So it’s that time of year and I figured it’s only right to bring you a festive themed tutorial today! Granted, this tip can actually be use with any number of things, and at any time of the year for that matter, but for today, let’s pretend it’s a Christmas tip!

I got quite excited the first time I found out that I could embed publications created in Microsoft Publisher 2007 (or later) into an email and here’s why… most of the time if we we want to add images to an email, we need to do one of two things, either add them as an attachment, or add them as an image into the body of the email. I’m thinking along the lines of promotional emails, monthly newsletters, news bulletins, gift certificates etc. When the recipient receives the message, in most cases, these images will not be displayed at first, and in order to view them, it’s necessary to enable the option to ‘display images from this sender’.

There’s a good reason for this from a security point of view, but it can also mean that the reader misses out on the full impact of your beautifully designed email and this could have an impact on the success or return that you get.

When you embed a Publisher page into an email, it very cleverly converts your pretty newsletter, gift voucher or flyer into HTML format, in order to make your design actually part of the email rather than an attachment, this means that when the reader opens the message, your design will be displayed straight away, without the need for them to clink a link to display images, or worse, just not see your pretty images at all!

(Note: The only catch with this, is that it does only work if you use Microsoft Outlook for your emails)

How to embed your design into an email as HTML

  1. Firstly, create your publication in Publisher however you like. If you are designing it specifically for email, it would be worthwhile bearing in mind the maximum dimensions for email so that it displays well on the page for your readers (as a general rule, this is a max width of 600 – 650px). In this example, we have a festive gift voucher (taken from the Microsft Publisher built in templates).
  2. Make sure that Microsoft Outlook is also open.
  3. In Publisher, click file > save and send > send using email
  4. You then have a number of options, such as which pages to send, and whether to embed them or send them as an attachment. The option you need is ‘send current page’ or ‘send all pages‘ as these are the ones that will convert your file into HTML.
  5. You’ll then return to the main page of your publication, and a box will appear underneath the toolbar with email options. This looks similar to the setup of the compose email window in Outlook. Enter the settings for your email as you would normally. You can set ‘from’ and ‘to’ values, enter a subject and choose addresses from your Outlook address book. There are also additional options found under ‘options’ > ‘more options…‘ to add additional features such as voting buttons or to schedule a message.
  6. If you use more than one email account in Outlook, you can also select the account that you want to send the email from.
  7. When everything is done, you can preview your message using the button ‘E-mail preview’ and then when you are happy click ‘Send’

The email will send from Microsoft Outlook using the account that you specified. If you don’t have Outlook open at the time, the email will be added to your Outbox and will be sent the next time that you open Outlook.

Here’s how the email will look to your readers… with the publication embedded as part of the message and not an attachment or undisplayed image in sight!