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Outlook 2003--message text disappears when e-mail is sent

By D Steir ยท 22 replies
Dec 18, 2006
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  1. This is my first time posting here, so I apologize in advance for any faux pas in my postings. I'm in hopes that someone out there can help with this problem.

    We've had several users in the office run into the problem of the message text disappearing from an e-mail when they send it. (No, it isn't user error.) No error messages appear, everything seems fine. However, when the user looks at the message in the Sent folder (to print it for reference or whatever), the text of the message is gone. The addressees receive blank messages. Any attachments are still attached, but the text of the message is not there.

    What causes this? How do we fix it? Any ideas, anyone?

  2. N1Hawk

    N1Hawk TS Rookie Posts: 142

    have you checked for a virus/spyware?
  3. D Steir

    D Steir TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes, all the PCs this has happened on are clean--nothing shows up under Trend, Spybot, or HijackThis. It's too weird!
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,231   +234

    D Steir,
    do a Google search for Office Update and this will take you to the MS Office update site. Check for needed updates and download and install them. This may solve your problem
  5. D Steir

    D Steir TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Tried that--all updates had already been installed. Part of the problem is that the situation does not occur all the time. There is no rhyme or reason for its appearance. The addressees to whom the "blank" messages have ended up going are all different, so it's not a domain issue that I can tell. The users have been different each time. The PCs have been different ones each time. I cannot replicate the problem--I can't "make" the text of an e-mail message vanish when I hit "send." First time it happened, I put it down to user error, although I couldn't see how anyone could unwittingly delete all the text without knowing it and then hit "send." Second time, the user was very experienced. Third time, ditto. Fourth time, same ol' same ol'. I was wondering if it was an Outlook 2003 bug, but I can't find any reference to it on MS's site.

    I'm open to pretty much any suggestion that I can try that will keep this from happening again--and it would be splendid if I could get a reason to relay to my users!

  6. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,231   +234

    Does this occur when sending email in HTML, RTF (Rich Text Formatting) or Plain Text Formatting?
  7. D Steir

    D Steir TS Rookie Topic Starter

    HTML. I can't change that unless I could pinpoint the times this problem will occur so that we could avoid it, in those instances, by using RTF or plain text.
  8. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,231   +234

    You could revert back to Office 2000 or try Office 2007 and see if this problem disappears...

    Other than what has been discussed so far, I'm out of ideas
  9. lauone

    lauone TS Rookie

    I have been dealing with this issue for a few years.

    I have seen this problem on quite a few systems running outlook2003.

    When I called MS and told them of this issue our clients were having, they told me, "This is a known issue, there is no fix"

    Thats a quote people. This issue has been around a LONG time. Outlook users connected to an Exchange server will see this issue more then standalone users.

    Sorry all, you'll be jumping through hoops for no fix..

  10. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,231   +234

    So live with the problem or revert to using Office 2000
  11. Jtgerbils

    Jtgerbils TS Rookie

    Possible Fix - Diseappearing text in emails

    Here are symptoms I ran into on a similar problem, and the fix for it.

    User sends an email using HTML format using Outlook 2000 or Outlook 2003 and it appears fine, but the recipient gets a blank email. Some may get it fine, some may see nothing. If the recipient forwards the blank email, the composition that is created contains the text of the email. If you view the source on the HTML email, you see the "Book Antiquia" font tag, but the email may not even contain any text using the font. The blank emails always appear normal via Outlook Web Access. Upgrading or downgrading Office does not usually fix the issue.

    I spent many hours researching and troubleshooting this and this is the only constant was the Book Antiqua font. The fix I found was to give "authenticated users" full permission access to the fonts folders in the Windows directories of the users who only see blanks. Our users do not have admin privileges on their computers, and the problem appears to be related to a permissions glitch.

    I hope this hits the google-fu list for people to find, because "The Internets" were drawing a blank on this one along with Microsoft. Even if it does not fix your specific issue, I hope it helps others.
  12. wttoro

    wttoro TS Rookie

    It may be an issue with the Autosave function. Try to reproduce the problem by starting a message, leaving it open for awhile, then sending it. Disabling autosave worked for me.
  13. lotvx

    lotvx TS Rookie

    i have the same issue , i'm having this problem with microsoft outlook 2003 and windows vista mail, i installed a mail server program and it let me see the sent mails, the mail in the client goes out and in sent items it is blank but the mail arrives with all its content, so the bug must be in the client
  14. nparanka

    nparanka TS Rookie

    Any New Suggestions for Disappearing Email text?

    This thread is a year old, and I'm having the identical problem that the original poster had: Message text disappears from an e-mail when I send it. (No, it isn't user error.) No error messages appear, everything seems fine. However, when I look at the message in the Sent folder (to print it for reference or whatever), the text of the message is gone. The addressees receive blank messages. Any attachments are still attached, but the text of the message is not there.

    I will try messing around with the save options, but wondered if there are any new ideas out there. It is so frustrating, not to mention unprofessional and slightly embarrassing with clients.

  15. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,231   +234

    Nancy did you see this?
  16. nparanka

    nparanka TS Rookie

    I did see it, but didn't really understand it. I think it means that even though it looks like the text is gone, it is still somehow with the email. Then I get confused, is it saying that the recipients of the emails need to do something with their fonts so they can see the text of the email I send? That's where I got lost -- or can I change something in my fonts? I am not on a network, just a PC at home.

    Last night I turned the autosave off, and thought I'd try that.


  17. SKrebel

    SKrebel TS Rookie

    I just experienced this problem for the first time on our network. I deleted the users profile and created a new one. This corrected the problem.
  18. Green

    Green TS Rookie

    Recently installed software messing around with fonts?

    I had run into the problem of the message text disappearing from e-mails (Outlook 2003, Windows 7 64 bit) when the user send it or close it (saving to Drafts folder). No, it isn't user error! No error messages appear, everything seems fine while user is writing and sending the message. However, when the user looks at the message in the Sent folder, most of the text of the message is gone. Only the first few lines are present. The recipients receive messages where only the first few lines are present. Any attachments are still attached, but text is missing - cutted off.

    It has taking me several working days to track down the root cause of this frustrating behavior/error. The posts above describing font issues led me on the way. Thanks.

    In my case, the symtoms relates to the Outlook send, save and auto save functions:
    • The behavior/error was related to one Outlook 2003 client for a single user. Other Outlook 2003 clients for the same user (same Exchange account) worked all right. The Outlook Web Access, Android phone client and iPad client also worked all right.
    • There is no problem if the message are written and sent before auto save is done (e.g. within 5 minutes).
    • Only the first auto save of the message works. All text added after the first auto save is not saved at following auto save operations. And much worse, not sent when sending the message!
    • Manually saving the message has the same behavior as the auto save behavior described above.
    • The cutting-off behavior of text can be bypassed by reapplying the font properties to the text. Eg select all text in the message and reapply font Arial (even though that's the default font). By doing this saving, auto saving and sending without loss of text is possible - until next save or auto save operation.

    After a lot of detective work, I had in my case tracked down the root cause to Brother P-Touch Editor 4.2 (software for a label printer). The problem disappeared by uninstalling Brother P-Touch Editor 4.2.

    As I see it, is Brother P-Touch Editor 4.2 messing around with windows fonts and/or windows fonts security permissions.

    If you got a similar problem then check if any software has been installed recently messing around with fonts.

    OS: Windows 7 64 bit
    Mail client: Outlook 2003 SP3
    Outlook message format: HTML
    Brother Product: P-Touch 2420PC
    Brother Software: P-Touch Editor 4.2
  19. TMERC

    TMERC TS Rookie

    I had this problem, and was able to fix it. Some background. This problem appears to be caused by outlook losing security access to the font file. Access is lost because of a windows update security patch that was installed or because a new printer (brother printer) was installed that changes the security on the font files.

    People have reported that turning autosave off or changing the email default format from HTML to Plain text will solve the problem. While this offers the user some relief it is not a true "fix". There is a way to be able to fix this and still use HTML format and or still save/autosave draft emails. Here's the real fix.

    1. Close outlook
    2. Reopen outlook with the run outlook as administrator option (right click on outlook and select run as administrator).
    3. Go to tools/options. Choose the mail format tab.
    4. Change default font for new messages to a different font type. Click apply.
    5. Change default font back to your original font. This will reset the security on the font file and give you access.
    6. Close outlook.
    7. Reopen outlook in normal mode.
    8. Test to see if this resolved the matter by typing a message and clicking save. Add content and close the message. If the data you typed after saving is still visible, this indicates you have resolved the issue, and your email content will no longer be cut off. Good luck.
  20. TMERC

    TMERC TS Rookie

    After fixing this problem with the above fix the issue returned to my computer when I installed IE 11. Apparently this is a well documented issue created by the installation IE 11 but Microsoft has no plans to fix it since they no longer supporting outlook 2003. So I have reverted back to IE 10 which fixed the problem for me. There are other "solutions" to the problem that would include:
    1.) Disable auto-save
    2.) Switch to Plain Text email format
    3.) Use Microsoft Word as the default email editor
    None of these are true fixes in my mind, as these "solutions" create other problems. A possible fix could be uninstalling outlook 2003 and reinstalling it again with IE 11 on the machine, I suspect that could fix the problem but I haven't had time to try it.
  21. TMERC

    TMERC TS Rookie

    I doubt using the recovery tool would help. The issues causing this problem are two-fold. First Microsoft uses internet explorer's HTML engine and there is an incapability between the new engine in IE 11 and Outlook 2003. The second issue, which may in fact be the same issue, is that security to the font file gets reset with the installation of certain software like printers. So outlook can no longer access the font file.

    So I recommend staying with IE 10 for now and cross your fingers that some day microsoft fixes this issue. Are you having this issue with IE10?
  22. Chris Blackman

    Chris Blackman TS Rookie

    Same issue still exists randomly (intermittently) with Win8/Office2013/Outlook2013. When sending an attachment, text written into email body disappears after email leaves the boutbox. The text isn't received by the recipients, although the email arrives OK with the attachment intact. When they reply the original text isn't there. The text isn't in the version stored in the Sent items folder either.

    Have just tried the "change default font fix" suggested by TMERC above. Not sure if that's an effective fix for me yet - as I said, this has been an intermittent problem.
  23. Hello,

    I got a similar problem with a friend of mine, using Office 365 (with local Outlook-Client installation).
    A 3rd party sofware generates invoices, orders and sales quotations with PDF-attachments. There is an "Email" button in the 3rd party software. We could obtain, generating the email in the popped-up Outlook-client with attachement and subject works fine.

    The HTML formatted emailtext will be added manually. If immediately "Send" button will be pressed, the complete email content (except subject and attachement) disappears.

    Using "Save" button before "Send" button in the Outlook-window saves the email to the drafts folder and can be sent without any lose of HTML-formatted emailtext.

    I'm not 100% sure but I think COM outlook.application will be used. There might be a missing function in the in the 3rd party binaries I guess. https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/dn320330.aspx
    But maybe it can be "the" known bug as well (confused) !?

    Hope this helps!

    Best regards,

    BTW: This effect occurred since 4 weeks. We couldn't find the reason for it. IE11 downgrading to IE10, fonts permissions, autosave and so on couldn't solve this issue.

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