Opened 6 years ago

Closed 3 years ago

#2470 closed Bug/Something is broken (fixed)

Webmail is attaching images to emails...

Reported by: Owned by:
Priority: Low Component: Tech
Keywords: Cc:
Sensitive: no



I am noticing that when I send an email with images to one of our mailing lists using Webmail/Horde that the images are coming through as attachments causing the emails to be larger and ugly... I don't know why it isn't just loading them from the web like it should... I am not linking the images as attachments and I have the correct image paths... Why is this happening and how can I stop it?

Thanks so much,

Attachments (4)

htmlemail-textonly.jpg (144.7 KB) - added by 6 years ago.
text-only email program (mutt)
htmlemail-hordeblocked.jpg (68.7 KB) - added by 6 years ago.
horde webmail with images blocked
htmlemail-hordenonblocked.jpg (117.4 KB) - added by 6 years ago.
horde webmail with images allowed
htmlemail-tbird.jpg (102.6 KB) - added by 6 years ago.
icedove (thunderbird)

Download all attachments as: .zip

Change History (31)

comment:1 Changed 6 years ago by

Usually, this is a "viewer"-based configuration issue. Images aren't sent in email unless you specifically do that and it doesn't seem like you are. If you're only working with urls and paths, the image won't show until you view it and it will display fully if the viewer is configured to display it that way. That's because the viewer (email client) is reading the path or url and then displaying it -- that's the only way this can happen.

Is this happening in different email clients? Which one are you using and have you checked the image display configurations in that client?


comment:2 Changed 6 years ago by

Hi again!

We determined that it is the "email client" which in this case is Horde
Webmail. The problem we're dealing with is with Horde, not with Mailman.

I'll send you a sample email directly from the Webmail.

I'll put SCW sample email in the subject...


comment:3 Changed 6 years ago by

Hi Allison,

Have you sent the sample email? I don't seem to have gotten a copy - please send it to

Also - can you let us know:

  • What email program are you using to send the email from
  • What email program are you using to view the email

From your description and follow up - I think you are attaching the image using Webmal/Horde. If that's the case - then Horde will send the exact image you attach.

The receiving email program will display that image depending on how it's configured. Some email programs will display the image inline (meaning right there with your message). Some will show a link to the attachment that you have to click on. Some might block the image altogether. And, in theory, some might detect that it's a huge image and show you a reduced size version. However - the way an image is displayed will depend on the receiving email program.

The best solution is to ensure that the image you are sending has the dimensions that you want. Using a program like The GIMP can help you view the image and even resize it before you send it.


comment:4 Changed 6 years ago by

Hi Jamie,

I sent it to Alfredo's email yesterday. But I will send one to yours right now.


comment:5 Changed 6 years ago by


I am sending the emails from Webmail/Horde.

I am viewing the emails with a variety of programs, Eudora, Yahoo, etc. The programs that I am using to view the emails are not configured to display the images as attachments or to block images.

Thanks again,

comment:6 Changed 6 years ago by

Hi Allison - I'm attaching screen grabs of your email using a variety of email programs. The first one (mutt) is not widely used outside of the tech world, but provides you with a sense of how your email looks for people who use text-only email programs.

In the other programs, the images seem to be coming through in a normal size. Do you get a different display?

If Eudora or Yahoo are trashing the display, it might be because they can't understand the html you are using to compose the messages. When sending html messages, it's often necessary to dumb down the html code so it can be consistently display across different email programs.


Changed 6 years ago by

text-only email program (mutt)

Changed 6 years ago by

horde webmail with images blocked

Changed 6 years ago by

horde webmail with images allowed

Changed 6 years ago by

icedove (thunderbird)

comment:7 Changed 6 years ago by

Eudora isn't trashing the display, the images are coming through as attachments.

Yahoo is trashing the display, all the images are attached to the email instead of pulling them from the web. So the email is also a lot larger.

I received several emails from customers wanting to be removed from our list because the email size that came through was clogging up whatever programs they are using as well...

How can I "dumb down the html code" so that images aren't attached to the email anymore?


comment:8 Changed 6 years ago by

Here's what Brian Dominick has to say about this situation:

I'm pretty sure we know the code is coming through wrong, though --
right? It's not just how the recipient's email client is reading it, but
the code that is being sent...


comment:9 Changed 6 years ago by

Hi Allison,

Everyone is getting the same email - the same size and the same email attachments. There should be no difference in terms of the actual message received regardless of the email program used to view them.

Since you are attaching the emails in the original - they will always be
attached making it a larger than normal email.

In addition, since the html version of the message you sent references the atached images not the images from your web site, none of the email clients will pull the images from the website. All of them will display the images that have been attached to the email.

Some email clients that don't know how to show the attached images as part of
the message may simply display a list them.

However, the size of the email you sent was only 199 KB - which as emails go is not particularly large. So - people accusing you of clogging up their programs are not exactly be honest. Is the email you sent us the same one that generated those complaints?

As for dumbing down the html ... how are you generating the html? Upon closer examination, it looks like you've done a fairly good job of using simply tags (table, inline CSS, etc.).

Lastly... Eudora seems to be a dying email client. I'm not sure it's worth a lot of effort to get that working. In addition to thunderbird and horde (two of the most widely used free/open source clients - which seem to display the messages fine), I think yahoo, hotmail, gmail and aol are proprietary clients that are the best candidates to focus on. Do the other proprietary clients display it better?


p.s. Regarding Brian's comment - It's possible that the code is coming in wrong and Horde and Thunderbird are simply compensating for it and displaying things properly. However, I think it's more likely that the code is fine and Yahoo and Eudora are broken. This might require tweaking the code to accommodate them. However - perhaps checking some other clients would be a good way to get a sense.

comment:10 Changed 6 years ago by

Hi again,

I sent out two e-market emails this morning and I am finding that the same problem is occurring. The images are coming through as attachments instead of pulling from the server... Eudora actually displays the email images properly, Yahoo does not display the images and today I learned that Outlook did not display the images inline either. Is there something wrong with the file paths in my code?

Last time you wrote:

Since you are attaching the emails in the original - they will always be attached >>making it a larger than normal email.

How am I attaching them because I thought that the file paths I used were correct?

You also wrote:

In addition, since the html version of the message you sent references the atached >>images not the images from your web site, none of the email clients will pull the >>images from the website. All of them will display the images that have been >>attached to the email.

Again, what's wrong with my file paths? Why are they not pulling the images from the server? Why are they referencing attached images?

Here is an example of my file path code from this most recent email:
<img name="scwheader" src="" width="640" height="114" alt="scw logo" border="0" />

How can I change that so that the email will pull that image from the server instead of attaching it to the email and not displaying inline properly?

Thanks so much for your time,

comment:11 Changed 6 years ago by

Hi Allison, Your img src tag looks fine to me.

I'm not sure why Horde/IMP is converting your image link into a link to an attached image. I imagine that it's considered a "feature" by some people (since many email programs block external images), however, it would be useful to have that as an option.

As a work-around - have you tried composing and sending your emails in Thunderbird? I'll need a little more time to try to track down why Horde/Imp is doing this and how to change the behavior.


comment:12 Changed 6 years ago by

I just sent one of our e-market emails to the mayfirst support email address in case you wanted to see how it comes through... It says SCW NAEYC Sale! in the subject line.

Thanks so much Jamie.

comment:13 Changed 5 years ago by

  • Priority changed from Low to Medium

Hi there!

So I'm using Thunderbird these days to send our html emails to our various Mailman lists and that seems to have helped the display issue we were having... but it didn't solve the attachment issue.

In Yahoo our emails come through with that little attachment paperclip icon next to the subject line in the inbox indicating that the email contains attachments, in fact in Yahoo our emails just go right to by spam inbox because of this... It's not some personalized setting of mine in Yahoo nor do other similar html marketing emails from other companies have that little attachment icon or go right to my spam folder...

I'm worried that customers who receive our emails aren't even receiving them because of the attachments causing our emails to be misinterpreted as spam... I'm also worried that the longer this goes on, we're going to get blacklisted...

Thanks so much for your time!

comment:14 Changed 5 years ago by

If this helps, here is the code from the last email that I sent that came through in Yahoo indicating attachments:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-W3CDTD XHTML 1.0 TransitionalEN" "">

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
<style type="text/css">
body {

margin: 10px; width: 660px
font-size: small;
font-family: verdana, "trebuchet MS", helvetica, sans-serif;



<table width="660" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tr><td>

<div align="center">

<table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0">

<tr><td><a href=""><img src="" width="640" height="99" alt="Syracuse Cultural Workers" border="0" moz-do-not-send="true" /></a></td></tr>
<tr><td><a href=""><img src="" width="640" height="135" alt="Dance Cards Sale" border="0" moz-do-not-send="true" /></a></td></tr>
<tr><td><a href=""><img src="" width="640" height="388" alt="Dance Cards Sale" border="0" moz-do-not-send="true" /></a></td></tr>
<tr><td><a href=""><img src="" width="640" height="67" alt="Dance Cards Sale" border="0" moz-do-not-send="true" /></a></td></tr>



<br clear="all" />

<p style="text-align:center; font:11pt arial; color:#333333">PO Box 6367, Syracuse, New York 13217 | 800.949.5139 | Fax: 800.396.1449</p></table>
<br clear="all" />

<table width="650" bgcolor="#333366" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0">


<td style="font:10pt arial; text-align: center">

<a href="" style="color:#FFFFFF; text-decoration: none">Home </a>
<a href="" style="color:#CCCCCC; text-decoration: none">About SCW</a>
<a href="" style="color:#FFFFFF; text-decoration: none">Request a Catalog</a>
<a href="" style="color:#CCCCCC; text-decoration: none">Exhibits</a>
<a href="" style="color:#FFFFFF; text-decoration: none">Customer Concerns</a>
<a href="" style="color:#CCCCCC; text-decoration: none">"Have You Seen This?!"</a><br />
<a href="" style="color:#FFFFFF; text-decoration: none">Imprinting</a>
<a href="" style="color:#CCCCCC; text-decoration: none">Artists</a>
<a href="" style="color:#FFFFFF; text-decoration: none">Wholesale</a>
<a href="" style="color:#CCCCCC; text-decoration: none">Fundraising</a>
<a href="" style="color:#FFFFFF; text-decoration: none">Help SCW</a>
<a href="" style="color:#CCCCCC; text-decoration: none">Permissions</a>
<a href="" style="color:#FFFFFF; text-decoration: none">Gift Certificates</a>
<a href="" style="color:#CCCCCC; text-decoration: none">Store</a>





comment:15 Changed 5 years ago by

Hi Allison,

This sounds like it might be a different issue from the original issue you experienced last year.

When you open the message in Yahoo, what is the name of the attachment?

Finally, anti-spam systems, Yahoo's included, pretty much never designate a message as spam based on a single characteristic. It gives (and takes away) points based on a number of characteristics of the e-mail. I'm not saying that the attachment issue might not be a factor, but we should be prepared for the possibility that fixing that doesn't keep messages out of Yahoo's spam box.

comment:16 Changed 5 years ago by

Ah I think you're right, it is a different issue. After closer inspection, the attachment isn't images, it's the mailing list info/links. Here's how it looks opened in Yahoo:

Scw-announce24 mailing list

Post: Scw-announce24@…
List info:

To Unsubscribe

Send email to: Scw-announce24-unsubscribe@…
Or visit:

You are subscribed as: xtrafancy@…

comment:17 Changed 5 years ago by

Actually it said "inline attachment as follows" at the top of that copy I pasted...

comment:18 Changed 5 years ago by

The details on why this happens are here:

To summarize, there are standards that dictate how e-mails are supposed to display, and all (well, most) e-mail programs abide by them. However, the standards don't say what to do when a specific combination of circumstances exist, and so different mail clients handle it differently.

Basically, this happens when:

  • You're sending an HTML message AND
  • That message contains a plaintext footer AND
  • It's a mail program that handles plaintext footers to HTML messages by displaying them as attachments.

You can edit/remove the footer by going into Mailman's administrative settings, clioking "Non-digest settings", and changing the text in the msg_footer box. However, I wouldn't recommend this unless you a) only send HTML messages, and b) your HTML template has the unsubscribe links included.

Regardless, this should NOT be contributing to Yahoo's classifying you as spam - I suspect that the issue is something separate. Unfortunately, Yahoo, unlike many ISPs, does not offer transparency to their anti-spam algorithms.

comment:19 Changed 5 years ago by

  • Priority changed from Medium to Low

Thanks! It's all starting to come together now...

The emails that we send are HTML I think it would be best to edit/remove the information in the msg_footer box. As far as including the unsubscibe links in our html email template, can I just paste the code from the msg_footer box into our email template or will I need to do something else?


comment:20 Changed 5 years ago by

Hi Allison,

That's probably the best option. Do you only use this mailing list for template-based mailings? If not, it's probably going to be hard to remember to put unsubscribe info into messages that aren't template-based. So if you're doing mailings that aren't off a template, we should consider what else might need to happen - like moving those non-template mailings to a template.

In unrelated news, I see you know Brian Dominick, who I just had brunch with on Saturday! He's in NYC for the next few months. He and I were street medics together for many years - along with Jamie's wife, actually.

comment:21 Changed 5 years ago by

I'm not 100% sure what you mean by template mailings... I do use the same layout/code (I pasted in a message above) over and over but I change the content in the first table each time... so it's a template I suppose...

Just to clarify, I can literally paste this code into my html email and that's all I need to do?:

%(real_name)s mailing list

Post: %(real_name)s@%(host_name)s
List info: %(web_page_url)slistinfo%(cgiext)s/%(_internal_name)s

To Unsubscribe

Send email to: %(real_name)s-unsubscribe@%(host_name)s
Or visit: %(user_optionsurl)s

You are subscribed as: %(user_address)s

Yes I know Brian. I'm happy he's got so much going on for him these days... Do you live in NYC? I went to school there and my brother lives there so I'm down a lot... Street medics? Wow, that's crazy. I had no idea.

comment:22 Changed 5 years ago by

Hi Allison,

It's funny to me to think about people knowing Brian in any other context! Brian was part of the group that wrote the documents that the rest of us learned from.

I wasn't sure if you used software that handled templating for you, but if you use the same HTML layout/code every time, then that's fine. Unfortunately, the code you pasted won't work. You should take the footer out of an existing e-mail that's gone to the list and simply paste that to the buttom of the e-mail. You can remove the "you are subscribed as", since that won't get expanded on a per-user basis. The rest of the info is the same for everyone on your list.

comment:23 Changed 5 years ago by

Wow that's amazing... Did you live in Syracuse at the time? I met Brian a couple of years ago through my work here at SCW. I'm bummed he's not around as much these days, but I know it's good for him where he is now...

As for the footer code, if I remove the "You are subscribed as:" part there's still the line above it that's user specific. The link to unsubscribe:
To Unsubscribe

Send email to: Scw-announce24-unsubscribe@…
Or visit:

I'd like to make it as easy as possible for someone to unsubscribe, so is there a general link that I can provide in place of that one?

Thanks again, I really appreciate your help.

comment:24 Changed 5 years ago by

You could replace:

Send email to:


Send a blank email to:  <a href=""></a>

Also, for what it's worth, I tried visiting the link ( and it gave me a "page not found" error, so I'm not sure that's a useful way to unsubscribe regardless.

PS - I never lived in Syracuse - Brian was a pretty well-known medic all along the East Coast (and beyond!)

comment:25 Changed 5 years ago by


So other than sending an email, there's no generic link to unsubscribe?

Thanks again!

PS: When I click on the link it works, it takes me to this page:

comment:26 Changed 5 years ago by

Nevermind. I can use this:

Thanks again!


comment:27 Changed 3 years ago by

  • Resolution set to fixed
  • Status changed from new to closed

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