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Fix for GM email template issues

10/06/2010 – in Techniques

We’ve written before about the problems that people have with GoldMine’s email templates.

To recap: often, when replying to an incoming email, the formatting that you have specified in your template goes out of the window and you see random font changes accompanied, often, by double-spacing.

In the article referenced above we suggested that you use an external template file. This does help but it doesn’t fix the problem in 100% of cases. Although the current fix doesn’t require that you set up your templates in that way, the other advantages we talked about in the article do still apply, so you might still find it worthwhile.

After researching the problem in conjunction with FrontRange we now have a fuller understanding of what’s going on.

The following explanation does assume a degree of famiarity with HTML.

A template is just HTML code and the problem is that unless each <P> tag is given explicit settings to specify how it should look then it can default to the style that it inherits from the incoming email….or indeed something random of its own choosing.

So, to fix the errant behaviour you have to tell each and every paragraph exactly what it should do so that it has no room to manoeuver.

We’ve changed our templates so that each paragraph starts with:

<P style EQUALS “font-family: ‘verdana’; font-size: ’10pt’; margin: ‘0px’ “>

(you should replace the word ‘EQUALS’ with an equals sign =)

This sets the font, the text size and the margin (the latter deals with the double-spacing issue).

GoldMine goes part way there by putting a lot of <FONT> tags into a template but you’ll find that using inline style commands, as above, cuts down on the number of tags required and thus makes the whole thing a bit more readable; and besides, you need the inline style in order to set the margin.

To clarify, the inline styling removes the need for any <FONT> tags and so these should be removed, along with their </FONT> partners.

One thing we also tried was putting the paragraph styling into a <STYLE> section in the header and found that this did not cure the problem; only inline styling has the desired effect.

GoldMine 9 brings improvements in that any NEW templates created in 9 SHOULD force all the right attributes by using even more <FONT> tags than previous versions. That won’t fix existing templates though and also doesn’t deal with the double-spacing issue.

However, if you set the style of each paragraph by hand as above then you have complete control.