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How to Save and Use Messages as Templates in Mac OS X Mail

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Hardly anything is now that has not been before, and the wheel has probably been invented and re-invented many times over. Still, or exactly because of that, you need not re-invent a standard email every time.

Though Mac OS X Mail does not have a dedicated feature for creating and maintaining message templates, you can use drafts and some re-purposing of other commands quite nicely to this email efficiency end.

Save and Use Messages as Templates in Mac OS X Mail

To save a message as a template in Mac OS X Mail:

  • Create a new folder called "Templates" (or, of course, anything else that appeals to you more).
  • Create a new message.
  • Edit the message to contain anything you want in the the template.
    • You can edit and save the Subject and the message contents, of course, but also a recipient or the message priority.
  • Select File | Save as Draft from the menu.
  • Close the message editing window.
  • Go to the Drafts folder.
  • Move the message you just saved to the "Templates" folder.

To use a message template in Mac OS X Mail to create a new message:

  • Open the folder containing the desired message template.
  • Highlight the template you want to use for the new message.
  • Select Message | Send Again from the menu.
  • Edit and send the message.

You can also use any message you previously sent as a template by copying it to your "Templates" folder (or using Message | Send Again directly). To edit a template, create a new message using it, make the desired changes and the save the edited message as a template as described above while deleting the old template.

Save and Use Messages as Templates in Mac OS X Mail 1

In Mac OS X Mail 1.3 (Panther), you can use drafts as templates as well, albeit a bit differently.

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