How to create a Group Policy object to cause Outlook 2003 to use plain text for e-mail messages

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INTRODUCTION

This article describes how to create a Group Policy object to cause Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 to use plain text for messages. After you configure this Group Policy object, the following behavior occurs when you use Outlook 2003 to manage e-mail messages:
  • When you create an e-mail message, that e-mail message is created as a plain text message.
  • When you read an e-mail message, that e-mail message appears in plain text.
  • When you open an e-mail message and then click Reply, Reply to All, or Forward, the HTML option and the Rich Text option are unavailable. Therefore, you cannot convert the message from plain text to another format.

MORE INFORMATION

Your organization may have to use plain text for e-mail messages. To configure a Group Policy object to cause Outlook 2003 to use plain text for e-mail messages, follow these steps.

Step 1: Create the Group Policy object

  1. On a domain controller, click Start, click Run, type dsa.msc, and then click OK.
  2. In the Active Directory Users and Computers Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in, right-click the container in which you want to create the Group Policy object, and then click Properties.

    For example, right-click the domain container, or right-click an organizational unit.
  3. Click the Group Policy tab, and then click New.
  4. In the New Group Policy Object box, type a descriptive name for the Group Policy object, such as Outlook Plain Text Policy, and then press ENTER.
  5. If you want to prevent the Group Policy from being applied to certain users or groups, follow these steps:
    1. Click the new Group Policy object that you created, and then click Properties.
    2. In the Group Policy object name Policy dialog box, click the Security tab.
    3. Click Add, type the name of the user or group in the Enter the object names to select box, click Check Names, and then click OK.
    4. In the Group or user names list, click the user account or group, and then click to clear the following check boxes in the Allow column:
      Read
      Apply Group Policy
    5. Click OK.

Step 2: Add the Outlk11.adm administrative template

  1. On the Group Policy tab, click the new Group Policy object that you created in "Step 1: Create the Group Policy object," and then click Edit.
  2. In the Group Policy Object Editor tool, expand User Configuration, right-click Administrative Templates, and then click Add/Remove Templates.
  3. In the Add/Remove Templates dialog box, click Add, locate and click Outlk11.adm, and then click Open.

    Note If the Outlk11.adm policy template file does not appear in the Policy Templates dialog box, you must install it. The Outlk11.adm policy template file is included with the Microsoft Office 2003 Editions Resource Kit tools and with the Office 2003 Policy Template Files and Deployment Planning Tools packages.
    For more information about how to obtain the Outlk11.adm template, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    826170 Administrators can use Office policy templates with the Group Policy settings of Windows
  4. In the Add/Remove Templates dialog box, click Close.

Step 3: Modify the Group Policy object

  1. In the Group Policy Object Editor tool, expand Administrative Templates under User Configuration, expand Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, expand Tools | Options, expand Preferences, and then click E-mail options.
  2. In the results pane, double-click Read email as plain text.
  3. In the Read email as plain text Properties dialog box, click Enabled, click to select the Read email as plain text check box, and then click OK.
  4. Under Tools | Options, expand Mail Format, and then click Message format.
  5. In the results pane, double-click Message format/editor.
  6. In the Message format/editor Properties dialog box, click Enabled, click Plain Text/Outlook in the Use the following Format/Editor for e-mail messages list, and then click OK.
  7. Under Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, expand Disable items in user interface, and then click Custom.
  8. In the results pane, double-click Disable command bar buttons and menu items.
  9. In the Disable command bar buttons and menu items Properties dialog box, click Enabled, and then click Show.
  10. In the Show Contents dialog box, follow these steps:
    1. Click Add, type 5564 in the Enter the item to be added box, and then click OK.
    2. Click Add, type 5565 in the Enter the item to be added box, and then click OK.
    3. Click Add, type 9087 in the Enter the item to be added box, and then click OK.
    4. Click Add, type 9088 in the Enter the item to be added box, and then click OK.
  11. Click OK two times, and then exit the Group Policy Object Editor tool.
  12. In the ContainerName Properties dialog box, click Close, and then exit the Active Directory Users and Computers MMC snap-in.

Step 4: Refresh Group Policy on computers that are running Outlook

Give sufficient time for Group Policy to be automatically updated on the client computers that are running Outlook. Alternatively, you can restart each client computer to cause it to update Group Policy.

Alternatively, you can use the Gpupdate /force command to update Group Policy. To use the Gpupdate /force command, follow these steps:
  1. On the client computer, click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then click OK.
  2. At the command prompt, type gpupdate /force, and then press ENTER. The following information appears:
    Refreshing Policy...
    
    User Policy Refresh has completed.
    Computer Policy Refresh has completed.
  3. Type exit, and then press ENTER to exit the command prompt.

REFERENCES

For more information about how to prevent a hyperlink from being available in a plain text e-mail message, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
904637 When you type a URL in an e-mail message in Outlook 2003, the URL is recognized as a hyperlink

Properties

Article ID: 930508 - Last Review: January 9, 2007 - Revision: 1.2
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2003
Keywords: 
kbhowto kbinfo KB930508

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