removing unused client display elements

Outlook 2011 for Mac:

The ribbon can be toggled with ⌥⌘R. Also there is a display element in the upper right which can be clicked to toggle it.


As I recall, Chat is on by default, but you can go to

Settings | Chat

and turn it off.

view the source

Outlook 2011 for Mac:

Right click the message summary in the folder and select View Source.


With the full message displayed, pop open the dropdown in the upper right next to Reply and select Show original.

html or plain text

Outlook 2011 for Mac:

Preferences... | Composing | Compose messages in HTML by default

When composing the message, use ⇧⌘T to toggle between HTML and plain text format.


When composing the message, the dropdown in the lower right gives a choice of Plain text mode. It looks like the value will be remembered for the next message.

html cut-and-paste problems

Outlook 2011 for Mac:

Too change the behavior of paste go to:

System Preferences... | Keyboard | Shortcuts | App Shortcuts

Click the + to add a new shortcut.

In Menu Title type Paste and Match Style.

In Keyboard Shortcut type ⌘V.


The change described above for Outlook does not work for Gmail. Toggling the message format from HTML to Plain Text and back will remove all formatting.

plain text line length problems

RFC 2822 (§2.1.1 on line length)

In plain text email, line length must not exceed 1000 characters (998 characters + CRLF) according to RFC 2822.

However, it is recommended that line length not exceed 78 characters (76 characters + CRLF). Many implementations will insert CRLF into lines which are longer. As far as I can tell, Outlook or Exchange Server will insert CRLF for lines that are 68 characters (66 characters + CRLF). If the message already contained line breaks, this results in ragged paragraphs. If you are like me and have a habit of manually inserting line breaks, this is a significant problem.

When responding to a message, it is customary for clients to include the original message with the lines prefixed by {{>. This can create long lines even if the original message was under the limit. To avoid this problem, it is advisable to keep lines under 65 characters.

Outlook 2011 for Mac:

It would be great if Outlook would advise if I create a line longer than 65 characters. The easiest way I have found to achieve this is to automatically include a signature block with a line of 70 underscores.

Preferences... | Signatures

Click the + to create the signature and give it a name such as Standard.

Then click Default Signatures and set Standard as the default.

Note that the only way to prevent a long URL getting broken is to use HTML format instead of plain text format.

Outlook removes left side whitespace?


Create a signature block with 65 underscores by going to

Settings | Signature:


What we are interested in is mechanisms for automatically deleting incoming email based upon patterns applied to the From: or the Subject: headers.

Outlook 2011 for Mac:

Rules are actions which fire when an email is received. Filters are used to define inbox subsets.

Preferences... | Rules


Settings | Filters

command line clients

In days of yore, email was sent to a Unix host, which put the incoming messages in /var/spool/mail. Users would use a command line client to read the mail and possibly save it in their home directory.

Today, email is usually sent to a dedicated host and users access the mail with a dedicated client. The host may make the messages available via an open protocol such as IMAP or POP3. If so, then the user will have choice as to which client they use.

The original Unix mail client was called mail. BSD introduced another client which was called Mail. Other Unix implementations, including System V, extended the BSD client and called it mailx. mailx became a POSIX standard in 1992.

On Ubuntu, mailx is not installed by default, but heirloom-mailx can be used to install it.

mailx can be used to send a message:

$ mailx -s 'Hello, Joe!' < msg.txt

If a file is redirected to standard input, the message can be typed in. The end of the message is a single line with a period .. There are tilde escapes for invoking commands while composing a message. For example, ~e will invoke an editor to compose the message.

When reading messages, the messages are numbered from 1 to N. The following commands display the list of available commands, print the second message, delete the first ten messages, and exit.

> help
> print 2
> delete 1-10
> quit

Some versions of mailx have support for POP3, IMAP, and MIME.

What about mutt?

setting up a mail server

  • packages for exim or postfix
  • user accounts
  • mx records
  • email address which specifies host

sending an email from code

import smtplib
from email.mime.text import MIMEText

smtp_host = 'localhost'
body = 'Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet'
subject = 'A Test Message'
from_email = ''
to_email = ['', '']

msg = MIMEText(body)
msg['Subject'] = subject
msg['From'] = from_email
msg['To'] = ', '.join(to_emails)

smtp = smtplib.SMTP(smtp_host)
smtp.sendmail(from_email, to_emails, msg.as_string())

accessing gmail from iOS

Go to this page and click Manage application-specific passwords. Generate a password. On the iPhone, enter it in

Settings | Mail, Contacts, and Calendars