Colorful inline replies

BY J. CARLTON COLLINS, CPA

Q: My colleagues frequently email questions, and I reply by typing the answers in the original email text directly below each question. To make my responses stand out so they are easier to read, I select each response and apply a red font color, but this process takes time, especially when dozens of questions are involved. Is there a quick way to select all of my reply text with one step in Outlook 2013 so I can more easily change the font color to red? Thanks.

A: Outlook enables you to specify the default font and font color used for replies, and this minor adjustment will automatically emphasize your replies. To make this change, select File, Options, Mail, and Stationery and Fonts, and in the resulting Signatures and Stationery dialog box, select the Font button labeled Replying or forwarding messages; select a new font and font color (and other format attributes if desired), and then click OK, OK, OK.

 

In addition, you can also mark your replies with a symbol or comment by checking the Mark my comments with: checkbox and supplying a customized marker, as circled in the image above. As shown in the following screenshot, by inserting my name in this manner, each of my replies is automatically marked using my name, and if the email is forwarded multiple times to others who use this type of marker, then their responses will also be marked using their names.

 

Notice that using default reply formats (red and dark blue) and reply markers together makes it easier for the reader to identify the responses as well as the responder.

J. Carlton Collins ( carlton@asaresearch.com ) is a technology consultant, CPE instructor, and a JofA contributing editor.

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