Previous 1 2 3 4 5 Next 68 Replies Latest reply: Jun 11, 2014 3:36 PM by linda stasi Go to original post
  • aRKay Level 2 (205 points)
    Wow. A thread about this. I do use the 'cmd =' and 'cmd opt p' to help
    make teeny fonts (sent from PC users?)

    I am trying to get away from Entourage but the weird Mail font issue is giving me
    fits. I tried the 'cmd opt p' and it does nothing?

    Also what is the best or recommended font for reading he postings form the Apple
    discussion group? They come into Mail with normal looking headers with a tiny ugly
    font in the body.

    Message was edited by: aRKay
  • Gary K. Level 1 (90 points)
    I came across another thread here that shows a terminal command that will set a minimum font size for Mail viewing. Go to

    I have a notion that the iPhone Mail application probably has a minimum font rendering size.

    For anyone wanting to figure out exactly what is going on in a particular email message, you can view the source code for it. You just go to View > Message > Raw Source. If you know a little bit about HTML coding then you can see how the tags were done by whichever email program that sent the email. You can also examine emails you have composed. I found that dropping the source code into Text Wrangler makes it easier to understand, as the code is color coded and so forth.

    Once you know this stuff it is a lot easier to work with it and take control. I don't know anyone who has Outlook 2011. I sure would like to see some HTML email from that program. I have a feeling they may have some real problems.
  • Gary K. Level 1 (90 points)
    Signature text is just regular email text that is saved as snippets. There is nothing special about it. So I think you just need to apply formatting to the signature by selecting the text and giving it the font and size and color you want. I suspect if you size it bigger than 12 pt. then it will look blocky to your designer friends.

    I have a little different take on signatures. I size the signature for our company in a combination of 7 and 9 pt text elements. My view about signatures is that they are more of a design element/boilerplate than a major contribution and should not try to convey too much. So I am not that concerned about readability for the signature--an anathema, I Know, to the literal minded and those who may be imagination challenged. It's easy enough to zoom if you really want to read it.
  • Kevin Robison Level 1 (0 points)
    It seems that there could be different things going on here, but I may have an explanation for one. I decided to change over to Mail from Entourage today and also noticed the fonts are considerably smaller. As I was reading this thread, it occurred to me that it may not be a Mail problem. When I view a Word doc at 100% on my Macbook Pro, it's always too small (which is why I always think fonts on desktop PC's are friggin' huge.)

    So...I just compared Calibri 12 point with the exact same text in both Mail and a Word doc. They are exactly the same size. Could it be that Entourage displays fonts larger than "standard" (of which there apparently isn't one)? It doesn't explain every issue going on here, but it might explain why those of going from Entourage to Mail in particular are noticing the issue.

    Also, I sent myself several messages from Mail, changing the default size each time. I viewed the received mail in Entourage and it was the same size every time.
  • Mark Kaiman Level 2 (250 points)
    I have Apple Mail set to send mail in plain text. My font is set at 12 point Menlo. Thats what I see on my screen, unless someone sends me an HTML message. What does someone see on the other end? I always assumed it was a plain text font in 12 point. Not true?
  • LookingSkyward Level 1 (0 points)

    Dear All,


    I use a Macbook Pro, a new one running with OSX Lion 10.7.1 and am also using Apple's Mail. There is definitely an issue in so far as: regardless of how you setup up your message font in Apple's Mail (via Mail>Preferences) the font displayed on the recipient's computer, when using Gmail or Outlook, is relatively larger. The smaller you make the font on your end, the smaller it gets on the recipient's end but your font is always a few points smaller. So when readable for you, it is ridiculously large for recipients to view it. When it is a more reasonable size for recipients, it is minute on your end.


    I know other people with the same issue, all with different configurations of Macbook's and Macbook Pro's and OSX versions Snow Leopard and Lion. Both I and they have run dozens of tests and in a structured way too and nothing makes a difference as far as we can all tell.


    I have attached two screenshots to illustrate the issue first hand.


    I am surprised that this issue has been around for such a long time.


    I really love Mail, but am about to jump back to a VM running Outlook because my emails look very unprofessional. Completely contrary to what I emphasise Apple is all about to anyone who has not switched over to Apple yet!



    Mail Sent from Apple Mail.png

    Mail Received at Gmail.png

  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 (76,395 points)

    What you set in Mail > Preferences normally should not have any effect on what is seen in the message text at the other end, because unless you deliberately choose a font and size in the New Message pane for each message, no info is transmitted regarding font and size in the message source.  You can check this by doing View > Message > Raw Source on one of your message in the Sent folder.


    Signatures are a different matter.

  • LookingSkyward Level 1 (0 points)

    Signatures end up in a mail message when they are used.


    I think the issue is clear to the rest of us. Maybe you should try testing it the way people in this group are describing it. Get yourself a Gmail address and send an email to yourself from Apple Mail. You will then see what we are all talking about.



  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 (76,395 points)

    Perhaps I have misunderstood -- are you talking about only signatures or also the message text?  Are you talking about adjusting preferences or choosing things in the New Message pane?

  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 (76,395 points)

    Mark Kaiman wrote:


    I have Apple Mail set to send mail in plain text. My font is set at 12 point Menlo. Thats what I see on my screen, unless someone sends me an HTML message. What does someone see on the other end? I always assumed it was a plain text font in 12 point. Not true?


    If you send a message in plain text, the other end will see it in whatever font and size the recipient has set in his email client or browser default font settings.

  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 (76,395 points)

    PS This thread is an old one for 10.6.  Since you are using 10.7, and the version of Mail is different, it would be best to start a new discussion in the Lion forum, if you want to continue it.

  • ABaughan Level 1 (0 points)

    I have exactly the same problem, and have not found an answer.  It is very frustrating.  It does look unprofessional, and if Apple do not provide a solution to what is a longstanding problem then I think the only answer is to switch to Outlook.  If anyone does have an answer, pease let me know.

  • ABaughan Level 1 (0 points)

    The problem is the same in in 10.6 Mail and 10.7.  I hoped there would be a solution in Lion but the problem remains.

  • Tom Gewecke Level 9 (76,395 points)

    ABaughan wrote:


    The problem is the same in in 10.6 Mail and 10.7.  I hoped there would be a solution in Lion but the problem remains.


    Since you never seem to have posted about this issue before, could you be more specific about how you see the problem?   Is it that your sig does not look right at the other end?  Or the message text at the other end does not have the font and font size that you want?   If the latter, are you setting the font and font size in the New Message pane (that's the only way to do it in Mail).

  • king_dave Level 1 (0 points)

    This is a known issue in mail for many years... I hoped Apple will improve it in Lion but they didn't.


    If you send plain text messages only its no problem you can set the default font size big enough ant the other party will receive it as normal plain text.


    However if you reply to a non plain text message or want to draft a rich text mail the font size will appear huge and very strange at other mail clients.


    I found one way how I to make sure formated messages appear exactly as I did send them. You need to create a custom signature and later draft and format your e-mail within the "box" of the signature. Follow this link for instructions:


    Now e-mail arrive exactly as I do send them - however when I'm composing them on a 13" MB Air its almost unreadable. So first I need to enlarge font to 18pt to compose and before sending change back to 12pt..


    Thats really a pain and I hope Apple will finally after thousands of complaints from users.