Have you ever received an email that omits all prior emails in the conversation thread?

It’s bloody confusing.

So, why does this happen?

Some mail senders have their responding options set incorrectly. They don’t change these options because they have no idea they exist or they feel it might break their email.

Apple Mail Options

  • Open Apple Mail.
  • In the top left-hand corner click Mail and choose Preferences.
  • Click on the Composing tab.
  • In the Responding section you have several choices:

Apple Mail - Composing Preferences

Use the same message format as the original message – Respond using rich or plain text.

Plain text is not formatted or tagged in any way. Rich text can be styled and formatted. It’s what you see in most emails.

The benefit of plain text is that it is clean and can be cut/copied and pasted into other applications without causing any problems.

If you respond in the same format as the original message, it’s more likely the recipient will get your email in the format they are used to.

Apple Mail - Example of Rich Text Email

Apple Mail - Example of Plain Text Email



Quote the text of the original message

Click this box to include the text, images, etc, of the original message when you reply or forward.

This lets the recipient see your response in context and minimizes the possibility of a misunderstanding.

If this box is left unchecked, no quoted text will be included in your replies. Text will be quoted in email you forward.

Apple Mail - Original Email In String

Apple Mail - Reply Including All Quoted Text

Increase quote level

Check this box and as a conversation thread grows, each new message is indented, marked with a color bar and the text formatted in the same color.

This is a standard email feature, but some people hate it. Check out this post – How To… Remove Those Annoying Colored Lines From Emails.

When quoting text in replies or forwards: Include all of the original message text

This option will quote all the original text and include all attachments.

When quoting text in replies or forwards: Include selected text, if any; otherwise include all text.

With this option, if you selectively highlight text before you hit the reply or forward button, only the selected text will be quoted in the new email.

Apple Mail - Responding With Selected Recipient Text

Apple Mail - A Response With Selected Recipient TextYou are now free to cause confusion or bring clarity to the world.

Have a stress free week.

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