20 July 2008 ~ 2 Comments

Apple Mail 3.0 – Signature & Font Issues

I love Apple Mail 3.0 or Leopard Mail as it’s also widely referred by this name. I feel liberated from the dungeons of MS Entourage environment. With the power of ICal and Address Book by its side, Mail 3.0 is a real force, empowering you to achieve so much more. Having said that, it may come as a surprise what I’m about to write are the 2 most weirdest errors/issues I have ever encountered in a mail program and it really made me have sleepless nights until I solved the problems. The good news is there is a solution! But first let me write down the issues:


I like arial as a standard email font. I think it is widely recognized as a standard in corporate email exchange. So you would go to your “Preferences” and make “Message Font” to Arial. Sounds simple! Now, create New Message and type in any message and send it to any email account you can access on MS Outlook. You will be surprised that message body text will be in “Times New Roman”. Select any font in “Preferences > Fonts & Colors” but at the other end, the font you will see is “Times New Roman”. One solution to this problem is to select any font other than Arial in “Pref > F & C” panel and when you are writing an email, manually select the text and make it Arial. This works! Another solution to this problem is to create a simple Signature from “Pref > Signatures” and leave 1 or 2 lines above your actual text and make the signature in Arial (i.e. open Fonts and Colors panel, select all and make the font Arial). So now when you are writing a New Message, the first line would be whatever font you have selected in “Pref > F & C”, the second would be Arial. Note: Keep the Fonts panel open to see the font change from top line to signature-based line. This serves the purpose for people who would be using the standard text based signature. I’m not one of them, so I had one other problem to take care of before resting. I learnt about the solutions and some other issues from this Discussion on Apple support site.


I switched from Windows/Outlook to Mac/Entourge, therefore it wouldn’t come as a surprise that I’m used to HTML based signatures. I really loved the control I had over my signatures. I was amazed to see lack of signature-friendly features in Mail. Apple, please realize, we mare mortals like to fancy HTML/colored/logo-rich signatures. Just call it, keeping in sync with our window-outlook-using-colleagues. But rest assured there is a solution, though quite a tedious one. Already people have written great stuff on it like All Forces, Paradigm Reborn and Gathering in Light. I’ll summerize the method.

  • Create HTML signature in your fav. program, delete all irrelevant code just keep <table>…</table> or <div> .. </div> as your prefer.Usual code to delete Html, Head, body etc. tags.
  • Call all images from relative paths, Mail doesn’t support EMBED feature
  • Create a fake signature using Mail > Preferences > Signatures.
  • The location if this signature is ~/Library/Mail/Signatures/C0D…E67.webarchive
  • In Safari Browser, open the signature html file you’ve created and “Save As” webarchive
  • Replace your webarchive file with the original signature retaining later’s file name something like CoD…E67.webarchive
  • Restart Mail and associate the signature with the email account you want to associate it with
  • Enjoy!

The signature I’m using is resolving both my Font and Signature issues. I’ve written “Regards” in the start of my signature in Arial font and whenever I have to write a message, I start writing replacing it. Issue resolved but I would really like folks at Apple to realize this as an issue and do something simpler for us. As I reference I’m placing my Signature file on the web for reference.

2 Responses to “Apple Mail 3.0 – Signature & Font Issues”

  1. tiktokman 16 August 2008 at 5:42 pm Permalink

    How do I import/export my Entourage signatures into Apple Mail Leopard version?

  2. Google Chrome Wallpapers 17 May 2009 at 9:53 am Permalink

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

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