (including backgrounds), HTML styles, stationery, signatures, and linking to Web pages. Because the most popular e-mail programs use HTML, it is the recommended format for Internet mail.

The downside of HTML is that it can play host to viruses, zombies, and Adware. In fact, some companies block HTML emails


Outlook Rich Text Format (RTF) is a Microsoft format that only Microsoft Outlook understands You can use RTF when sending messages within a company that uses Microsoft Exchange Server; however, it is recommended that you use HTML. RTF supports text formatting, including bullets, alignment, and linked objects. Outlook automatically converts RTF messages to HTML when you send a message to an Internet recipient, so message formatting is maintained and attachments will be received properly.

TXT or Plain Text Format

Plain text format is one that all e-mail programs understand. You can set Outlook to open messages you receive in plain text format only. However, plain text doesn't support bold, italic, colored fonts, or other text formatting. It also doesn't support pictures displayed directly in the message body (although you can include them as attachments). However, it is secure as plain text cannot carry Malware.

How to change the message format

1. Inbox / Tools / Options

2. Select Mail Format tab