Seeing the unexpected is something email developers get used to. But when you coded a soft blue background and instead are faced with a glaring black background in Outlook, you might be a little alarmed at this unusual interpretation!
This problem occurs only in Outlook and Lotus Notes because of a bug that mis-interprets the three-digit hexadecimal shorthand color codes on <table> and <td> tags.
Despite the blue and gray hexadecimal colors here, this will show a black background in Lotus Notes and most versions of Outlook:
<table bgcolor=”#ccf”> <tr> <td bgcolor=”#eee”>This is trouble!</td> </tr> < /table>
The solution is as easy as adding three more digits to the hexadecimal code to make it the complete six digits as follows:
<table bgcolor=”#ccccff”> <tr> <td bgcolor=”#eeeeee”>This is the solution!</td> </tr> < /table>
Those three digits make the difference between a black background and a pretty blue one. If you weren’t feeling blue before you saw the black background, you probably were after you saw it. But fortunately, there’s an easy solution and count on Sundog to bring a little silver lining into your email Outlook. Pun intended.
Litmus has a great article on email backgrounds.