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Old 20 May 2018, 03:20 AM   #1
xyzzy
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Join Date: May 2018
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Inserting an image in the webmail interface

I am evaluating FastMail to see if I want to switch to using it and just experimenting with various features and discover one minor irritation.

I am not able to insert (embed) an image when composing an email using the webmail interface. Whenever I try to drag an image (for example a .png) into the message portion of the compose window it acts as if I am dragging it to be an attachment, i.e. the "Drop files to attach to message" appears to make the image file an attachment even though I am dragging into the text portion.

This happens when using FireFox 48.0.2 (my preferred browser) on a OS X Mac 10.6.7 system. It does not happen using Chrome. FF 48.0.2 is not the current FF but the last version that works on OS X 10.6.7. No, I am not going to upgrade to use the latest stuff for private reasons. Let's not get into a debate about this.

I've tried using a fresh/pristine FF profile so this is not a cookie or extension problem. I've checked the browser error console so it's not some kind of html error or javascript problem. It just seems that's the way FastMail behaves on my version of Firefox.

I'm posting here to see if anyone else has seen this behavior using Firefox. In every other webmail I've encountered I've never seen this kind of behavior before. I guess I being a bit anal or have some OCD where I want everything to be "perfect" during my evaluation.

I said above it's a "minor irritation" in that I probably will never encounter composing email through the webmail interface in "real life". That's because I use Thunderbird for my email client. I hate webmail interfaces and always prefer email clients. I haven't found any problems using Thunderbird so far. But I am curious why the webmail behaves this way for inserting images. Is it specific to my version of Firefox or with Firefox in general?
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Old 21 May 2018, 11:56 AM   #2
aussieboykie
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In Rich Text mode there is an Insert Image button.
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Old 22 May 2018, 09:46 AM   #3
Grhm
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The question seems to be founded on a misunderstanding.
As I understand it, images can't be 'inserted' into E-mails. They can only be attached, and then the text of the E-mail padded out with HTML tags that make the image appear to be embedded within the text.
The distinction between 'inserting' and 'attaching' images is illusory...
...isn't it?
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Old 22 May 2018, 12:19 PM   #4
BritTim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grhm View Post
The question seems to be founded on a misunderstanding.
As I understand it, images can't be 'inserted' into E-mails. They can only be attached, and then the text of the E-mail padded out with HTML tags that make the image appear to be embedded within the text.
The distinction between 'inserting' and 'attaching' images is illusory...
...isn't it?
Well, technically, there is a longstanding method of inserting images directly into messages, but it is rarely used because it is a potential security nightmare. If you want to learn about it, look for a reference on data uris in html. Besides the security risks (there are ways of using it to embed arbitrary JavaScript) there are differences between mail clients in how data uris are supported (notably the data formats that can be used for encoding the image)..

The practice of placing the image in an attachment, linking to the attachment within the html,does not yield the same result in all mail clients. Some clients will not show the image inline, instead showing the image at the bottom of the message.

The obvious other alternative is to place the image on a reliable server and use a standard <img src="..."> tag to reference it. I believe today this is actually the best approach, but some mail clients will still refuse to show linked images by default (to prevent the use of tracking pixels). Usually, images are now displayed by default .
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Old 24 May 2018, 12:23 PM   #5
xyzzy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aussieboykie View Post
In Rich Text mode there is an Insert Image button.
There is no "Insert Image" button.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grhm View Post
The question seems to be founded on a misunderstanding.
As I understand it, images can't be 'inserted' into E-mails. They can only be attached, and then the text of the E-mail padded out with HTML tags that make the image appear to be embedded within the text.
The distinction between 'inserting' and 'attaching' images is illusory...
...isn't it?
No, it isn't I don't care how it's internally implemented but an inserted image is supposed to appear within the body of the email inline in the context of the text surrounding it. Attaching files is handled differently or should be.

As I said in my first post this behavior doesn't exhibit itself in Chrome. And FastMail tech support claims they cannot reproduce it with the latest version of Firefox either. But since I am not updating I suppose it is what it is. I use Thunderbird as my primary email client so this is more an academic puzzle than anything else. It's not like I am ever going to create email in the webmail interface.

You would think FastMail support would be a little curious what their html creation is missing that prohibits it from working in older FFs. Maybe not enough to cause problems with current FFs or other browsers but enough to cause a problem with older FFs. It's just curious that FastMail's webmail is the only webmail interface I've ever encountered that exhibits this problem.
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Old 25 May 2018, 12:18 AM   #6
mballas
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In my web browsers the 9th button from the left in the compose screen is an insert image button. On the latest Vivaldi and Chrome browsers when I hover over it "Insert Image" appears. In the latest Firefox all it says when I hover over it is "No files Selected", but it does bring up a file selection dialogue which will paste an image in the text.
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Old 25 May 2018, 04:22 AM   #7
xyzzy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mballas View Post
In my web browsers the 9th button from the left in the compose screen is an insert image button. On the latest Vivaldi and Chrome browsers when I hover over it "Insert Image" appears. In the latest Firefox all it says when I hover over it is "No files Selected", but it does bring up a file selection dialogue which will paste an image in the text.
Hmm, who would have "thunk" it? I never interpreted that "no files selected" toolbar item as an insert image tool. And it works! Oh well, good enough now that I know there's a workaround. Thank you for that info.

Still don't know why dragging an image file into the email contents doesn't work in my FF but does in chrome but this is good enough should I ever actually use the webmail.

Again, thanks.
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