Skip navigation
This discussion is archived

Times New Roman font in outgoing Mail

21304 Views 26 Replies Latest reply: Jun 5, 2010 6:45 PM by bcollinsrules RSS
1 2 Previous Next
conradwalker Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Apr 22, 2010 3:29 AM
Is anyone able to give help about the use of fonts with outgoing emails in Mail.

Few Mac users seem to realise that any rich text message sent using Mail to any person using Outlook will display in the horrendous 12 point Times New Roman. It is mind-boggling that Apple seems to think this is satisfactory, and that more users don't complain.

I am writing to see if anyone can help with a solution. After hours - days - of research over several years, the only solutions on offer seem to be the following:

* Create a signature with the font you want, and write in there.
I have used this solution, and it is a well known workaround. But it is too temperamental to be reliable. Any text greater than one line written in the signature, may develop random changes in font size and formatting. But this is not revealed until the message has been received. By which time it is too late. Randomly differnt font sizes in an email looks even more unprofessional than 12 point Times New Roman. I have had to ditch this solution.

* Use plain text.
This is often suggested, on the basis that "plain text is best anyway", and emails should be plain text. Not only is this an excuse to avoid the issue, but it is unworkable in a modern environment. With plain text, you can't send hyperlinks, or forward emails in the way that you have received them which is often essential.

* Change the font manually.
This solution arises because, bizarrely, the problem does not occur if you use a font that is not your default font. This is because if you use the default font, the email is sent with no font tag, which means that Outlook simply uses its default font (Times New Roman 12 point). However, if you manually change the font to something other than the default, a font tag is added and the email is received with the desired font. This is, by far, the most reliable solution. But it is infuriating because it requires selecting the text, opening the fonts, and then selecting the desired font. Doing this for every single email you write is too cumbersome. But if this process could be done with keyboard shortcuts it would be just about workable. But I'm unable to find a shortcut for choosing your font.

Here is my key question:

Is there a way of changing fonts in mail by using only keyboard shortcuts? I know it is possible to open the font menu in that way (cmd + T), but it does not seem to be possible to then select the font you want, without going to the mouse and clicking through.

I would be VERY, VERY grateful to anyone who may be able to provide an answer.

As an aside, I am aware that this has been raised by many people before, over many years. But it always mystifies me that Apple does not address this, including in the latest version of Mail.

Even though the problem is caused by Outlook's default font, the problem would be easy for Apple to fix (just ensure that there is a tag to relating to the default font in all outgoing messages, in the same way there is when the font is not the default font).

It is especially weird when Apple seems keen to make OS X more usable to business users. Greater Exchange compatibility is pointless, if our emails have to be read in a font that we do not want to use; or by limiting us to plain text; or by making us use of an unreliable workaround.

And I am always shocked that more Apple users do not complain about this. Perhaps either they dont realise how their emails look, dont care, or dont ever correspond with people who use Outlook. (The last possibility is the least likely...)

But there are a lot of us who do. Surely, by now, how our email looks is one of the most important things to many of us and is our main way of doing business. This problem is truly the single most ridiculous aspect of OS X, not least because it is so easy to fix.

Please fix this.

Or could someone come up with an alternative email client (maybe a version of Mail, which is like BusyCal's version of iCal: almost the same, just a little better). I would gladly pay for something like that.

Many thanks,

Conrad.
iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (26,920 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 6:19 AM (in response to conradwalker)
    With plain text, you can't send hyperlinks


    Of course you can send hyperlinks in plain text e-mail, I do it all the time. True, you can't make the text "click here" act like a link, but do you really need to do that?

    Here is my key question:


    That should have been all that was in this message. Most people who actually take the time to read the whole (extremely long!) thing will be, like me, a bit turned off by the tone. Not to mention that a good bit of it is rant, which is against the [terms of use of these forums|http://discussions.apple.com/help.jspa#terms].

    Even though the problem is caused by Outlook's default font, the problem would be easy for Apple to fix


    So, Apple needs to "fix" things that aren't wrong with their programs so that Microsoft doesn't have to fix their own problems?

    Surely, by now, how our email looks is one of the most important things to many of us and is our main way of doing business. This problem is truly the single most ridiculous aspect of OS X, not least because it is so easy to fix.


    But it isn't! Rendering of HTML in e-mail is currently at a place much like where browsers were in the 90s. There's no consistency. Although a competent web designer these days can create a page that, overall, looks the same in all major web browsers without too much effort, the same is not true of e-mail clients. Especially when people are championing the cause of a client like Outlook, which is actually the source of many problems.

    E-mail is not something you can control the appearance of completely. Not only are there many settings that can change the appearance of the e-mail, but e-mail that is designed to look good in Outlook may not look right in another mail client and vice versa. If you behave as if your outgoing e-mails should look like your printed publications for all recipients, you will be disappointed.

    I'm sure that none of what I've said is what you were looking for someone to say, but that's what happens with posts like this. If you aren't interested in the argument that I'm sure will ensue, with many other people jumping in on both sides, I'd advise you to snip out your key question, and only your key question, and post it on a new topic without all the inflammatory and inaccurate commentary.
    17" MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 Level 9 (70,815 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 6:31 AM (in response to conradwalker)
    Is there a way of changing fonts in mail by using only keyboard shortcuts?


    Not as far as I know.

    Please fix this.


    You are only talking to other users here, and we cannot fix it. Send all your stuff intended for Apple to the place where they look for such info:

    http://www.apple.com/feedback/macosx.html

    Or could someone come up with an alternative email client


    I usually recommend Entourage (which is intended for people who must have maximum compatibility with Outlook) or Thunderbird. I understand that MS Office 2011 for Mac will have a new Outlook email client.
    iMac Intel/2C2D, eMac G4/700, Mac OS X (10.6), 10.5, 10.4, 10.3, 9.2
  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (26,920 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2010 8:26 AM (in response to conradwalker)
    In light of what you have said, and you're obvious experience on this forum, I'm happy to completely withdraw my question.


    If you like. That's not what I said, though. I advised you to simply post the question, without the lengthy "Apple should ..." and "Isn't this obvious?" nonsense.

    if I hadnt taken the time to set out the background, I would have had many people - maybe even you - suggesting the solutions which, at the beginning of my post, I explained I was aware of


    You could have stated that in a few sentences. (Though, often, people here skim and don't see such things... myself sometimes included.)

    To be honest, I found your response profoundly depressing: does someone really need "click here" hyperlinks? Why should Apple fix a problem with way emails are viewed in Outlook?


    You say that like these things are obvious needs. They're not. In fact, IMHO "click here" links in e-mail are bad, as they allow scammers to easily slip a link to a dishonest site into a fraudulent message. You could make the same argument about a web site, except that you visit the web sites you chose, while people you don't know e-mail you the messages they choose. As to Apple fixing Microsoft's problems by acting like their way is the right way... well, that's not Apple's way, nor should it be. There's a good reason IE on the Mac is dead.

    This is clearly your forum, and I know better than to ask awkward questions in someone else's domain.


    I wish I could say that's the dumbest thing I've heard anyone say on these forums... alas, it's not even remotely in the running. If you think the forum belongs to the first person to criticize you for something, you should probably not be posting in any internet forum.
    17" MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • Rob Boerman Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 27, 2010 5:16 AM (in response to thomas_r.)
    Sheesh Thomas,

    Why not actually try to help out another Mac user instead of launching a completely useless flamewar about how he asked the question or why Microsoft doesn't fix the problem. I am a business professional using OS X in my workplace as well, so I can completely understand the question Conrad is asking. If you specify outgoing messages to be displayed in Verdana and the recipient (whichever client they are using) receives them in Times new Roman, that is quite irritating. I've been struggling with this too. Why not turn to the Apple communinity then to see whether someone might have found a workaround? If you even specify which solutions you have found and tried already that should prevent wasting your fellow community members's time in replying solutions that do not do the trick.
    But no, it is much more constructive to focus on the technicalities of the question instead of the content itself?!?

    Conrad, let me know when you get Microsoft to create a patch for all Outlook versions and release it to the world in Windows Update.... In the meantime, when I manage to find a workaround I will let you know, hope you will do the same.

    Rob
    Macbook Pro 15, Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • Tom in London Level 4 Level 4 (1,570 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 27, 2010 6:28 AM (in response to conradwalker)
    Conrad, you can't control how the recipient sets their email preferences. They may choose to read all the emails in Plantagenet Cherokee, Hoefler, or even Monaco. There's nothing you can do about it.

    Saying "how our email looks is one of the most important things to many of us" is pure vanity. What matters is what you say in the message.
    MacBookPro 13" (Nov. 2009) with a 20" *matte* Apple display (I hate shiny), Mac OS X (10.6.3), + graveyard of old Macs
  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 Level 9 (70,815 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 27, 2010 6:34 AM (in response to conradwalker)
    But if you can't control the fonts when writing to Outlook users


    You can of course control the fonts being seen at the other end (assuming the Outlook user has not turned of html email). You just cannot set them by default, which understandably many users find annoying.

    And, for the record, I've been very reliably informed this issue should be fairly easy to fix, but so far it hasnt been sorted out. It really is more like a bug than a build feature.


    The behavior of Mail has been exactly the same for at least 5 years now, and has been the subject of many discussions like this one in these forums over that time. Presumably lots of users have filed feedback asking for addition of a feature to set the default outgoing font. So far, despite 2 major OS updates, Apple has not obliged. Perhaps they will do so in 10.7, but this could be a ways off yet, and there is no guarantee, so I think the best advice is still for people who really need this to use a different client.
    iMac Intel/2C2D, eMac G4/700, Mac OS X (10.6), 10.5, 10.4, 10.3, 9.2
  • Tom in London Level 4 Level 4 (1,570 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 27, 2010 6:36 AM (in response to Tom Gewecke)
    You can't assume everyone is using Outlook. There are dozens of email clients out there, and then there's webmail.
    MacBookPro 13" (Nov. 2009) with a 20" *matte* Apple display (I hate shiny), Mac OS X (10.6.3), + graveyard of old Macs
  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 Level 9 (70,815 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 27, 2010 6:47 AM (in response to Tom in London)
    Conrad, you can't control how the recipient sets their email preferences. They may choose to read all the emails in Plantagenet Cherokee, Hoefler, or even Monaco. There's nothing you can do about it.


    While that is true in theory, in practice when you send html email (called rich text in Mail), the recipient normally sees the font you choose. OS X Mail is a good example of this -- try sending yourself a rich text email with a big font in red and see how much control you have over what you see.
    iMac Intel/2C2D, eMac G4/700, Mac OS X (10.6), 10.5, 10.4, 10.3, 9.2
  • Tom in London Level 4 Level 4 (1,570 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 27, 2010 6:50 AM (in response to Tom Gewecke)
    WHat if the recipient doesn't have that particular font installed?
    MacBookPro 13" (Nov. 2009) with a 20" *matte* Apple display (I hate shiny), Mac OS X (10.6.3), + graveyard of old Macs
  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 Level 9 (70,815 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 27, 2010 6:51 AM (in response to Tom in London)
    You can't assume everyone is using Outlook.


    As a practical matter, this issue is almost always raised by business users who need to have their messages appear in something other than TNR when received by Windows Outlook, and for whom setting the font for each individual message is very inconvenient. But of course the basic problem, the lack of preference setting for default outgoing fonts, applies for all recipient email clients.
    iMac Intel/2C2D, eMac G4/700, Mac OS X (10.6), 10.5, 10.4, 10.3, 9.2
  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 Level 9 (70,815 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 27, 2010 7:16 AM (in response to Tom in London)
    WHat if the recipient doesn't have that particular font installed?


    Then the recipient will see whatever default font has been set. But I think that in most cases what senders want recipients to see are standard fonts that all machines have installed (just not TNR), and of course at the correct size as well.
    iMac Intel/2C2D, eMac G4/700, Mac OS X (10.6), 10.5, 10.4, 10.3, 9.2
1 2 Previous Next

Actions

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)

Legend

  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.