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How to Expand the Email Description Field in Dynamics CRM

Post Author: HCLTech |

Have you ever gone into an email activity in Dynamics CRM and decided that you want to make the body of the email just a little bit bigger on the form? That should be no problem, right? Just customize the form, find the description field, and increase the number of rows.

So what happens if we try it? Let's find out.

  1. First, go to the form editor.
  2. Open the Description field.
  3. Under the Formatting tab, you may expect the number of rows to be displayed, as with any multi-line text field. Unfortunately, the description field is not a multi-line text field, and as a result, you cannot increase the number of rows.

You might be wondering, could this be a change in CRM 2013? The answer is no. For CRM 2011, as well as 4.0, the description field cannot be changed through the form editor.

Fortunately, there is still a method to modify the size of the description field, but it involves a little XML editing. It will involve creating a solution in CRM, adding the email entity, exporting the contents, editing the XML, and importing it back. Sounds scary? Not really! Just follow the steps outlined below.

1. Create a new solution in CRM by going to Settings > Solutions and clicking New.

2. For Display Name and Name, type "Email". For Publisher, click on the search box and select any that you see listed. Most likely it will contain the name of your CRM organization. For Version, type in a 1. Then click Save.

3. After saving it, go to Add Existing, and then Entity.


4. Find E-mail and select Ok.

5. If you see a message asking about "Missing Required Components" select No, and then click Ok.

6. Now the solution is ready. Click on Export Solution.

7. Press Next on all of the screens, and at the end click Export. After a few seconds, you will have the option to save the .zip file.

8. Once the file is saved, extract customizations.xml and open it with notepad or your favorite text editor.

9. This part may be a little bit tricky for those that are not familiar with XML. Do a search on this file for description="description"

10. If you have multiple email forms, you will see this listed more than once. Once you find it, just above the text you searched for, you will see "rowspan." The value indicated is how many rows the field will have. In the example below, the email description field is set to 12 rows.

If you want the email activities to have a body smaller or bigger, you can simply change this value. If you wanted to have a very small description field, you can change it to 4. For now, let's increase the size quite a bit and change that value to 20. So you should change this file so it will say rowspan="20"

11. You'll have to make one more modification, which is to add additional row columns for the amount that you increased. The reason for doing this that if you were to import this now, the row width could not be correct. So if the previous rowspan was 12, and you increased it to 20, you need to add 8 additonal lines. So let's add those additional row columns. Highlighted in yellow is what you should add to this file.

12. Now save the customization.xml file, and copy it back to the zip file you just downloaded.

13. In CRM, back under Solutions, click Import.

14. Select the modified zip file, click Next and then Import. After a few seconds, it will complete. Then click Publish All Customizations.

15. Refresh your browser, and start a new email. It will now have a much larger body size.

There you go—in just a few simple steps, you now have a larger email description field in Dynamics CRM.

If this blog was useful to you, you might want to check out some of our other blogs on working with activities in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Happy CRM'ing!


By Joe D365
Joe D365 is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 superhero who runs on pure Dynamics adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe D365’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics 365 and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.

5 comments on “How to Expand the Email Description Field in Dynamics CRM”

  1. Thanks a lot!!

    However it works only after just exporting my normal solution, changing it and importing it back. When I exported the "Email" solution, the field was never in there!

  2. Thanks a lot. I was looking for this. It worked like a charm.
    Is there a way to re-size the width of the fields? Could you help me?

  3. For anyone with CRM 2015 (on premise), this still works, but not as easily. The rowspan attribute was not in the description "cell" tag in the email solution exported from CRM 2015, and there were not any extra empty row tags. However, adding the rowspan attribute and then manually creating all of the empty row tags worked.

  4. Hi, i tried this for Dynamics 365 but i couldn't get it done. Is the form in D365 different? Can anyone help me?

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