How to Use Tables and Lists in Mac OS X Mail

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From the table right into a table—in macOS Mail. StockUnlimited

Making text bold or changing its alignment and color is a snap in Mac OS X Mail, and inserting images is as easy as dragging it to and dropping it at the desired location when you compose a message.

But what about other text formatting essentials? What about bulleted lists and tables, for example? In Mac OS X Mail itself, you can only easily change the text formatting. But with the help of TextEdit, adding more tools to the message formatting arsenal is but a Command-Tab away.

Use Tables in macOS Mail (Mac OS X Mail)

To use tables and lists for laying in messages created with Mac OS X Mail:

  1. Create a new message in Mac OS X Mail.
  2. Launch TextEdit.
  3. In TextEdit, make sure the current document's mode is set to rich text.
    • Select Format | Make Rich Text from the menu if you cannot see a formatting toolbar.
  4. To create a list, click the Lists drop down-menu in the formatting toolbar and select the desired list type.
  5. To create a table, select Format | Table… (or Format | Text | Table…) from the menu to insert a table of the desired dimensions.
  6. Highlight the list or table you want to use in your email with the mouse.
  7. Press Command-C.
  8. Switch to Mail.
  9. In the new message, position the cursor where you want to insert the list or table.
  10. Press Command-V.
  11. Continue editing your message in Mail.

Use Lists in macOS Mail (Mac OS X Mail)

To insert lists in emails using macOS Mail:

  1. Select Format | Lists from the menu while composing an email, followed by the desired list type you want to insert.

    Copy from an HTML Editor or the Web

    For even more advanced formatting, you can create the desired parts in an HTML editor such as Macromedia Dreamweaver and copy from there or even copy parts of a web page and paste them in new messages in Mac OS X Mail.

    Be Aware of Plain Text Recipients

    Be aware, though, that Mac OS X Mail creates a text-only alternative for each message (to be viewed by recipients who cannot or prefer not to see HTML formatting in emails).

    For lists, tables and other advanced formatting, this plain text alternative may be difficult to read.