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How to Send Formatted Emails from MailMate Using Markdown

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Emails in but plain text look good, and you can use asterisks (*) or maybe underlines (_) to hint at some formatting.

Emails using rich HTML formatting look good, too — as long as the recipient does not look at it as plain text.

The Markdown markup language combines some of the good from both: emails composed using Markdown formatting will look nice and legible in but plain text (with * and _ to add formatting, lists to sort things and headlines that stand out), but they will also look fancy and rich in HTML formatting (with italicization and other text styles applied automatically).

In MailMate, you can compose emails using Markdown formatting, of course. MailMate's support for the format also lets your receive emails using the markup language beautifully laid out, though, and you can get a preview of your message as it will look to the recipient whilst writing it.

Send Formatted Emails from MailMate Using Markdown

To apply text formatting to an email in MailMate:

  • Make sure Markdown is enabled for MailMate. (See below.)
  • In a new email message, make sure Markdown is shown in the message's toolbar (right above the area for the message's text).
    • If you see No markup in the toolbar in its stead:
      • Click No markup.
      • Select Markdown from the menu that comes up.
  • Compose your email using the Markdown syntax to apply formatting.
  • Click Send Message.

Get a Preview Your Markdown-Formatted Message

To see a preview of the message with its Markdown formatting applied in MailMate:

  • Select View | Layout | Show Preview from the menu while composing your message.
    • You can also press Command-Control-Option-P.
  • Make a change to see the preview updated.

Enable Markdown Support in MailMate

To set up MailMate so you can send emails with rich text formatting using the Markdown markup language:

  • Select MailMate | Preferences… from the menu (or press Command-,).
  • Go to the Composer tab.
  • Make sure Markup support is checked under Compose:.
  • Now make sure Enable Markdown is checked as well under For new messages:.
    • To make sure recipients whose email programs do display HTML-formatted messages (which will typically be the vast majority) can read your message formatted, do check Generate HTML body part as well.
      The plain text part of Markdown-formatted messages is easily legible, too.
  • Close the Composer preferences window.

(Updated December 2011)

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