Office For Mac

Spruce up your email with rich formatting

Outlook provides several formatting options to make your email messages look professional. Add colors to your greetings, underline or highlight key points, or use the Office Photo Browser to quickly add your iPhoto or Photo Booth images to messages.

If these options in Outlook are insufficient for your needs, compose your messages in Word and then transfer the contents to Outlook by using the File -> Share -> E-mail (as HTML) option. All formatting-including your tables, charts, and fonts- is preserved in Outlook.

Make sure you set Outlook as your default mail application when using it with other applications. In Outlook > Preferences > General, enable the Make Outlook the default application for e-mail, contacts, and calendar option.

Keep in mind

Rich formatting, with colors, fonts, images, and hyperlinks, does not always translate well when converted to Plain text formatting. Plain text is just black and white text with no formatting applied to it. One of the notable advantages of Plain text is the small message size, which is why several companies use it as the default messaging format or convert to this type for messages received from outside their company. If you are using rich formatting, for example, white text with colored background, the background gets converted to white when received in Plain text. White text on white background will probably not mean much to your receiver.

Also, if you are embedding images in your email, watch the resulting email size. ISPs set message limits and large emails usually bounce back. Check out my earlier post on how to avoid bounced messages by reducing the attachment size.


June 12th, 2012
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  1. Tobi says:

    Dear Mac BU Team,

    that’s great.
    Would be even better if you could resize images directly within the mail :)


  2. Andy says:

    My main problem is that non-US characters don’t get encoded correctly in the message body and message subject. I have to enter a euro sign in both just to force Outlook to encode in Unicode.

  3. danny villarreal says:

    Can you help me find the little paintbrush icon? I use it alot in the PC version but can’t find it anywhere on the mac. If it doesn’t exist can you please add that as a feature request?

  4. Noriko says:

    The paintbrush (format Painter) is not available in Outlook for Mac. Bullet points and Numbering is also very limited as there is no option for “continuous” numbering.

    It also has problems with the Mac app SnappyApp. SnagIt is not available for Mac and there are very limited choice for the similar app. SnappyApp is good enough for free version but I cannot paste the screenshot to the Outlook. I import the Outlook mails to Mac’s Mail app, then all these features are available though there are delays to the actions such as incoming and outgoing mails. Also the Mail app disconnects frequently with some mail servers and not a perfect app in any way. I guess it is up to you which annoys you more.

  5. Office for Mac Team says:

    The format painter is not available in OUtlook for Mac. Also, you cannot resize images from within Outlook messages. BUt thank you for your feedback on Office for Mac; we are working diligently to bring the best possible productivity tools to you. We listen to all feedback and consider it for future releases. Your feedback helps us know which features are most important to our customers and prioritize appropriately; However, for a variety of reasons we cannot discuss planned features, their priorities, or the dates that we expect these features to be released.

  6. Sarah says:

    @Noriko – I use SnagIt for Mac. You can get it here:

  7. Raymond Walker says:

    Could we PLEASE get simple copy and paste working correctly first?!?!

    I have nightmares trying to paste simple text inline in an email, it does all sorts of crazy stuff, like splitting text a line up or down from where I’m pasting into multiple lines of text, then inserting my pasted text in random places.

    This happens in both PLAIN and HTML formatted email, when pasting formatted or plain text from all other applications (Simple Text, BBEdit, MS Word, etc.)

  8. Dolf says:

    Could you guys PLEASE add a Signature editor like the one in Office 2010? I moved from PC to MAC recently and I’m missing several things VERY much that aren’t in Office 2011.

    Embedding logos in a sig is a pain in Office 2011 and they don’t work most of the time anyway.