How to Add Rich Formatting to Text in iPhone Mail

Bold, italic, and underlined text emphasize important parts of your email

E-mail application on iPhone 6S Screen

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Plain-text email doesn't always convey clearly what you're trying to say — largely because, like all forms of electronic communication, it lacks the nuance of face-to-face conversation. One way to add a little more expression to your message: Use rich text.

What's Rich Text?

Unlike plain-text formatting, rich text enhances your message by bolding, italicizing, and underlining words you'd like to emphasize.

Rich-text messages are a step between plain text and HTML. Some email programs do not support HTML messaging — they display the raw HTML instead of the cleanly formatted message. Using rich text offers a compromise, plus it's straightforward to use on a mobile device.

Using Rich Text

An iPad with the Mail app open, composing a new message.

To change the look of text in your message, select the text. A toolbar will appear, from which you can select B (bold), I (italics), U (underline), and various other formats to apply to your selected text.

The iOS Mail app for both iPhone and iPad works the same way. You'll see a B/I/U shortcut on the predictive-typing keyboard, or appear as an option when you select text. Your iPhone may hide the shortcut behind the More option on the floating toolbar.