Outlook 2007 and the picture placeholder

Over the last few months, my wife was getting frustrated with Outlook 2007 (part of Microsoft Outlook 2007 with SP2.)   She subscribes to a few websites which offer coupons to print to help save on the grocery bills.  These e-mails are HTML enabled, and have lots of pretty pictures.  I know most of the smart people out there say “Yikes! Don’t view HTML enabled messages.”, but to be honest I like them myself.  And I know this isn’t the best security, but if you are not on my “safe-list”, then your HTML or rich text messages are set to plain text. or the HTML code is not displayed.

Now, back to her problem which became my problem.  None of the Rich Text or HTML messages were being displayed.  So I started searching the Internet and found several post regarding this issue.  Most of them suggested I run regedit and look for where Outlook was keeping the temp files and delete them.  Th reason is the temp directory is full.  Make sense to me;  how many times have you gone into a temp folder to see a ton of old Office documents that were never deleted after working on those documents.  Still the problem remained.

I figured, hey maybe Office got messed up and maybe I should repair it.  So then I logged into my account in Windows XP and checked my settings and found no problems.  I then said, to myself; “self, let’s check the registry settings on my account and compare them to  the Mrs.”  I could not find anything wrong or different when comparing the registry settings between the two accounts.  I even went as far as opening each message, clicking on the Microsoft logo in the upper left corner, click the editor button, scrolled down to Display e-mail content, and removing the check mark next to “Show Picture placeholder.” So after running through these tasks and from posts I found, nothing worked.

So after dealing with this problem, I decided to make it easy on myself by creating a new local account in Windows XP, migrating all documents, favorites, pictures, mp3, videos, and PST files.  Afterwards Outlook behaved correctly and all the messages were displayed the way the should be. Her old account is disabled so I can go back and look for what was causing this issue.  Because you know I will see this again from another family member or friend.

I know, some of you will say install Thunderbird, or say wipe out XP and give her an account in Linux.  But she is not ready for a major change.  Maybe when we replace the old family PC.  What I might do is setup and account for her so she can start to learn Ubuntu Linux and compare it to Windows 7 when it is released in late October.

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