7 Time-Saving Tricks for Lotus Notes 6.5, 7, 8 and 8.5


We know how difficult it can be coding for this client, but it might not be as old as you think. Though some call it a dinosaur, Lotus Notes 6.5 came out in 2003, with a new version every couple of years after that.

The real problem with Lotus Notes isn’t its age; it’s the quirky rendering delivered by this client. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back.

Check out our handy list of pain points and make your Lotus Notes coding stress-free.

  1. CSS has only limited support in Lotus Notes.
  2. Lotus Notes and screen captures.
  3. Lotus Notes and background colors in nested tables.
  4. PNG images don’t render in Lotus Notes.
  5. Image backgrounds don’t work in Lotus Notes.
  6. Lotus Notes and inline RGB values.
  7. Lotus Notes and embedded RGB values.

1. CSS has only limited support in Lotus Notes.

Lotus Notes 6.5 and 7.0 have very limited support for both inline and embedded CSS. The best way to get around that is to back up your styles with table and font attributes.

2. Lotus Notes and screen captures.

If your screen cap looks clipped or duplicated, you might be experiencing a known bug in our Lotus Notes 6.5 & 7 screenshot applications.

Sometimes your email will appear as if it is cut-off and/or portions of your email might appear duplicated. This is caused by the 10 year old, proprietary rendering engine used in legacy versions of Lotus Notes.

3. Lotus Notes and background colors in nested tables.

In Lotus Notes 6.5 and 7.0 if you are using a background color attribute for your tables, it is a good habit to set an attribute for all nested tables as well.

4. PNG images don’t render in Lotus Notes.

There could be a couple reasons for your images not displaying.

1. Lotus Notes 6.5 and 7 do not support .PNG file types.

2. Are you using https references to your images? Sometimes Lotus Notes 7 will not recognize the SSL certificate issuer and will display a pop-up warning. It is best to avoid using https when referencing images for Lotus Notes.

5. Image backgrounds don’t work in Lotus Notes.

Lotus Notes (all versions) does not support inline CSS backgrounds with a url(). It will remove the entire background declaration.

Since Gmail and Yahoo do something similar, it is recommended that you use the “background” attribute within your TDs and set a bgcolor attribute as a backup.

This fix will work in Lotus Notes 8 and 8.5, but not in 6.5 or 7.

<td background="http://www.test.com/test.jpg" bgcolor="#000">

6. Lotus Notes and inline RGB values.

If you include an inline RGB decimal value, Lotus Notes 8.0 will ignore the entire style declaration.

To fix this, use hexadecimal values instead:

<td style="font-size:10px; color:#7d7d7d; font-family:Arial; padding:20px; 
background-color:#F90">
  This is a TD test
</td> 

7. Lotus Notes and embedded RGB values.

If you have an embedded CSS declaration that contains a background with a url() property, Lotes Notes 8.5 will remove the entire style tag. Example:

<style type="text/css">
p {background: #fff url(/images/clear.gif) no-repeat;}
</style>

It doesn’t matter what element the background declaration is intended for, the entire tag will be removed.

Using browser extensions (for example: -moz-outline-radius, -webkit-border-radius, and -ms-text-justify) within your embedded CSS have also been known to cause this issue. If this is the case, try using them inline instead.

10 thoughts on “7 Time-Saving Tricks for Lotus Notes 6.5, 7, 8 and 8.5”

  1. Has anyone had luck building a responsive email in Lotus Notes? I know it often stretches tables to 100% of the content unless it has a specific width but when using percentages for responsive emails in gmail etc (clients which strip the header code/don’t support media queries) it is handy.

  2. Yes, set the width=”620″ for example and also add style=”width: 100% !important” on the same table. The email clients that will use reponsive design will use important style value over set width, while Lotus Note will use the 620px width.

  3. Hi , In the above instructions all background colors applying with 3 digit hexadecimal codes.But when i am going to test this types of color codes in litmus email testing ,it shows an error .lotus notes supports 3 digit hexadecimal codes .It only supports 6 digit hexadecimal codes.

    Thank you.

  4. Amar,
    Have you tried testing in our platform? We’re much cheaper than Litmus and usually faster too.

    We can’t really comment on errors Litmus shows. You should be able to test and see for yourself in either platform.

  5. Does anyone have a workaround for WYSWYG (Pardot) replacing hex code with rgb? It’s stripping out the style for my CTA button in Lotus Notes.

  6. Hi Andrius Petravicius: I set the width of the table to 600 and added an inline style width=”100%”

    But in lotus notes the table is still extending to full width 100%;
  7. Hi contify,

    you must use the following to make it working:

    It works for me as expected.
    Thanks Andrius!
    and shame on Lotus Notes

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