How to Indent Text or Decrease Quote Level in iPhone Mail

Make your conversations easier to follow

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Email is all about dialog; it's essentially an electronic conversation. These exchanges often become lengthy, and following who said what becomes difficult.

iPhone Mail solves this problem by offsetting and colorizing quoted text so recipients can differentiate new text from old and one sender from another.

The most recent remark in an email thread is usually colored black. After that, the text entries from the email participants appear in different colors.

The degree to which the text is offset is referred to as the quote level. It indicates the text's position in the email thread. The greater the indent, the farther back in the conversation the indented text appeared (similar to the hierarchy of an outline).

Instructions in this article apply to iPhones running iOS 12 or iOS 11.

Indent or Decrease Indent Text in Forwarded iPhone Email

When you forward an email, the indentations and color changes can be difficult to read and follow. In responses, you can delete unneeded portions of the email for clarity, but when you are forwarding the email, you can also change the quotation (and indent) level of the text in the iPhone Mail app with a few taps. To increase or decrease the level of quotation for selected text in a forwarded email:

  1. Open the email you plan to forward and tap the Forward arrow at the bottom of the screen.

  2. Select Forward in the menu that appears.

  3. Add an additional message to explain the forward, if desired.

    Forward button, Forward confirmation, Send button in iOS Mail
  4. Position the text cursor in the line or section for which you want to change the quotation level. Use the "handles" to expand the selection box over the lines you want to alter.

  5. Tap Quote Level in the menu that appears. You may have to tap the arrow first to locate it on the menu.

  6. Tap either Decrease or Increase to change the quotation level of the section you highlighted.

    Tap Decrease to remove a level of indentation. Tap Increase to add a level of indentation.

    Right arrow, Quote Level, Increase/Decrease buttons in iOS
  7. Tap Decrease repeatedly to remove all the quotation levels. The chosen text then aligns along the left margin and is colored black.

Adding Quotation Levels Manually

Apple's Mail app adds the quotation levels automatically as emails are exchanged in a thread.

You can also apply quotation levels manually in any new outgoing email you are composing by selecting the text you want to apply a quotation to and choosing Quote Level from the pop-up menu, just as you do when changing levels in a forwarded email.