How to Create HTML Stationery for Outlook

Last reviewed on December 8, 2013

It’s easy to create your own stationery in Outlook (or your favorite HTML editor). The main thing to remember is that Outlook’s stationery picker stores the Stationery in the “roaming application data” path. In Windows 7/8 and Vista, its at C:\Users\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook. You can jump to this folder by typing or pasting the following shortcuts into the address field of Windows Explorer.

In Windows 7/8 and Vista, the shortcut to the correct path is
%appdata%\microsoft\stationery

In Windows XP, use the following path
%USERPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\stationery

Please note: Office installs the default stationery to C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Stationery or at C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\microsoft shared\Stationery if using 32-bit Office on Windows 64-bit, but you should save user-created stationery in the Stationery folder in the AppData path as listed above. The microsoft shared path is not writable by user accounts, and in older versions of Outlook, stationery added to this folder was not visible in the Stationery picker.

To create the stationery using Outlook’s editor:

  1. Click the New button to open a new message form. If your default format is not HTML, change it to HTML (Format text tab in Outlook 2007/2010; Format menu in older versions.)
  2. Insert your images and any other elements you want to use and adjust the sizes as needed (don’t use huge images in email stationery!)
  3. When you are finished, go to the File, Save as menu and switch to the Stationery folder at C:\Users\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook (type or paste the shortcuts above to easily jump to the folder.)
  4. Change the Save as file type to HTML and type in your desired file name. Save the HTML design.

Using Stationery in Outlook

Now when you want to use your stationery, you can select it from the New Items, Email message using… More stationery dialog. It will be added to the Email message using MRU (most recently used) menu after the first use.

This works with all versions of Outlook. In older versions, you’ll use the Actions, New message using menu to open the stationery picker.

Using a background image

If you want to use a background image, you can use one of two methods. The first method inserts a background image on the entire page while the second method inserts an image which you can type over, such as for a header.

Method 1: Insert a background image

To insert a background image, switch to the Options ribbon (Outlook 2007 and up).
Expand Page Color, select Fill effects, Picture tab and select a picture.

Method 2: Send image behind text
To send a picture behind text, insert the image then right click on the image, choose Wrap Text > Send Behind text.

use wrap text, send behind text to use an image as a background image

Adjust the margin

You can adjust the margin on the left if you are using a border image. If the ruler is not visible, click the show ruler icon at the top of the scroll bar on the right then move the left margin markers inward. Do not adjust the right margin, as it will have unintended results.

Adjust the left margin when you use a border image

If you create a top banner and want to type under it, you’ll need to press enter to slide the cursor down.

How to Create Stationery Tutorial

Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

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