Outlook Tips & Techniques: Printing Part of a Message

Answers to your Microsoft Outlook questions

Is it possible to print only a selected portion of an Outlook email message?

Isn't it great that people are thinking about saving paper—or at least reducing clutter—by printing out only the information they need? Unfortunately, Outlook doesn't provide a way to print a portion of a message. However, you can do selective printing with some help from Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) and Microsoft Word.

Say you receive an HTML-formatted message and want to print just a portion of it. You need to open the message, select the text you want to print, then choose File, Print. Because it's an HTML message, Outlook uses components that it shares with IE to render the message, and the Print dialog box that you see is actually IE's rather than Outlook's. Unlike Outlook's dialog box, the IE dialog box has a Selection option under Page Range. Choose that, then click Print. The resulting printout will contain the typical email message header information plus the text you selected.

What if you want to print part of a plain-text message? One method would be to open the message and choose Edit, Edit Message, then choose Format, HTML to change the message format to HTML. You can then use the HTML method described above.

Another method depends on your having set WordMail as the email editor in Tools, Options, Mail Format. Select the message, then click Forward to create a new message in WordMail. Select the text, then choose File, Print. In this case, the Print dialog box that you see is Word's, and like IE's, it has a Selection option.

You can use the WordMail technique with Rich Text Format (RTF) messages, too. The Tools, Options, Mail Format dialog box also has the setting Use Microsoft Word 2003 to read Rich-Text e-mail messages. When that option is active, a received RTF message opens in WordMail, which provides a Print dialog box that includes the Selection option.

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