Mac OS X: Hint for forcing Mail to display plain text messages

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Mail
July 17th, 2003 • 3:59 am

I cannot believe I have lived without this for so long. The fact that Mail always displays the HTML version of HTML-formatted email messages by default has always annoyed me. Yes, switching to the “Plain text alternative” was just a couple of mouse clicks or a keyboard shortcut away, but even that was too much.

Now it turns out that Mail has a hidden preference for this! Thanks to a “hint” on the highly valuable Mac OS X Hints site, I now know how to force Mail to display the plain text alternative by default. It’s just one line to type in the Terminal.

For the life of me, if Apple did define a preference for this, I cannot understand why they haven’t made the preference available through the Mail UI. This is just the obvious kind of stuff that’s driving me mad regarding Mac OS X. It seems to reflect a blatant disregard for Mac users who dare to “think different” from the majority and refuse to use HTML email by default even when the rest of the Microsoft-infected world does (without knowing it in most cases). Never has there been a more telling illustration of Apple not living up to its own “philosophy”.

Mac users are different, and they want the option to remain so, even when faced with the irrepressible force of the Wintel juggernaut. I can understand Apple “forgetting” to include this preference in Mail 1.0 — but after so many system updates, you’d think that they would have found the opportunity to make it available. It’s just a matter of including another checkbox in Mail’s Preferences dialog, for crying out loud.

And you know what? I’m not sure the revised Mail program in Panther will actually have the preference either! I hope I’m wrong but… Grrr.

One Response to “Mac OS X: Hint for forcing Mail to display plain text messages”

  1. Betalogue » Crappy e-mail from the iTunes Music Store says:

    […] of all, you need to know that I don’t like HTML-formatted e-mail and I have set Mail to automatically display the plain text version of incoming e-mails by […]

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