Microsoft Exchange and Blackberry Server Specialists

Changing the Default Message Fonts

When you are creating new messages, or replying or forwarding messages that you have already received, you may want to change the font and colours to something other than the default. Perhaps to conform to a company standard or to be more individual. If this is the case, you can easily do this by following these simple instructions:

  1. Click Tools, Then Options.
  2. Choose the mail format tab.
  3. At the top, make sure that "use Word as your email editor" is NOT selected.
  4. In the middle (Under Stationary and Fonts) click on the "Fonts" button.
  5. You can now choose different fonts, sizes and colours.

Different Colours and Fonts for Different Message Types

If you want to use colours and fonts to highlight messages that you receive - for example messages from your manager, messages sent just to you etc, then use the Organise options:

  1. Simply press the Organise button on the taskbar or find it in the Tools menu.
  2. Then click on "Using Colours".
  3. Choose "Automatic Formatting" in the top right corner.

    Screenshot - Automatic Formatting for Outlook Messages

Notes on Changing Message Formats

  • Plain Text can be read by all email clients - whether that is a PC, laptop, handheld, mobile phone, web mail client or fridge. If you are unsure what the recipient is going to use to read your message, use plain Text.
  • If you want to change the format of a message "on the fly" (i.e. after you have started creating it) click "Format" when editing the message and choose "plain Text" from the list.
  • When you change the font for Plain Text, then that change is NOT seen at the other end, as the email is just plain text. It can make it easier on the eye when reading and writing messages.
  • In most cases "Rich Text" is ok as the formatting of rich text is carried with the message. Although think before you use an obscure font, size or colour. The recipient might not like your choice or have the font installed.
  • HTML messages are still being used, however increasingly some companies are blocking them or stripping the formatting off. Therefore as you also cannot guarantee what the recipient is using to read the messages or that the message might not look correct when received Plain or Rich text would be the better choice for external emails. For Internal messages or sending to people you know can see the message (perhaps because they send you HTML messages) HTML is fine.

Changing the Appearance of Messages in the Preview Pane

If you want to just change the appearance of messages in the preview pane, so that they can be read easier or because you prefer a different font, then you can just modify the "view":

  1. In the main Outlook window, choose "View" then "Current View".
  2. Select messages if not already chosen.
  3. From the same "View", "Current View" menu, select "Customise Current View".
  4. Choose "Other Settings" to change the font and colours.