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Definition: HTML email


An email message formatted with the same HTML codes used in Web pages (Web pages are HTML documents). This is the approach taken today, but the original Internet email standard supported only unformatted text. However, in order to use different fonts, font sizes and attributes such as bold and italic, as well as embed images, HTML support was added. It also enables email messages to display elaborate advertising.

To perform the actual screen rendering, the HTML email program calls functions in the Web browser.

A Security Problem
HTML-based email can be susceptible to viruses, because HTML supports JavaScript, and JavaScript is a language that activates functions. Normally, JavaScript is disabled, although minimal JavaScript functionality may be allowed. If JavaScript is enabled, the user can also disable it. Contrast with text email. See HTML-Lite, Nimda, BubbleBoy virus and email interfaces.