How to Use Tables and Lists in Mac OS X Mail

Email formatting isn't confined to the Mail application

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From the table right into a table—in macOS Mail. StockUnlimited
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Making text bold or changing its alignment and color is a snap in Mac OS X Mail, and inserting an image is as easy as dragging and dropping it in the desired location when you compose a message. But what about other text formatting essentials like bulleted lists and tables? In Mac OS X Mail, you can only easily change the text formatting, but with the help of TextEdit, additional tools for your email formatting arsenal are only a click or two away.

Use Tables in MacOS Mail or Mac OS X Mail

To use tables and lists 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 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 Bullets and Numbering drop-down menu in the formatting toolbar and select the desired list type.
  5. To create a table, select Format > Table… from the menu bar.
  6. Enter the number of cells and rows you want in the table. Select an alignment and specify the cell border and background, if any. Type the text into the cells of the table. 
  7. Highlight the list or table you want to use in your email with the mouse.
  8. Press Command + C to copy the table.
  9. Switch to Mail.
  10. In the new email, position the cursor where you want to insert the list or table.
  11. Press Command + V to paste the table into the email.
  1. Continue editing your message in Mail.

Use Lists in MacOS Mail or Mac OS X Mail

You don't have to use TextEdit to format a list in Mail. To insert a list directly in email using macOS Mail, select Format > Lists from the Mail menu while composing an email, and select either Insert Bulleted List or Insert Numbered List on the menu that appears.

Be Aware of Plain Text Recipients

Be aware 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 and tables, this plain text alternative may be difficult to read.