How to Insert an Image Inline in a Message with Mac OS X Mail

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Polaroid - Ipiñarrieta - Urretxu. ©Gonzalo Iza; CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license

I think I can tell you right away. Inserting an image inline in a message with Mac OS X Mail is not difficult. It could, in fact, hardly be any easier: just drag and drop it to the desired location.

Of course, sending is not hard either: click Send. Now, making sure the recipient also sees the image where you intend it to be… but no, that's not difficult either. It's good to know what you have to keep in mind, though.

Insert an Image Inline in a Message with Mac OS X Mail

To send a picture or graphic inline in an email with Mac OS X Mail:

  • Make sure the message you compose uses rich text formatting.
    • Select Format from the menu and choose Make Rich Text if available.
  • Drag and drop the desired image from a Finder window to the desired place in the message.
    • Alternatively, position the cursor where you want the image to appear and select File | Attach File... to insert the image.
    • In Mac OS X Mail 3 and later, you can also click Photo Browser in the message's toolbar and select from your iPhoto, Photos, and Photo Booth collections.​
      • If the photo browser does not show, try showing the stationery pane by clicking the stationery button in the message's toolbar as well.
  • Make sure you use any kind of text formatting in the message. It's enough to explicitly assign black to some text by selecting Format | Show Colors from the menu.