Love it or hate it, HTML in emails is here to stay, and people will send you HTML emails even if you ask them not to. Apple Mail can display the HTML emails you receive, although it can’t compose them.
Here are three tips for dealing with HTML email in Apple Mail depending on your level of aversion.
1. Kill HTML Completely
If you really can’t stand it, you can just banish HTML forever. Quit Apple Mail and type the following into the Terminal:
All your email will now appear in plain text. No more fancy HTML emails from Apple about the new features in .Mac for you!
2. Toggle Views
Number 1 seems too extreme to me, like King Canute standing on the seashore trying to hold back the tide. So I like to toggle.
Emails often contain the message embedded within it in a number of formats. By default Apple Mail will display the email’s HTML content first if it exists, then the Rich Text content if HTML is not available. Lastly it will display plain text is there is nothing else.
You can view the plain text version using the keyboard shortcut “Command+Option+P”, or toggle through the available formats using “Command+]” and “Command+[”
My mother, bless her, uses Outlook Express. Her emails often appear in such small text in Apple Mail, that viewing the plain text version (which OE always includes) is the only way to read her messages without squinting.
3. Turn off images in HTML emails
Spammers use images to detect real addresses. When your client starts to download an image – often an invisibly small transparent one – they know that they have found a real person. That’s bad.
In the Apple Mail Preferences go to the Viewing pane and uncheck the “Display remote images in HTML messages” option. You will have an option in the Preview Pane to download them if it turns out to be an email from someone you trust.
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