Customizing SharePoint workflow emails in 2010/Foundation

Part of the migration process to SharePoint 2010 or Foundation is ensuring that everything is working as perscribed. One thing that I had a little trouble with was customizing the format of workflow emails from the plain or basic one to something more stylish like the out of the box alert format. With Wss 3.0 and 2007 you could write html code and paste it into the body of the ‘Define E-Mail Message’ dialog, the issue there was that you had to remove all html whitespace from the code. See Create Custom E-mail Alert Templates for SharePoint Workflows for a handy tool that will help you create the html.

I had hoped that there would be a better way to define the email template in Foundation / 2010 but after some google’n nothing came up. So I attempted to do the same as with Wss 3.0. Created my html with the handy tool above, pasted it into the body and updated the Lookup fields. Tested. No Good, no formatting took and the email just contained the code. Then I noticed the properties dialog of the email step in the workflow:

Selecting the Properties in the dropdown give you this:

I noticed here that something was up with the body of the email, it had tons of additional html along with the code I pasted into the body:

After re-pasting the html code into the String Builder the workflow email had the correct formatting. Also any further changes to the body I made in the normal email dialog worked too. Now if there was a way to have the whitespaces?


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