Outlook eStationery - Fixing Broken Images

Outlook eStationery - Fixing Broken Images
Jul 1, 2014
Step-by-step instructions for fixing missing embedded image problems common to Outlook.

If you have developed a brand with us, you may have what is called eStationery which works with Microsoft® Outlook™. Below is an example of eStationery that we've used here at The Lones Group.

example eStationery

eStationery consists of HTML code to set its layout and images, typically for the header and footer. In the past, these images lived on your computer in the stationery folder on your local drive (your computer) and each time you created a new email, the images would be copied into the email and would travel with the email so the recipient could see the eStationery similar to how it was sent.

However, in 2013 Microsoft made a change to Outlook. Instead of copying the images into each email, it only references where to find the images. Unfortunately, since once a file leaves your computer it can no longer be found from another computer. The work around to this is to house the images somewhere online where they can be referenced no matter what computer the sent email is opened from.

How to Tell If Your eStationery is Not Working

To test whether you are affected by this problem, simply send yourself an email with eStationery as you normally would and then open it from another computer. You may be prompted to download the images. If they download, congratulations! There is nothing further you need to do.

However, if the images do not download and you are faced with an error message, you have two options:

  1. Have us fix it for you
  2. Fix it yourself by following the below instructions

Option 1: Get Help From The Lones Group

We're happy to assist you. Simply click the Add to Cart button below and we'll take care of it for you. Once your order is processed you will hear back from our Design Department with an estimated completion date. As with all work-orders, turn-around time is within ten business days of when your order was placed.

Please note that we will need you to provide us with a place to put your estationery's image files, like a Google account or a hosting account.

Option 2: Self-Help Instructions

You will need the following:

  • A place online where you can store the eStationery images. For example, you could use Google Photos if you have any kind of Google account or you could store them in a website hosting account. For this guide, we'll assume you're using a Google account.
  • An HTML editing program such as Dreamweaver. However any non-word processor text editing program will do. For example, you can use the Notepad program that comes with Microsoft® Windows™.

These instructions assume that you know how to:

  • Operate a web-browser.
  • Open the Windows Notepad application.
  • Copy and Paste files.
  • Navigate your computer's file folders.

Step 1: Store the Images Online

  1. Visit Google.com and log-in to your account.

  2. Click on the Apps icon, as shown below:

    apps button

  3. Scroll down until you see Photos and click on the icon.

    Google Photos button

  4. Click on the Upload photos button

    The Upload Photos button

  5. After your photos have uploaded, we recommend that you immediately add them to an album, click the Add to Album button and type in an album name, like eStationery. After you type in the album name, click the blue Done button at the bottom of the window.

    add to album

  6. Google may then suggest that you share your new pictures/album. We suggest that you Skip this step. You will then be presented with your album control panel.

  7. In your album control panel, right-click on each of the pictures that you uploaded and select Copy Image URL.

    copying image urls

  8. Paste each address into an empty Notepad window or somewhere else that you can refer to later. Make a note with each one as to whether it is your header, footer, or something else. We'll need these addresses later. Do this for every image you uploaded.

    copying image urls

Step 2: Add the Images to Your eStationery

  1. First, locate your eStationery. If you already have it installed it is probably in one of two places:

    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\microsoft shared\Stationery
    • C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Stationery

    location of installed eStationery

    Alternatively, you may need to get a copy of your eStationery from your CDs which we provided to you when your branding project was completed.

  2. Copy and paste the eStationery HTML file to your desktop.

  3. Now, open another copy of Notepad. In Windows7 you can do this by clicking on the Windows Start button and typing "notepad" into the search form. Then click Notepad in the results as shown below. You can use the similar search feature in Windows 8.

    starting up notepad in Windows 7

  4. Within Notepad, open the eStationery HTML file that you copied to your desktop. When you do, it will look something like this:

    estationery HTML code

  5. You're looking for the filenames of the images that your eStationery currently uses. We've highlighted them in the example below. You will replace the text of each with the address that you copied earlier when you uploaded those same files (to Google if you've been following along).

    estationery HTML code

    Unless you know what you are doing, don't change anything else.

  6. Now, copy the file back to your eStationery folder. If you have both of the below folder options, pick the first one.

    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\microsoft shared\Stationery
    • C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Stationery

    When you copy the eStationery HTML file into that folder, Windows will probably prompt you to confirm what you are doing. Choose continue and, if asked, replace the existing eStationery file.

    Windows confirmation dialog

When you're done, send yourself another test email. When you check that email at a computer where your eStationery is not installed, you should now be able to choose to download and see the eStationery pictures that were included with it.