Activity Digest Email Weird Format in Outlook

Hi All,

I’m new to the Discourse platform. Our IT folks set up the platform, and I’m working on managing it.

Our company uses Outlook and the Activity Summary/Digest Email comes out a little funky.

Is there any way to fix and re-align the like/comment/user pictures on the bottom, on my end?


What version of Outlook? We don’t support very old software so this info is highly relevant.

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When I test the summary email on Litmus, I’m seeing the issue with Outlook 2010 (Windows 10) and Outlook 2013 (Windows 10). The summary email looks correct on all other email clients that are available on my Litmus plan. It’s not obvious to me what is causing the issue, but I assume it could be fixed.


Its Outlook for Office 365 MSO. Version 1911 Build 12228.20364

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Although, I am on Windows 10.

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I realized I wasn’t testing this on all versions of Outlook that are available on Litmus. I’m seeing the display issue from the OP in Outlook 2010 (Windows 10), Outlook 2013 (Windows 10), Outlook 2016 (Windows 10), Outlook 2016 120 DPI (Windows 10), and Outlook 2019 (Windows 10).

Since the issue is happening with Outlook 2019, it seems like something that’s going to be around for a while. I’ll see if I can figure out what’s causing the problem.


The issue is with the markup that creates this section of the summary email. This is a screenshot from Outlook 2019 (Windows 10):

I’m seeing the problem on all desktop versions of Outlook that I’ve tested it on (Outlook 2010 - Outlook 2019.) The tests available on Litmus are run on Windows 10. What these versions of Outlook have in common is that they all use Microsoft Word to render the emails.

Microsoft Word cannot handle the CSS float rules that are in the Discourse markup. This is what is causing the “likes” and “replies” counts to display underneath the icons instead of floating beside them. The vertical alignment issue is the result of some p elements that the rendering engine adds to the markup in an attempt to apply the email’s CSS. Outlook adds padding to the p elements in an attempt to replicate the email’s CSS.

I spent some time trying to find a CSS solution to the problem. I don’t think that is going to be possible. To fix the issue we are going to have to change the markup of that section of the email to use tables instead of CSS.


@neil is that something you’ve already dealt with?

I remember that we fixed a lot of Outlook style problems, but some alignment issues remained that we decided were good enough. These screenshots look worse than I remember though. Seems like Outlook regressed or changed what it supports in emails.


I also manage 2 discourse communities and we’ve had the same issue with summary notifications formatting in Outlook. Our marketing team closely manages the themeing and design of our communications. Since so many of our users use Outlook, marketing is requiring that we find a work around for the notifications. I hate to turn summary notifications off in the meantime. Is that my best option? Can I turn all summary notifications off at a system level or do I have to do this user by user in preferences? Thanks!

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