Email Template - HTML Table Width

I have been so impressed by Manager as I just start to get into it, but there’s a little problem that has me completely stuck.

I imported an email HTML template from Thunderbird into Manager. After a bit of fiddling around I have got it working, with the exception that it is ignoring table widths. I have tried both
but in both cases the table is sized to just fit the content.

The original code worked fine in Thunderbird, but not Manager. I have tried it with both a custom email server (which is what I want to use) and the default server.

Something simple, no doubt, but it has me lost.

I think you would should post the full HTML code here if you expect a response, although this is not a coding
forum and does not offer any coding support generally

Good point, Joe. I would if I could. But each time I paste the code into a reply the forum just displays the result instead. I can’t see a way to prevent that.

After a bit of googling, I think I’ve found out how to post the code. Try this:


Little Hotels

Adjunto enviamos una factura para comisiones correspondientes a la estancia de unos clientes nuestros. La enviamos en el formato PDF. En caso que no pueda abrirla, baje Acrobat Reader aquí.

Gracias y saludos


Little Hotels
Tel: 0117-230-3500
© 2004-2018 Little Hotels Ltd (Registered in England. Reg No 4772543)
Tel  0117 230 3500

There are three instances of the problem: two near the top in the ids “emailContainer” and “emailHeader”, and once near the bottom in “emailFooter”.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can point me in the right direction.

Well, that was another failure! Please, any suggestions on how to post code? Meanwhile it’s just about possible to see that the table containing “Little Hotels” at the top os not 100% wide, and nor is the footer.

I can see that you have 3 tables embedded like Russian dolls fir the link “Little Hotels”
but I don’t see any code for the size or span of the tables

You can post code by selecting what you want to show as code by applying the preformatted text function above the composing pane to it: 42%20AM

For example:

This is code. <br> An HTML tag is embedded in it.

would, if not in the preformatted style, render as:

This is code.
An HTML tag is embedded in it.

But don’t waste your time. The email templates are not meant for complex documents. So not all HTML syntax is supported. The idea is to support only simple messages. If you want something elaborate, you might be better off composing emails outside Manager and attaching PDFs of whatever form you are sending.

Of course, some user with more knowledge of HTML than I will probably jump into this conversation and tell you how to do all kinds of things I didn’t know were possible.

1 Like

I tried the pre-formatted text function Tut, and it half worked. Some bits of the code were displayed as code, and some bits were interpreted. I’ve deleted it again because I don’t think it would be very enlightening to anyone reading it.

You’re right Joe91, there are nested tables. The basis of the code was written months ago and put into a Thunderbird template where it works perfectly. I’m surprised that Manager needs to even know the content of the HTML; I would have thought it would just send it as a string of characters to be finally interpreted by the receiving email client.

<table style="border-width:1px;border-color:#cccccc;border-style:solid" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="700" id="emailContainer">

Above is one example of a table I’m having problems with. The intention is to limit the width of the total email to 700 pixels, to make it easier to read if it opens in a large window. It doesn’t work.

<table border="0" cellpadding="10" cellspacing="0" id=“emailFooter” style=“width:100%;border-width:1px;border-color:#0000ff;border-style:solid;overflow:scroll">

This is another example using CSS styling to control the width of the footer. That doesn’t work either.

I’ve also tried cutting the whole thing down to a simple bit of test code with no nesting or other complications, and that doesn’t work either.

Tut, my old way of working (pre-Manager) has been to create PDF invoices and then attach them to a Thunderbird template to send. I really thought Manager was going to enable me to streamline the process a bit. It’s quite disappointing when I’m seduced by what looks like such a good idea, and then it doesn’t work.:slightly_frowning_face:

If I understand correctly, you want to email the invoices to your customers.

You are using HTML code to format you invoices.

My understanding of the email templates in Manager is that they are used to format the email message with the invoice as an attachment. The attachment is in pdf format and has been generated by the internal pdf generator used by Manager.

Clearly, this generator has problems interpreting your HTML code in the same way as the generator used by Thunderbird. HTML code is standardised, but not all generators accept all the standards.

You could print the invoices to pdf which would use the pdf generator on your system rather than the internal pdf generator and then email the invoices but obviously that is more work than necessary.

You could simplify the format till you achieve an acceptable format - after all, your customers don’t really care how your invoice looks as long as it has the correct information on it - well, most of them anyway. I haven’t heard anyone say “WOW, what a beautiful invoice - I must pay it quickly and maybe even add a bit for the aesthetic effect!”

The invoices are coded using Liquid, which is a programming language, and I expect that you could use a customised theme to achieve what you want. Liquid uses a format similar to HTML so you might want to do it that way rather than straight HTML

Customise Themes
Or is that what you are already doing - it isn’t clear from your posts?

you said “I imported a HTML template…” but not where you imported it to

Not quite Joe91. I’m doing the invoices in Manager’s invoicing module with only the customising that the tickbox formatting page allows (basically, adding a logo). That produces the invoice as a PDF file.

The aim then is to send the PDF file as an attachment to an email, and it’s that email I’m trying to format. I’ve selected “HTML format” in Email Settings and then I’m putting HTML code into the Email Template.

I’m trying various ultra-simple bits of test code to try to understand what works and what doesn’t. At the moment the end-results are so inconsistent that I’ve failed to establish a proper pattern. Still working on it.

Sorry, my mistake. I thought you were trying to format the invoice not the email message which accompanies the invoice - well sort of, it’s rather the invoice which accompanies the email but anyway.

Best of luck and keep trying!

This is not clear, @TrapezeArtist. What do you mean by “the tick box formatting page?” There is no formatting page in the Sales Invoices tab. Are you referring to the Settings tab?

If you are attempting to email an invoice directly from Manager, you do not generate a PDF first. You only click on the Email button. The email is generated, using any email template you have created for sales invoices, and a PDF of the sales invoice itself is attached automatically.

As I said before, Manager won’t support complex email documents. Forget CSS and fancy formatting. Manager is an accounting program, not a sophisticated design tool.

Tut, yes that’s what I mean. However I also press the PDF button to make a PDF copy of the invoice that I can file separately.

I’ve just about managed to get an acceptable email now. Some of the problems were probably down to the Template editing page being very basic and not flagging up any HTML errors (which is another way of saying I introduced some typos myself :flushed:). I also found that I could make a td comply with the width setting by putting a second empty td beside it (weird, but it works). I’ve failed to persuade a table to centre itself inside it’s parent td despite trying all the centring methods I could think of. That will have to stay left-aligned as I can’t waste any more time on it.

I understand what you’re saying about “Forget CSS and fancy formatting”; email generally is at least 15 years behind the times and CSS files will never work but I’m at a loss to understand why Manager doesn’t just send the code I’ve written and leave the client at the other end to sort it out.

Anyway, I’ve got it roughly sorted-out now and I can move on to actually sending out some invoices and hopefully pulling a bit of money in. Thanks to you and Joe91 for your contributions.

Well, look at the trouble you’ve had making it work on your end. Why would some other, different email client be able to sort it out? They all interpret supposed standards differently, the same way different web browsers return different results from the same web sites.

Without wishing to pick a fight with either you or Manager (because everything else about it is great), I just can’t see why sending the same HTML from Manager and some other package creates different results. I’ve written the HTML. All Manager has to do is add the headers and send it.

Unfortunately I agree that different email clients do interpret what they receive differently. If only someone would produce an email client that reads modern standards-compliant HTML properly. With the exception of Internet Explorer, browsers have been doing that (more or less) for years. In this case I’ve been using the same email client throughout for testing.


Email Clients are very poor at creating html code. They sort of work on what you see is what you get which results in very untidy code.

Download Notepad Editor ++ and create a basic html page with what you want. This will ensure that most email clients will be able to render it correctly and minimise the issues that you are having with lots of extra unnecessary coding created by email clients.

I don’t know the variables for Liquid so can’t help with that.

dalacor, I wasn’t asking Manager to create any HTML code. Rather as you suggested with Notepad++, I have been using my own text/html editor to create the code and then I just drop it into the “Message Body” box in Manager.

I have carefully gone through and reconstructed all my code and tested it by sending the email from a PHP page. At that point is was working perfectly. I then transferred the code to Manager. As the box was only for the “Message Body”, I had to cut off the HTML declaration, the and the tags. Presumably Manager puts that stuff in itself, but that’s where it buggers it up. In Manager, the email won’t centre on the page and the width is uncontrolled.

I’ve also found that Manager does something with the ability to send a copy of the email to yourself. I’m still not sure what it’s doing but while I was trying to get the formatting of the content to my satisfaction, the CCs stopped working, started working, stopped again and finally started. The last time I got CC working was when I removed the characters “https://” from a part of the text (text, not a tag!). Hopefully, as long as I don’t touch a thing now, the CC will continue to work.

In that case you will have to ask the developer. If you have created it in Notepad and tested it in a browser, then its a Manager bug or limitation as it were.