[thelist] Hex encode images for HTML emails — how?

Barney Carroll barney at clickwork.net
Thu Jun 11 10:00:26 CDT 2009

Hello list,

I'm building a short-run HTML email campaign for a client. Because they
don't know where to host the source files, and I find the idea of dependency
on hosting and absolute refs for an email generally cumbersome (everything's
better self-contained, right?), I was wanting to hex-encode the image code
into the markup.

I first bumped into the technique when perusing John Hicks' Firefox Stylish
extension skin for Google Reader — which included new graphics that were
hard-coded into the CSS — which is a nice piece of work for all sorts of
other reasons as well: http://hicksdesign.co.uk/journal/google-reader-theme

I've tried Googling tools and methods for this in the past but never got any
comprehensive resources/info on the matter (and besides it's never been
absolutely essential) — specifically I haven't found:

   1. A tool that will convert an image file to hex string.
   2. The requisite syntax for inserting hex strings into HTML img src

Does anybody have any experience of this? I'd really appreciate it if I
could get some specific resources rather than a convenient search string
appended to a humiliating lmgtfy.com URL :)

Barney Carroll
Web designer & front-end developer

web: www.clickwork.net

mobile: +44 (0) 7594 506 381
home: +44 (0) 118 975 0020

twitter: @barneycarroll

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