I’m in Amsterdam this week and have been out having fun shooting. I wanted to send a few photos to family members who are not on Facebook. It got me thinking about email and how dull it can look.
Let’s face it, if you love photography, you’re an artist at heart! So, why not express it when you write your emails? Here are some tips on how to play with fonts and create an original signature in Mac Mail on your computer. (With apologies to my PC readers… You may be able to do this, too, but I don’t know how… I hope you can figure it out from these tips!)
Discovering the Font Editor
Did you know that you can bring up a font editor in Mac Mail by just clicking on Command and t (think FonT) together? A window opens with a choice of fonts and colors.
The first thing I do is to click on the Settings button (it’s at the bottom and has a * on it.) to Show Previews. This will extend the top of the Editor window and show you an example of the fonts as you browse through them. This really simplifies your search for the perfect font!
When you find one you like, click on the Settings button again and choose Add to Favorites. To find the fonts you’ve saved as a favorite, go to the far left column (Collection) and choose Favorites. If you choose a font that is very tall, you may need to add a blank line above and below, to allow all of it to display. I like Before the Rain, but it definitely requires those extra blank lines.
If you have loaded fonts onto your computer that do not appear, click on the Settings button and choose Manage Fonts. The Font Book window will open. Selecting All Fonts will display your missing fonts.
When you first open the Font Editor, you will be presented with a list of sizes to choose from. It’s much easier to work with a slider, so click on the Settings button and choosing Edit Sizes. In the window that pops up, be sure that Fixed List is unchecked and Adjustable Slider is checked. Click Done. Now, when you use the size slider to choose a size, the Preview will update in real time.
There are two ways to choose your font color. You can click on the Settings button and choose Color. Or, you can just click on the color button under the Preview, which is half as many clicks. Both approaches will open the Color Editor. There are five color picker options. You can have fun exploring each one by clicking on the different buttons. Here’s another way to pick, though. Do you have a favorite color you’d like to copy? Click on the magnifying glass button towards the top. Now you can sample that color. It can even be from a photo stored somewhere else on your computer. Just navigate to the color and hover over it. You’ll see it appear in the magnifying glass. When the color you want appears, just click on it.
Head back down to the Settings button to select Characters. You can find hearts, smiley faces and puppies galore. Be sure to explore the other options available, too, including letters with accent marks.
Creating and Saving a Signature
You can use your new and beautiful fonts in the body of your email. But, why not create a unique signature or two and save them? (At last count, I have saved eleven!) Here’s how to do that.
To the right of the From box on your email composer in Mac Mail, you’ll see the Signature box. If it isn’t there, click on the button with three horizontal lines and a triangle to the left of the From box, choose Customize, and, in the window that opens, be sure the box next to Signature is checked. Click on the Signature box and choose Edit Signatures. This is where you’ll build your signature.
Click the plus button and name your new signature. Your mac will have filled in a suggestion. Feel free to erase it before you go to work creating the signature you want in the open white space. Once again, use the Command t shortcut to open the Font Editor to choose your font and color. Have fun. Create a few of them.
Before you can use them, they have to be assigned to an email account. Right now, they are visible when All Signatures is highlighted at the top of the column on the left side. Below All Signatures, your various email accounts will be listed. (I have seven…) Keep All Signatures highlighted to access the new signatures. Now, click and drag the new signatures to each account.
Using Your New Signatures
When you are composing an email and are ready to apply a signature, click on the Signatures box and select the one you want. You can also Command Copy (Command c) a signature and use it in many other applications!
Signatures on iPads and iPhones
Unfortunately, you cannot change the font or color in Mail on the iPad or iPhone. However, in Settings/Mail, Contacts, Calendars, you can change the signature itself. Just erase the provided one and type in what you’d like it to be.
Are you wondering why on earth I would have seven email accounts? It’s because I manage all of my email accounts in my Mail application on my Mac. No more going online to Google for Gmail. Or online to Yahoo for my Yahoo email account. Even Hotmail accounts can be viewed in Mail. Now you can read and reply to them all in one place. And that is definitely a time-saver!