When you engage in an email conversation, the prior text of each email in the chain is indented right and marked by a colored vertical line.

This is a quotation line and in Apple Mail it is turned on by default.

So… what if you hate them and would like a little more control.

Email with colored lines

Basic Quotation Options In Apple Mail

  • Open Mail.
  • Go to Mail in the Menu Bar and select Preferences
  • Go to the Fonts and Colors tab:
    • Color Quoted Text – If this is checked, the quoted text will change color to match the color of the quote line.
    • Color of quote level menu – Here you can choose the line color for the first three levels of quotation.
Apple Mail Fonts and Colors

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Advanced Quotation Options In Apple Mail

  • Open Mail.
  • Go to Mail in the Menu Bar and select Preferences
  • Click the Composing tab
  • In the Section named Responding you’ll find:
    • Quote the text of the original message – Includes text of the original message without a line, indentation, or color change to to the text.
    • Increase quote level – With each response, the quoted text from prior messages is indented, marked with a vertical colored line, and if desired the text changes color to match the line (see options above).
    • When quoting text on replies or forwards:
      • Include all of the original message text – As it says.
      • Include selected text, if any; otherwise include all text – If you highlight text prior to responding, only the highlighted section will be quoted.
Apple Mail Composing

Removing Quotation Lines

When you copy text that has quotation lines, the lines can be removed by highlighting the text, choosing Format from the Menu Bar and selecting Quote Level > Decrease. Use this command as many times as you need to until the quotation lines are gone.
The keystroke shortcut for this action is Option Command.

Format decrease colored lines in Apple Mail

Inserting Text With Quotation Lines

If you find that you need to paste text into an email as a quotation, you’ll find this command in the Menu Bar under Edit > Paste as Quotation.

Apple Mail Paste As Quotation

That’s it. If you’ve any questions, please leave a comment.

Have an awesome weekend.

And… Thanks to Tim whose comment inspired this post.

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