How to Use Bold Face in Plain Text Email Messages

On the internet, they tell us, people do not read, they scan and skim and sloppily scour text for bullet points, lists, headlines — and bold face.

Are Emails Read Like a Glass of Wine is Drunken?

Whether this is true for email or whether messages are diligently read in solitude and quietude, enjoyed like a glass of wine or a good book, emphasizing rarely hurts and often helps. If you can make parts of your email stand out, that helps the reader detect the important facts when they get back to it to find just the important data, for example.

Unfortunately, plain text email knows no Bold button. You have just one font, one size, and one color. Still, you can make text stand out nicely.

Use Bold Face in Plain Text Email Messages

To use boldface in plain text email messages:

  • Use asterisks at the beginning and at the end of *the passage you want to put in boldface*.

Some email clients will even use a bold face to display such passages.

Alternatively, you can also underline text in plain text emails or use italics.