Somewhere, in recent updates to Safari 5.0 (included in the 10.6.4 update), something went wrong with the way applications pass text to each other.
A post at MacFixIt suggests that the fault lies with WebKit, which is now “using rgb(0,0,0) as the value for the CSS “background-color” property for messages”.
Whatever the cause, emails generated in other apps often arrive in Mail.app with black text on a black background.
Here are some I made earlier: one generated by mailing a to-do from iCal:
Another created by running an applescript over a blog post in Safari:
Suggested workarounds vary in complexity. Some involve dragging iCal appointments to the Desktop and then into Mail, others suggest copying all the blacked-out text, cutting and pasting it into another app like Textedit to turn it into plain text and then pasting it back again.
Unmarked Software, the developer of TextSoap, has even produced a stand-alone Mac OS X Service, FixMailText , as a work around.
In fact, the fix is quite simple. Apple’s technote on the problem points out that all you need to do in most cases is
1. Place the cursor into the body of the email.
2. Press ⇧+⌘+T (Shift + Command + T) to turn it into plain text. Or select “Make Plain Text” from Mail’s Format menu
3. Carry on.
It also suggests a slightly more convoluted workaround for those who need to preserve links embedded in Rich Text:
If you want to preserve links the message might contain:
- Click in the body of the Mail message
- Press Command-A to select all
- Press Command-X to cut
- Press the Delete key to clear remaining elements
- Press Option-Shift-Command-V (Paste and Match Style)
This will replace the black-on-black text with text that uses your default Mail font settings.
As others have said, a technote from Apple on the problem is as close as one will get to acknowledgement that something is wrong.
Hopefully a proper fix is not far away.
UPDATE: 6 July 2010 Mail Attachment Iconizer, a mail plugin that is also afflicted with this bug has been updated with a release (2.1.10) that resolves the problem. [ via MacFixIt }
Tags: Apple Mail, applescript, bug, iCal, mail.app, Safari, WebKit, workaround