Help with css on email digest for Office 365

Hi there, I feel like others must surely have asked this before, but I can’t find anything after trying for a long time.

The problem that I have is that 90% of my users use outlook and the way that all emails from my site render has horrible borders on both sides. These :

That contrasts with how it looks on the preview:

I’ve read the forum and tried copying the meta forum style but it really didn’t work:

What I’m trying to achieve is an absolutely generic digest email that just works in Outlook. Has anybody else achieved this and have code that I can copy?

Any help much appreciated!


What version of Outlook? It depends greatly on the version.

You can’t override email to the extent you are describing in general – we assume reasonable CSS/HTML support and Outlook’s record here is … almost pathologically bad, I am sad to report.


I was afraid of that and was hoping that email could be overridden to become generic. Outlook tells me that it’s the 2002 version.


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Hmm. Let me check. That might be recent. Yes it’s Office 365:

March 05, 2020
Version 2002 (Build 12527.20278)

It’s unfortunate that Outlook (the windows executable) has such a regressive HTML/CSS engine. Is there any chance your users could view the mails in the web version at instead?


I don’t control the way that the users access emails–I hope that many of them do use the web version rather than the client, but I don’t have access to that data.

Thanks for the response, it sounds like there is very little that I can do.

My dream would be that there was some very vanilla version of the digest email template that could work for all of the dodgy HTML/CSS engines out there.

Is there any chance of such a thing? I quite understand if not.

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Yes, this is a known issue. I looked into it here: New Discourse User- Activity Summary/Digest Email Weird Format in Outlook.

This is a solvable problem, but cannot be fixed by applying CSS to the email. I will do what I can to create a PR to fix the issue by the end of this week.


Apparently it’s been bad for a while in the latest Outlook, so any adjustments you could make would be welcome @simon