Mobile Phones iPhone & iOS How to Add Rich Formatting to Text in iPhone Mail Bold, italic, and underlined text emphasize important parts of your email By Heinz Tschabitscher Writer A former freelance contributor who has reviewed hundreds of email programs and services since 1997. our editorial process Heinz Tschabitscher Updated November 27, 2019 cnythzl / Getty Images iPhone & iOS Switching from Android Tweet Share Email Plain-text email doesn't always convey clearly what you're trying 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. Rich-text formatting has been available in iOS since iOS 5 was released in 2011. What's Rich Text? Unlike plain-text formatting, rich text enhances email messages by bolding, italicizing, and underlining words you want to emphasize. Rich-text messages are a step between plain text and HTML. Some email programs do not support HTML messages; 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. How to Use Rich Text To change the look of text in a message: Select the text. Either tap or tap and drag the text to highlight it. In the toolbar that appears, select either B (bold), I (italics), U (underline), or another format to apply to the selected text. The iOS Mail app for both iPhone and iPad works the same way. A B/I/U shortcut appears on the predictive-typing keyboard, or as an option when text is selected. The iPhone may hide the shortcut behind the More option on the floating toolbar.