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Programmatically create HTML e-mails

Learn how to create HTML email in Lotus Notes programmatically.

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Editor's Note: This tip only works in ND6. This code uses the NotesMIMEEntity class, so it only works with Release 5.0.2 and above.

Have you wondered how e-marketing campaigns create those swanky advertisements using HTML? Some folks think the only way to do that in Notes is to store the form in the document or insert a bunch of images. However, that cannot be done programmatically, and stored forms and images make for large file sizes. Here's how you can create awesome HTML e-mails in Notes by rending the message body as MIME instead of Rich Text.
Copy the following code into a LotusScript agent. Be sure to change the sendto or the e-mail will go to me. Run the agent and see how the HTML appears. Update the code as needed. When I use the code I create subs for writing the stylesheet and all the content. Have fun!

Sub Initialize
 'Declare Variables 
 Dim s As New NotesSession
 Dim db As NotesDatabase
 Dim body As NotesMIMEEntity
 Dim stream As NotesStream
 Dim host As String
 Set db = s.CurrentDatabase
 'Capture the server name and filepath
 for use in URLs
 Dim ServerName As New NotesName
( db.Server )
 host = "http://" + ServerName.Common 
& ""
 s.ConvertMIME = False ' Do not convert 
MIME to rich text
 Set stream = s.CreateStream
 'Begin creating the message doc to send 
 Dim message As New NotesDocument (db)
 Set body = message.CreateMIMEEntity
 'Basic profile of email
 message.Subject = "Sample HTML 
email via MIME"
 message.SendTo = ""  
 message.RecNoOutOfOffice = "1"   
'Set it so out of office agents don't reply t
o the
message ' Open the HTML (Title doesn't matter since it doesn't appear anywhere) Call stream.WriteText ("<html> <head><title>Sample HTML email via MIME</title>") ' BEGIN: Inline Stylesheet Call stream.WriteText (| <style type="text/css"> <!-- .text, td, tr, p, br, body { COLOR: #666666; FONT-FAMILY: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; FONT-SIZE: 12px; } a { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; color: #663399; FONT-WEIGHT: bold; text-decoration: none; } --> </style> |) ' END: Inline Stylesheet Call stream.WriteText ({</head>}) Call stream.WriteText ({<body text="#666666" bgcolor="#FFFFFF"
leftmargin="0" topmargin="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0">}) ' BEGIN: HTML body Call stream.WriteText ({ <table width="100%" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" bgcolor="#FFFFFF"> <tr> <td>Here is the MIME content!<br> <br> <b>Notes:</b> <ul> <li>MIME emails require absolute URLs on all images and hrefs<li> <li>HTML can easily be copied directly from an editor to the LotusScript - }) Call stream.WriteText ("use pipes (|) and curly brackets ({}) to get around the quote issue.<li>") Call stream.WriteText ({<li>Stylesheets must be inline vs. linked. (iNotes will override the stylesheet)<li> <li>Notes will NOT render table background images, but colors WILL properly
display<li> <li>Notes will not properly render table rows with a height smaller than the default
text.<li> </ul> <br>Visit <a href=></a> for more
exciting tips or visit <a href=>Imation</a> for the coolest data storage
products around!<br><br> <a href=> <img src=
width="198" height="33"></a> </td> </tr> </table> }) ' END: HTML body ' Close the HTML Call stream.WriteText ({</body></html>}) ' Ensure the MIME content will be recognized as HTML (Must be after the
stream is written) Call body.SetContentFromText (stream, "text/html;charset=iso-8859-1",
ENC_NONE) 'Send the email Call message.Send (False) s.ConvertMIME = True ' Restore conversion End Sub


Very good find, it's just what I was looking for, but it doesn't work on R5. The NotesMIMEEntry class doesn't exist in R5.

-- Alain G.


This is much better solution for R6 than the quirky work-arounds that were necessary in R5. I have always preferred HTML to Rich Text formatting. This tip makes it easy. Great tip!

-- Chris C.


Excellent tip! I've been looking at HTML e-mails and you just saved me quite a bit of trouble.

-- Paul M.


Angie, you must have been listening to my last conversation! I now have a REAL reason to upgrade to ND6+. Works like a dream.

--Ralph R.


In this tip Angie has this line:

 message.RecNoOutOfOffice = "1"   
I did a Google search and did not find any information on this. Is this a standard to prevent out of office agents from sending an e-mail?

Also, I send out HTML e-mails by creating a database that has "control" documents. In my LotusScript agent I copy the body of the control document (which has the message I want to send). The Domino 6 router (R5 does not do this) will convert the Notes Rich Text formatting to HTML and send out a MIME message. This way you do not have to write the HTML/MIME and the plain text. Domino sends out a message with both the MIME/HTML and plain text and the receiving mail server chooses which version to use.

-- Howard G.


This article just made me look fantastic to my new (2 weeks) boss. Thank you so much!

—Michael K.


Is there a way to extract the raw HTML from the Body field of a NotesDocument? For example, If I receive an e-mail from another domain, such as Yahoo!,which is stored in the nsf file in HTML format, is there a way to extract this raw HTML out using LotusScript? Also, is there a way to convert RichText into HTML?

—Abhijeet P.

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