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Format Email

How to Format Email in Outlook 2019 EN (delete)

You can format text in your emails to use different font styles, colors, sizes, and more.

Change Message Format

Outlook has three different message formats that you can use for different situations.

  1. Create a new message—or reply to or forward a message—to display the message window.
  2. From the message window, click the Format Text tab.
  3. Choose a message format.
    Format Email

    This table explains the three message formats in more detail:

    Format Works On Formatting Description
    HTML Most Devices Yes Allows formatting and works with most software. This is the default and recommended format.
    Plain Text All Devices No Works on all devices but does not allow any formatting.
    Rich Text Outlook Yes Outlook's proprietary message format. Allows for complex formatting but only works if the sender and recipients are in an organization that is using Microsoft Exchange.

    HTML (the default) is usually your best option, as it allows formatting and works on most software.

    You can also change message formats when you reply to or forward an email. For example, you can change a Plain Text email to an HTML email.

Change Font

One way to emphasize text in an email is by changing its font type. A font type is a set of characters with the same design and shape.

  1. Create a new message—or reply to or forward a message—to display the message window.
  2. Select the text you want to change.
  3. Click the Font list arrow on the Format Text tab.

    The font menu appears.

    When text is selected, you can also click the Font list arrow on the Mini Toolbar.

  4. Select a new font.
    Format Email
Font Type Examples Description
Serif Times New Roman, Garamond, Cambria, Georgia, Palatino Serifs are small details at the ends of some letter strokes, meant to improve legibility. Suitable for both heading and body text.
Sans Serif Arial, Calibri, Helvetica, Verdana, Trebuchet MS Sans serif fonts lack the small details at ends of letter strokes, leading to a plainer look. Suitable for both heading and body text.
Script Brush Script, Zapfino, Lucida Handwriting These fonts are meant to mimic handwriting, either calligraphic or casual. Useful in very specific designs, but not suitable for body text or most headings.
Monospace Courier New, Consolas, American Typewriter All letters and symbols have the exact same width. Useful when displaying computer code, or when precise horizontal alignment between lines is important.

Change Font Size

You can also change the font size of text in an email to make it larger or smaller.

  1. Select the text you want to change from the message window.
  2. Click the Font Size list arrow on the Format Text tab.

    The font size menu appears.

    You can also click the Size list arrow on the Mini Toolbar.

  3. Select a font size.
    Format Email

Click the Increase Font Size () or Decrease Font Size () buttons to increase or decrease by one increment at a time.

Font size is measured in points (pt.) that are 1/72 of an inch. The larger the number of points, the larger the font.

Change Font Color

Changing font color can make certain text stand out more or comply with organizational brand standards.

  1. Select the text you want to change from the message window.
  2. Click the Font Color list arrow on the Format Text tab.

    The font color menu appears.

  3. Select a new color.
    Format Email

Font Styles and Text Effects

In addition to changing font type, size, and color, you can also emphasize the text in an email by changing the font style and adding font effects, such as bold, italic, underline, shadow, and strikethrough.

  1. Select the text you want to format from the message window.
  2. Select a font style or text effect.
    • To bold, Ctrl + B.
    • To italicize, Ctrl + I.
    • To underline, Ctrl + U.
      Format Email

Remove Message Formatting

You can easily remove all formatting from text in a message.

  1. With text selected, click the Clear All Formatting button on the ribbon.
    Format Email

The formatting is removed.

The Clear All Formatting button can be found on the Message tab or Format Text tab of the ribbon.

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