Mac OS X: Quoting Selected Text in Mail

| TMO Quick Tip

Have you ever wanted to quote only a small part of an e-mail when you replied to it? With Apple Mail, it’s very easy to set this up, and afterward, you’ll have complete control over how much of the original message you include with your reply.

First, go to Mail > Preferences to check that this feature is already enabled. It’s on the “Composing” tab, under “Responding” (at the very bottom of the window). You’ll want to make sure “Include selected text, if any; otherwise, include all text” is toggled on.

Once you’ve done that, go back to your inbox and choose a message you want to reply to. Select as much text as you’d like to quote before hitting “Reply,” and you’ll note that only the part you highlighted is included in your response. Neat-o!


This is an easy way to send along parts of those forwards you get from your grandparents, if you must.

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The only problem with this is that the default is set to quote the entire message if you don’t select any specific text. More useful would be to have no text quoted as default, and selected text quoted only if selected…. any idea how to set this?

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