How to Indent Text or Decrease Quote Level in iPhone Mail

Make your conversations easier to follow

What to Know

  • Tap the arrow at the bottom of an iPhone email and select Forward. Fill in the recipient's name and add a message, if needed.
  • Double-click a word in a line or section and drag the handles to expand the selection.
  • Tap the arrow in the pop-up menu and choose Quote Level followed by Increase to indent the text or Decrease to remove a quote level.

This article explains how to increase or decrease the quote levels in an email you are forwarding in the iPhone Mail app. It includes information on how to add an indent manually in a new outgoing mail. Instructions in this article apply to iPhones with iOS 14, iOS 13, iOS 12, or iOS 11.

Indent or Decrease Indent Text in Forwarded iPhone Email

Email threads can become lengthy and hard to read when multiple recipients are involved. iPhone Mail solves this problem by offsetting and colorizing quoted text so that recipients can differentiate new text from old and one sender from another.

The most recent remark in an email thread is 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. In replies to emails, delete unneeded portions of the email for clarity. When you forward an email message, you can change the quote (and indent) level of the text 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 arrow at the bottom of the screen.

  2. Select Forward in the menu that appears.

  3. Add the recipient's email address and type a message to explain the forward, if desired.

    iOS Mail showing Forward button, Forward confirmation and Send button
  4. Double-click a word in the line or section for which you want to change the quotations level. Drag the handles to expand the selection box over the lines you want to alter.

  5. Tap the arrow in the pop-up menu bar above the selected text to expand the options and then tap Quote Level.

  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.

    Floating menu bar in iOS Mail app
  7. Tap Decrease repeatedly to remove the quotation levels. The chosen text aligns along the left margin and is colored black.

  8. Tap Send to forward the email.

Add Quotation Levels Manually in New Mail

The Mail app adds the quotation levels automatically as emails are exchanged in a thread.

To apply quotation levels manually in a new outgoing email you are composing, select the text you want to apply a quotation level to and choose Quote Level > Increase (or Decrease) from the pop-up menu, the same as you do when changing levels in a forwarded email.

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