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10.4: Use Safari to create rich (HTML) messages in Mail Web Browsers
Here's how you can use Safari to easily create a rich (HTML) email to be sent via Apple's Mail app. First, open the HTML email that you'd like to send via Mail in Safari, using the File -> Open menu item. Type Command-I, the shortcut for File -> Mail Contents of this Pages. You'll then see the HTML document recreated as a new composition in Mail. Add your recipient(s) to the composition, click Send, and you're done.

Notes:
  • No attachments (jpg, gif, png, etc.) will be included in this rich mail. Any attachment will be pulled from the server where it originated.
  • Though technologies such as QuickTime, Flash, and JavaScript may have limited support in Mail, be advised that many email clients offer no support for these types of media at all.
  • The title of the web page will automatically be set as the subject of your rich mail.
[robg adds: This is a much simpler method than the pre-10.4 solution posted here previously. Also, this hint explains how to create HTML-formatted signatures for Mail. Let the 'plain text vs. HTML formatted email' comment war begin!]
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10.4: Use Safari to create rich (HTML) messages in Mail | 13 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: Use Safari to create rich (HTML) messages in Mail
Authored by: CBStephenson on Jul 28, '06 10:05:47AM

Rob wrote: Let the 'plain text vs. HTML formatted email' comment war begin!

OK, I'll start. Plain text is to communicate. Pictures and formatted documents are best put in attachments so people can choose whether to see them.

HTML email is for spam.



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10.4: Use Safari to create rich (HTML) messages in Mail
Authored by: RussellK on Jul 28, '06 11:13:35AM
I want to weigh in too! Playing down to the "lowest common denominator" of email readers that can't display HTML is putting a very short leash on one's ability to communicate most effectively using all the available means. The best way to go is complex HTML emails with alternative text that appears for plain-text readers (perhaps telling them to visit a given URL to see the real message). That way, they still get your message AND you get to subtly remind them that they're still in the dark ages of email.

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10.4: Use Safari to create rich (HTML) messages in Mail
Authored by: boredzo on Jul 28, '06 12:38:10PM

A URL to see the actual message?

I'd consider that spam automatically.



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10.4: Use Safari to create rich (HTML) messages in Mail
Authored by: Trezzer on Jul 30, '06 09:58:37AM

Personally I have a script that checks email for html and whether the only item is a .doc file. If either is the case the email is promptly deleted without ever being read. I know lots of people with the same setup.

HTML has no place in emails. There's no reason to add several K of HTML to a text message of a few K. It can easily be blot of several hundred percent. Now that may not matter much to you, but with the amount of mail I get it does matter - even on broadband.



---
Trezzer
- AmigaOS and OS X all the way, baby



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Why go through Safari?
Authored by: boredzo on Jul 28, '06 12:42:01PM

I don't get it. What's wrong with the Format→Make Rich Text command?



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10.4: Use Safari to create rich (HTML) messages in Mail
Authored by: styrafome on Jul 28, '06 02:13:25PM

OK, I'll start. Plain text is to communicate. Pictures and formatted documents are best put in attachments so people can choose whether to see them.

Spoken like a true single-channel communicator. Wasn't the whole point of the Mac to get away from text-only computer interfaces? Pictures, sound, and motion are all 100% equally valid means of communication. I don't mind receiving them in e-mail...from trusted sources.

In Apple Mail, I have image display suppressed by default so as not to enable web-tracking images by default. Combined with the Show Images button in Apple Mail, I feel I have a good balance between anti-spam-tracking and yet allowing the richness of multiple forms of communication from trusted sources.

Heck, I don't even see 99% of my spam, thanks to my ISP filtering and Junk filtering in Apple Mail.

Sorry to hear your communications solution isn't fully optimized.



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10.4: Use Safari to create rich (HTML) messages in Mail
Authored by: Mikey-San on Jul 28, '06 11:42:21PM

What does being a Mac user have to do with anything? That's some arrogant junk right there.

You have failed to assess the needs and potential downfalls of communication via e-mail. Your goal in a letter is not to WOW people with your AWESOME HTML SKILLS; the point is to send a short letter to someone to communicate some information. All anyone cares about is the text.

This isn't your blog that I visit voluntarily, it's my e-mail client. I didn't ask to get your 20-KB HTML e-mail, now did I? Stop filling up my hard drive with your crappy markup. If you actually need some light formatting, like the bold text I used here, we have RTF for that. It's not as light as text, but it's much lighter than HTML, and more compatible across e-mail clients and platforms.

Rendering HTML mail is mountains and mountains slower than plain text or RTF data. It's also a solid order of magnitude more data over plain text, for no gain at all.

Are you designing Web pages here? Are you using e-mail to show off your HOT DESIGN SKILLZ? No. This is just e-mail. It's a short letter. There's no reason to bloat it up with crap I DO NOT NEED. I don't want to wade through your idea of "good design" just to get the sentence that says you uploaded the art assets to the FTP server. Just tell me you uploaded the art assets and click send.

Seriously, text. That's all you need in a letter to someone else.

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10.4: Use Safari to create rich (HTML) messages in Mail
Authored by: jedik on Jul 28, '06 04:26:20PM
I would not call it create HTML messages, but send HTML messages. If I understood it correctly, the message must be ready and saved in a HTML file for the hint to work, or I missed something?

---
:: Jedi Knight ::
-- Mac Rules! --

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10.4: Use Safari to create rich (HTML) messages in Mail
Authored by: dr_clive on Jul 29, '06 02:20:37PM

No, you're not missing anything. I read the item expecting to find out how to "Use Safari to create rich (HTML) messages in Mail". A case of miscaptioning. You can't.



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10.4: Use Safari to create rich (HTML) messages in Mail
Authored by: snuff on Jul 30, '06 12:44:23PM

Consider it "old-school" if you must, but e-mail - that is, data sent over the internet using the SMTP protocol - should be plain text. Heck, you shouldn't even send attachments (technically). The problem here is that there is no standard for sending HTML in an e-mail, nor is there one for sending RTF for that matter. SMTP - the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol - is just that, simple. Trying to use HTML makes it not so simple, and causes inconsistencies.

I get plenty of messages where people have included HTML content only to discover that it doesn't display the same way for me that it does for other mail clients. (I use Mail.app, and web-based clients for other accounts.) When you're composing a message using HTML it looks good to you, but your recipient(s) may not be running the same client and the HTML could be parsed differently for them, causing the message to display differently.

The likelihood that HTML in an e-mail message may be spam also exists, causing the message to be treated with a higher level of scrutiny by anti-spam/virus scanners, and making it less likely to make it through to the recipient.

The technology is evolving too fast, and there is no standard to keep everyone in check. HTML in messages is cool, its flashy, and I sometimes use it myself for newsletters, albeit rarely. But when I do, I also provide a plain text version in the same e-mail so that people "living in the past" that don't have HTML aware clients can read it as well. Here is an example of a message that will display correctly to everyone, but it doesn't mean that I personally condone the use of HTML in SMTP:


From: The Sender <nothing.to.see@here.tld>
Subject: Some subject
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="dDRMvlgZJXvWKvBx"
To: The Recipient <you@there.tld>


--dDRMvlgZJXvWKvBx
Content-Type: text/plain

Because your mail client only displays, or because you have it set to only display plain text, this is the content you would see. The next line is the indicator that HTML is starting, and those clients wouldn't see this.

You can any HTML in the following, but know the risks and the limits, not all HTML-enabled mail clients are the same.

--dDRMvlgZJXvWKvBx
Content-Type: text/html;
charset=UTF-8

<html>
<head>
<title>no title</title>
</head>

<body>

<P>Because your mail client displays HTML, this is the content you would see. you would not see the plain section above.

You can any HTML in this section, but know the risks and the limits, not all HTML-enabled mail clients are the same.</P>

</body>
</html>

--dDRMvlgZJXvWKvBx--



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10.4: Use Safari to create rich (HTML) messages in Mail
Authored by: chyna4xena on Jul 31, '06 06:12:17PM
The spam issue is completely irrelevant to HTML e-mail. Those people who use "is it HTML?" as their spam filter will be subjecting themselves to an insane level of false positives and false negatives. There are many tools out there that actually determine whether e-mail in any format is spam or not - use one of them instead, since they actually do the job properly.

The notion that e-mail is ONLY to be used for short, plain messages is ridiculous - why on Earth wouldn't people try and use it for other things? I shudder to think what the web would be like if someone had instituted a "rule" that HTML 1.0 was it and that there'd never be any improvement! Thank goodness we weren't short-sighted when it came to HTML and HTTP, as some here want us to be about SMTP.

People can scream all they want that plain text is more effective at communication, that is just rubbish. I sent my friend's young daughter an HTML e-mail that played an mp3 of my office co-workers and I singing "Happy Birthday" to her automatically when it loaded. She loved it! Much better than a plain text - "Hi, my colleagues and I are singing Happy Birthday to you right now."

Was that "HOT DESIGN SKILLZ" ? No, it was the best way to communicate in that situation. Why is it so difficult for some to appreciate that plain text is NOT always the best way to communicate?

You can keep your plain-text-only e-mails (and your Lynx, and your monochrome screens, and your silent films, and your dot-matrix printers, and your Windows 3.1) because the rest of us have refused to wear blinkers, and discovered other great ways to communicate. If you don't want to use these new ways, that's fine, just don't go around telling us that we're "wrong" for using them ourselves.

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10.4: Use Safari to create rich (HTML) messages in Mail
Authored by: FenrisUlf on Aug 01, '06 01:00:46AM

I'd tend to agree. Though I staunchly send only plaintext out (even converting HTML to plaintext if I reply), I can't imagine why there's so much fuss with people using HTML messages. Granted, they can be annoying to us text-only folks, but other than that (and the inability to blanket HTML mail as spam), there's really no harm... at least not to me. But I'm still oldschool about how I format and send out my email... because I don't want it encumbered by weird additions that might make at least some of the recipients of my mail irritated. :)

I'd prefer plaintext, to be sure, but I'm not opposed to someone sending me an HTML message. (Thank goodness for modern clients, eh?)

(though all the people who use Outlook Express as their newsreader sure do make a mess of Usenet....)

I'd much rather watch the flamewar between VI and EMACs. ;)

---
Who are you that walk across the graves of giants at this late hour?



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10.4: Use Safari to create rich (HTML) messages in Mail
Authored by: chyna4xena on Aug 01, '06 04:40:47PM

I must have been exasperated; that last paragraph of mine was a bit full-on. I meant to make it clear that I use plain text a lot, too - it frequently is the best format for a particular piece of communcation. I was attempting only to decry the notion that it should be the only format considered, and that HTML can never be used. My apologies for getting so heated.



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