12 Replies Latest reply: Mar 8, 2013 4:45 PM by etresoft
William Kruidenier Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)

In Snow Leopard, I lost the ability to format (bold, italic, underline) the text in Mail messages. I lived with it thinking that when I moved to Mtn Lion "something" would get fixed. But I have the same problem in Mtn Lion Mail: I cannot use keyboard commands for bold, italic, or underline, and if I try to implement the commands from the Format menu they work in a confused fashion -- sometimes they work sometimes they don't work at all. But the keyboard commands never work. (Keyboard formatting commands work in all my other apps -- they only don't work in Mail.)

 

I created a new Test Account on my computer and Mtn Lion Mail in the Test Account works perfectly -- formatting with keyboard or with Format menu commands both work.

 

I am using the same font for composing email in both my regular account and the test account (Helvetica), but the formatting only works in the Test Account.

 

Any ideas on why Mail formatting would work in a Test Account and not in my regular Mtn Lion account?

 

Thanks for any ideas.


Mac mini, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), 8 gigs RAM
  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (30,460 points)

    Sounds like Mail on your machine is set to create plain text messages by default. Either change messages to rich text on a case-by-case basis (Format -> Make Rich Text) or change the message format setting in the Composing pane of Mail's preferences window.

  • William Kruidenier Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)

    Thanks for the suggestion, Thomas.

     

    I'd already tried both solutions. I have RTF chosen in the Prefs Composing pane and therefore it is active in the Format menu. And still no formatting is available.

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (30,460 points)

    When you say "it is active in the Format menu," what does that mean? Does the last item in the Format menu read "Make Plain Text" or "Make Rich Text"? If the latter, that means that the message you are composing is actually plain text.

     

    If it's actually rich text (ie, that item in the Format menu reads "Make Plain Text"), then there's something wrong, but I'll be darned if I know what that might be.

  • William Kruidenier Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)

    The last item in the Format menu says "Make Plain Text" meaning, as you say, that it is in RTF mode -- without producing RTF results via keyboard commands or Format menu selections.

     

    I'm equally stumped.

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (30,460 points)

    I've put out a call for reinforcements... hopefully one of our resident Mail experts will come help out shortly!

  • William Kruidenier Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)

    Thanks Thomas! This is not a problem unique to me -- in searching these forums I've found others with the same problem, but have never run across anyone providing a solution. I spent more than one lengthy call with Apple tech support under Snow Leopard trying to solve the problem with no luck. Asked a "Genius" in the Apple store the other day -- no help.

     

    I'm willing to believe there is some conflict in my computer that's causing the problem. I'd be glad to delete anything needed if I could only figure out what it is.

     

    Thanks again for your help.

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,720 points)

    William Kruidenier wrote:

    . . .

    I created a new Test Account on my computer and Mtn Lion Mail in the Test Account works perfectly -- formatting with keyboard or with Format menu commands both work.

    That's a big, hairy clue!  

     

    I don't know much about fonts, but . . .

     

    Does it work properly in the main account with different fonts (not all have bold or italic, though).

     

    Something, somewhere, in the main account is borked.  Are there any fonts in that user's /Library/Fonts folder?  If so, that might be the problem version.

     

    You might also want to try repairing the font in question with the Font Book app (select it, then select File > Validate Font from the menubar).

     

    Sure hope it's not a corrupted mail preferences file, as that has all your account names, passwords, server names, rules, etc., etc.

  • Eric Root Level 8 Level 8 (36,780 points)

    Since the test account works, try your account in the Safe Mode:

     

    Shut down the computer and then power it back up. Immediately after hearing the startup chime, hold down the shift key and continue to hold it until the gray Apple icon and a progress bar appear. The boot up is significantly slower than normal.

     

    Safe Mode

     

    Safe Mode - About

     

    General information.

     

     

    Troubleshooting Permission Issues

     

    Step by Step to Fix Your Mac

  • William Kruidenier Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)

    Way to go, Eric!

     

    I restarted in SAFE mode and all Mail formatting worked correctly using keyboard shortcuts. I then restarted in non-SAFE (normal) mode and Mail was back to its old tricks - no formatting at all in Mail messages.

     

    SO -- What does that mean?

     

    I read the articles you linked in your message (thanks) but didn't see anything specific to apply to this issue, except that one article noted in SAFE mode some fonts will not be loaded.

     

    Someone in a message earlier suggested the possibility of a bad font -- could there be a "bad" font loading in regular mode but not in SAFE mode?

     

    Anyway, thanks for this suggestion. I was GREAT to be able to use the keyboard commands in Mail again!

  • etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (27,125 points)

    It sounds like you have some 3rd party software interfering with your system.You haven't installed anything that rhymes with "Beeper" lately have you?

     

    I wrote a little diagnostic program to help show what might be causing these problems. Download EtreCheck from http://www.etresoft.com/download/EtreCheck.zip, run it, and paste the results here.

     

     

    Disclaimer: Although EtreCheck is free, there are other links on my site that could give me some form of compensation, financial or otherwise.

  • William Kruidenier Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)

    PROBLEM SOLVED!

     

    Before I got your previous email about running EtreCheck -- I did this:

     

    On the off chance there might be some font problem, I opened the Font Book app and saw an option to "Restore System Fonts" (something like that) -- a function that would restore only OS X fonts into the active fonts folder.

     

    So I ran that option (no problems encountered), closed Font Book, restarted, opened Mail and typed in a new message window. ALL THE FORMATTING COMMANDS NOW WORK including using keyboard commands for Command I, B, and U.

     

    Amazing -- I guess there must have been some font that was messing something up. But for the moment, all appears to be working. And I seem to have plenty of fonts to work with in MS Word, etc.

     

    SO -- thanks to all you guys for pitching in various suggestions. Very much appreciated!

  • etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (27,125 points)

    William Kruidenier wrote:

     

    Before I got your previous email about running EtreCheck -- I did this:

    Bummer. I have a section to check for bad fonts but I don't know if it actually finds them. Maybe next time.