Use Italics in Plain Text Email Messages

Italics are the preferred way of highlighting text in many respects. Italicized text is not as literally outstanding as bold-face text, but this is at the same time its biggest advantage. With italics used for emphasis, the text can still be read fluently, but it can also be skimmed quickly for key words and concepts.

Of course, italic letters are bit more difficult to read than normal text and not suited for long passages.

But with plain text email, we cannot even put one word in italics, or can we? No, plain text email knows but one font type. Mimicking italic text for some emphasis is possible, though.

To use italics in plain text email messages:

  • Put a slash character before and after the /italicized passage/.

Alternatively, you can also use a kind of bold face or mimic underlining text in plain text emails.