Email on the internet is defined by a standard called RFC 2822. This specifies the way headers (eg email subject, to address, date sent, etc) are stored as well as the way message bodies and attachments are created. In general, message bodies tend to come in one of two main formats; text or HTML. The "XXX view" links control which part and the way these are displayed.
Displays the text portion of a message body. Most emails, even those with an HTML body, also have a text body that is a text only approximation of the HTML. If a message only has an HTML body, FastMail will try and generate a textual approximation in this mode.
By default, if there is an HTML body, it will be preferred over the text body for display. If you prefer to view the text body of a message by default, you can go to the Advanced -> Preferences screens and uncheck the "View HTML" checkbox.
Displays the HTML portion of a message body. If the message does not have an HTML body, this option is not available.
Unfortunately HTML is not a perfectly "embeddable" system, that is, you cannot just copy and paste one bit of HTML into another and have it *necessarily* display correctly. Since the entire view screen is an HTML page (eg the heading, the movement controls, etc), just embedding the HTML of the message into the rest of the page may not display correctly. We attempt to work around this issue by altering the message content in a way that does allow it to be "embedded", but this can sometimes cause HTML emails to display "not quite right".
Previously there was a special "Print view" mode if you wanted to print your email. This is no longer needed, because we specify a separate stylesheet on the page for printing the email. That means if you want to print an email, just select the print function in your browser, and it should print automatically in a printer friendly format.
These buttons let you reply to the sender of an email, reply to the sender and all other recipients, or forward the email to someone else.
On the advanced view screen, the popup menu to the right of these buttons lets you choose how the original message will be included in your reply or forwarding message.
There are six options. The best way to find out what they do is to experiment, but here is a summary:
Ignore Orig: The original message is not included in the reply.
Prefix >: The original message is quoted in the body of the new message, each line prefixed with a > character. The quoted text is preceded by a single line, which tells you who wrote it and when.
Inline Orig: The original message, including From, To, Date and Subject headers, is quoted in the body of the new message, without any > prefix.
Attach Orig: The original message becomes an attachment to the new message.
Quote HTML: This works like the Prefix > option but for HTML composition, and with the advantage that line wrapping works nicely.
Inline HTML: This works just like the Inline Orig option, but for HTML composition.
FastMail does not open links in a new window because it's very easy to do this yourself. Just press and hold 'SHIFT' and click the link (Internet Explorer 6) or click the link with the middle mouse button (Firefox and Internet Explorer 7). On the other hand, if every link opened in a new window it would be impossible to make it behave otherwise, forcing you into something you otherwise could have chosen for yourself.
A related trick: Press CTRL+W to close the new window you opened and return to your email.
Spammers sometimes send email with images or other items embedded in them which load from a remote website when you read the email. This lets them know whether their spam got through to you, and if it did, they'll try to send you lots more spam.
If web bug protection is enabled, we replace external images with grey rectangles. You can click the link to show images if you think the message is safe. If you want to disable web bug protection entirely, go to Options -> Account Preferences, and change the Web Bug Protection option.
Forms in HTML emails can also be harmful, and are disabled if web bug protection is in effect. It is possible for malicious forms, when submitted, to send commands to servers and abuse privileges associated with your IP address. You can click the link to see the form.
Unless your web browser has cookies enabled, there is a security risk (apart from the risk of web bugs!) in displaying remote images in an email. If you want to see the images, please enable cookies on your web browser. If your browser allows you to enable cookies just for some websites, you can choose to enable them only for the FastMail site.
Here is a technical explanation of the security risk. When most popular browsers fetch an image, they send the URL of the previous page in a HTTP_REFERER request header. If you use FastMail without cookies, the URL contains authentication tokens. Someone could record the HTTP_REFERER header and use the URL to access your email account. When cookies are enabled, a URL cannot be used to access your mail (without the cookie, which is NOT sent in the HTTP_REFERER headers!). We use 'redirect links' to eliminate this security risk for links in HTML emails, but we can't do this for images; so enable cookies!
If a message has an attachment but it is not appearing in the View Message screen, the message probably has some complex MIME structure that the server doesn't understand properly. If you can direct a copy of the email to us, we will look into what is happening and try and fix the problem.