Adapt a newsletter for different display width (with the @media rule)

If you are familiar with HTML and style sheets (CSS) you can create an e-mail newsletter that is automatically adapted to the width of the screen / display. You can do this by using the media query rule (@media). If you want create an e-mail newsletter that is optimized for both computer monitors and mobile phone / smartphone displays (and also tablets like iPad) you can use this rule.

Not only can the width of the newsletter be adjusted to fit well in the display. Also the font size, margins and picture width and height, and other parts of a newsletter, can be adjusted automatically by using the media query rule.

The example below shows how the @media rule can be used:
 How to use the media query rule /
@media rule in HTML / CSS
@media only screen and (max-device-width: 480px) {
    .page {
        padding: 0px 10px 5px 10px !important;
    body {
        padding: 10px !important;
    #airmail-line {
        margin: 0 -10px !important;
    .header {
        font-size: 16px !important;
    .headline {
        font-size: 18px !important;
    #screenshot {
        width: 270px;
        height: 180px;
In the example above the size information and font sizes will only be used if the display is 480 pixels wide or less. If the display is wider the information above will not be used; instead are the standard settings used. In this way you can create newsletters that look great in both computer monitors and mobile phone / smartphone displays.

Many older mobile phones and smartphones do not support the @media rule, but then is the script above ignored and the ordinary settings are used instead. So it is risk free to use @media in this way. The @media rule is only used if it is recognized by the browser or e-mail client, and if the conditions are right.
Responsive Web Design
This method to adapt the layout to a viewing environment is called Responsive Web Design (RWD). Responsive Web Design is normally implemented on web pages when they need to be adapted for different display widths, but nowadays some designers have started to implement responsive design techniques also on e-mail newsletters.
Read more
about the @media rule
More information about the @media rule is available on these pages:
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