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For most everyday Email you are most likely just going to either create a message from scratch or reply to an Email which we will talk about shortly then type out your message and send it off. Entourage does give you the option of formatting your text in terms of changing fonts, size, colors, alignment and just about every basic thing that you can do to format text in a regular word processing program. Let me say right off the bat that I recommend against formatting your Emails. First of all and most importantly when you format the text in your Email you are applying HTML formatting. HTML is the language of web pages but HTML Emails can also be read by HTML capable Email programs.
But even today the look of HTML Emails is still fairly unpredictable especially when you do things like selecting different fonts and aligning text. You have probably gotten some Emails in the past where the text is all misaligned or the images are in strange places. Now most modern Email programs like Entourage and Apple Mail are getting much better at sending and receiving HTML Emails but it's still not a perfected form of emailing people. So unless you know for certain which Email program your recipients are using you want to stick to plain old unformatted Email messages especially in business communications.
No one is really interested in seeing your Emails formatted in bright colors or exotic fonts or to receive an attachment of your scanned handwritten signature with every Email you send; mostly people just want to read your Email, respond to it if necessary and move on. HTML Email is also considered a security risk by some Email filters because it's possible to embed commands in HTML Emails to expose the recipient to viruses and worms. Not so much on the Mac since there really are no Mac viruses in the wild as I record this but sending an HTML Email to Windows users could get your Email flagged and possibly sent into a junk mail folder.
So again my suggestion is to ignore this formatting toolbar that you see here unless you know that your Email recipients are using Entourage or Outlook and you can be certain of what their Emails will look like when they receive them. So I suggest clicking this button here which turns off HTML Email, it's going to tell me that it's going to remove all formatting I will just say yes it's fine or better yet go to Entourage Preferences and set this up so all your Emails are like this. Go to your Mail and News Preferences to the Compose area, uncheck show HTML formatting toolbar and just say that you want your default mail format to be plain text, click OK and you can see the formatting toolbar is gone.
Now one problem with this is that this makes your text as ugly sort of monospaced font here. You can still setup Entourage to display your Emails that you are writing in a nicer looking font so it's easier on the eyes, just go back to Preferences, go to Fonts and then for Plain text messages which are fixed with you can choose a different font. So just to show you that you can choose any font that you want, I will pick something a little out of the ordinary here just Apple Chancery for example even though you probably should not use that. Notice that does not change any existing text but if I were to create a new mail message at this point and start typing some text you can see that that's the font that that text appears in.
But obviously I do not want that so let's discard that, go to Preferences and I am just going to pick something standard like the Arial font for that. So now any new mail messages that I type will be in Arial. So that sort of font is going to be a little bit easier on the eyes than this font that you see here. Now I don't mean to go off on a rant about HTML Email but it's really something that too many people want to do for no particularly good reason. With Email messages the operative word is message and there is normally very little need to dress up your text in any kind of formatting that can't be communicated with quotation marks, underscores or capital letters.
So, for the most part, just forget that formatting toolbar and compose all of your Emails in plain text.
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