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Enhance Message Content in Microsoft Outlook 2016

Incorporate images in messages

Email is a means of communicating information to other people, and, as the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Using Outlook 2016, you can communicate visual information in the following ways:

  • Share photographs with other people by attaching the photos to messages or embedding them in messages.

  • Share information from websites, documents, and other visual presentations by capturing images of your screen directly from Outlook and then inserting those images in your message.
  • Explain complicated processes and other business information by creating SmartArt graphics within messages or by embedding SmartArt graphics that you create in other Office 2016 apps.
  • Communicate statistical information by creating a chart within a message.

You can insert all these types of images from the Illustrations group on the Insert tab into the content pane of an email message, calendar item, or task, or into the notes pane of a contact record. (One exception: you can’t insert an image into a note.)

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Two uses of images in an email message

Images can be especially valuable in business communications, when you need to clearly explain facts or concepts, particularly to a global audience. In Outlook 2016 (and other Office 2016 apps), you can depict processes, cycles, hierarchies, and other relationships by using SmartArt graphics, and you can depict graphical representations of numeric data by using charts.

SmartArt graphics are graphical representations of lists of information. You can create a SmartArt graphic directly in an email message by selecting the type of graphic you want to create and then entering the information to populate it. You can modify the SmartArt graphic to fit the information you want to present, change the graphic type if your original selection doesn’t best represent the final information, and format the graphic with professionally themed color combinations and effects. When you send the message, Outlook converts the SmartArt graphic to a static graphic.

Charts are graphical representations of tables of data. Tables and charts are frequently created by using Excel. You can also create a chart directly in an Outlook email message. Charts you create in an email message look exactly like those you would create in an Excel workbook—because they are based on an Excel data source that is created from within Outlook.

When you send or receive a message that contains a chart or SmartArt graphic, the chart or graphic is converted to a static image (a picture) and resized to fit the message window. If you open the message from your Sent Items folder, you’ll find that the same is true of the graphic in the sent message. You can copy and reuse the picture in other files, such as messages, documents, and presentations, but you can no longer edit it.

You work with all these types of images in an Outlook message just as you would in a Word document or on a PowerPoint slide. Because Outlook is about email, contact management, and calendaring, we’re not going to get into a deep discussion of images and graphics in this book. If you would like more information you can find it in the Microsoft Word 2016 Step by Step or Microsoft PowerPoint 2016 Step by Step books (Microsoft Press, 2015).