Tips On Creating Stationery

Nicole Wants To Create Stationery
When I am creating a stationary in Outlook Express, any image saved as a "jpeg" in My Pictures folder does not show up when I browse to select it. This is extremely irritating. I know I can go to My Pictures, change the "jpeg" extension to "jpg" (I have a lot of images in that folder) and then I can view my selection as a "jpg" while creating my stationary in Outlook Express.

I have checked in the "Folder Options" and both "jpeg" and "jpg" are registered and associated with Windows Picture & Fax Viewer. There "jpeg" is included in the registered file types in Windows but does not show up in the "File Types" in Outlook Express? Is there not a way to add the extension "jpeg" in Outlook Express so I don't have to go through all this??

Our Answer
Outlook Express does not have any capabilities to render any images by itself. It relies on your default Web browser to render images and HTML-based stationery. So you cannot add JPEG or any other extension to it. Since JPG, GIF, PNG, and BMP are all standard image formats, I guess we're wondering why all your saved "JPGs" are saved with the JPEG extension? Whatever program you're using to save the images, should also have an option to save the files as JPG. (A little background on JPEG/JPG - JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group and it is an extension that is not used on the Web at all. JPEG was the original extension but has been superseded by the JPG extension, and JPG is one of the most popular image formats in use today on the Web.)

You can save yourself trouble of "renaming" JPEG to JPG by saving them, in the first place, as "JPG" as any image viewer should have this capability. Saving them as JPEG files doesn't make a lot of sense since they can't be used in stationery or on the Web because this file type, although the same as JPG is not recognized by Web browsers anymore. You could also open all the files in your Pictures folder in any good graphics editor like Photofiltre (free) or a great little image viewer/editor like "Irfanview" (free) and choosing "Save As" JPG when you re-save them. Renaming files the way you're doing it can be a risky enterprise, as you could easily rename a GIF "JPG" and it wouldn't open at all in anything because its an incorrect file extension for the file type.

Since Irfanview is free and has infinitely more options than Windows Picture and FAX viewer - and because you seem to be very interested in working with images - you would be doing yourself a big favor by downloading and installing Irfanview and letting it take over the default image viewing on your computer. It's faster, more flexible, and has a ton more features than the limited and bulky Windows Picture and FAX viewer. You can choose to associate only the image types with Irfanview that you want - and we suggest that you at the minimum associate JPG, JPEG, GIF, TIF, BMP and PNG with it.

But...images cannot be "stationery" per se, but they can be web page or email background images - and therein lies your problem. Images can be email backgrounds, but they're only really, truly backgrounds if they're tile-able. That means if they are capable of covering the entire page seamlessly (for aesthetic reasons one hopes they're seamless). While some people consider email backgrounds "stationery" they're actually just email backgrounds. To see how this works take a look at . If you really want to create stationery correctly, that is by using HTML files instead of background images, any JPG, or GIF image can be used.

In the true sense of the word, stationery consists of both a JPG or GIF image and an HTML (HTM) document (better known as a "Web page"). Most all email stationery are merely web pages modified slightly for use with an email program. The HTML file becomes the actually stationery and the coding inside this document "calls" an image in the same directory. This means that the HTML file itself is the stationery, not the image, which becomes the border or the background of the HTML file. You can certainly make email stationery without any images at all. Visit this page to see a simple stationery created with nothing but colors, tables, cells, borders and VML -and not a single image in sight.

Creating "stationery" in Outlook Express gives you limited options and it does not create true stationery. You're better off getting a simple HTML editor, a good graphics program, and learning a bit about Web page creation, that is, if you're really interested in learning to do stationery. It's a great hobby and it's very rewarding artistically if you enjoy that sort of thing. You're welcome to use any of our stationery or QuickNotes as templates. You'll find them all at . You can download our stationery, open them up in Internet Explorer (instead of Outlook Express) and click "View" "Source" and you'll see the coding used in HTML email stationery. You can open up any of our stationery with an HTML editor and modify the code anyway you want, use your own pictures, modify the colors, etc.. Figuring out how others do things is a great way to learn. After you figure something out by yourself the light bulb goes off in your head - and you think to yourself: "I've got it!". It's a great feeling when that happens! And it's a great feeling of accomplishment when you learn something by yourself through trial and error. If you're not the sort of person who's enamored with that way of learning there are literally hundreds (if not thousands) of email stationery tutorial sites on the Web. Just google "email stationery tutorials" and you'll turn up more than you can use.

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