Replying to emails with colored backgrounds

Outlook replies can be a problem of invisible or hard to read text when the incoming email has a color background. We’ll explain the problem and how to fix your reply email.

Messages with colored backgrounds might look OK to the sender but are a pain when you try to reply or forward. Most of these messages are marketing emails but some are from individuals. For example, here’s a typical message that’s been forwarded to a friend.

No problem so far, but it did cause a problem for the recipient when he tried to reply.

Outlook email color background with hard to read text image from Replying to emails with colored backgrounds at Office-Watch.com

Outlook doesn’t do a good job figuring out an appropriate color for the reply text – in fact it makes a right mess of it. In this case a mid-blue is barely visible.

My friend’s response was to change the color of the reply text:

Outlook email with color background and easier to read text image from Replying to emails with colored backgrounds at Office-Watch.com

That’s a valid choice but alas it’s no help with the next reply since we’re back to almost invisible text again.

Choose White or No Color background

A more permanent solution is to change the background color back to white or ‘no color’. Do that from the Options | Page Color | No Color in Outlook 2007 and later.

Outlook email change color background to No Color image from Replying to emails with colored backgrounds at Office-Watch.com

Outlook 2003 and before: Format | Background | No Fill in the email editor.

As long as the original message is still readable (eg no white text) then ‘No Color’ works fine and Outlook default text selections are OK.

Outlook Email: why Format Background is called Page Color
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