How to Add Rich Formatting to Text in iPhone Mail

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

  • In the iPhone Mail app, tap the new email icon. Enter the recipient, subject, and message as usual.
  • Highlight text for formatting and tap the arrow on the floating toolbar that appears to expand the options.
  • Tap BIU to show the Bold, Italic, and Underline options. Tap blank area of email to apply and save formatting.

This article explains how to add rich text formatting to emails in the iPhone Mail app. Rich text formatting is available in iOS 5 and up.

How to Add Rich Text in iPhone Mail

Plain-text email doesn't always clearly convey what you want to say. Like all forms of electronic communication, it lacks the nuance of face-to-face conversation. One way to add more expression to your iPhone mail messages is to use rich text.

To change the look of text in a message:

  1. Open the Mail app on your iPhone.

  2. Tap the new email icon at the bottom of the screen to open a New Message screen. Enter the recipient, subject, and message as you usually do.

    iPhone Mail app showing the New Message screen
  3. Select the text that you want to apply rich text formatting to. Either double-tap a word or tap and drag the text handles to expand your selection.

  4. Tap the arrow at the right side of the toolbar that appears above the selection to see additional options.

  5. Tap BIU to expand it to show the Bold, Italic, and Underline options. Tap the option you want to use on the selected text. Tap any blank area of the email to save the formatting and close the formatting bar.

    iPhone Mail app showing selected text and the rich text formatting bar
  6. Repeat the process for any additional formatting you want to make in the email.

    iPhone Mail message showing rich-text formatting

What's Rich Text?

Unlike plain-text formatting, rich text enhances email messages by bolding, italicizing, or underlining words you want to emphasize. Rich text messages are a step between plain text and HTML. Some email programs don't support HTML emails, so using rich text offers a compromise. Plus, it's straightforward to use on a mobile device such as the iPhone.

Was this page helpful?