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Take your emails from plain text to personal. Apple’s Mail includes often-overlooked attractive Stationery templates for making your messages stand out.

Stationery has been a feature of Mail for several years now, but unless you’re a die-hard Mac user you might not know it exists. Like the greeting card Reminder: You Can Make Greeting Cards With iPhoto Reminder: You Can Make Greeting Cards With iPhoto When it comes to greeting cards, iPhoto for Mac makes it easy to create your own using one or more photos and your own unique message. Read More  and photo book features in iPhoto, Stationery allows you to spruce up and personalize your email messages using professionally designed templates and personal photos.

Fortunately, Stationery will remain a fixture with the release of OS X Yosemite What's New In OS X 10.10 "Yosemite"? What's New In OS X 10.10 "Yosemite"? OS X is evolving both in terms of looks and features, and just like last year's Mavericks update, Yosemite will be another free download. Read More , so here’s how to use it.

Create A Stationery Email

The Stationery feature can be accessed by creating a new message in Mail, and then clicking on the Stationery button on the right side of the toolbar (see image below).

Stationery stationery 2

Stationery templates will appear for you to browse through, when you find one you like select it and it will be applied to your current message. Stationery includes 23 templates for announcements, birthdays, business and greeting letters.

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Stationery 1

A few of the designs may appear a little dated, but they still offer something a little different to plain text-based emails.

Editing a Template

Just like templates in Apple’s Pages How To Create Impressive Documents and Templates on Mac How To Create Impressive Documents and Templates on Mac Read More , you can drag and drop a photo or image from the media browser in the toolbar or the Finder, and replace the existing image photo in a template’s placeholder.

Stationery edit

Notice that when you drop your photo into template, that same photo will show up when you change to another template. While all the placeholder text can be changed for your personal messages, that’s the extent of the changes you can make to a template.

You can’t alter the designs themselves without locating packaged contents buried in the library folder (User Account > Library > Containers > com.apple.mail > Data > Library > Application Support > Mail > Stationary > Apple > Contents > Resources > Custom > Contents > Resources, in case you wondered).

Stationery edit 2

Though Apple only provides a handful of templates, you can drag the designs you like most to the Favorites folder for quicker access.

Stationery favorites

Third-Party Templates

If you find these templates useful, you might want to consider downloading more templates created by third-party developers. Equinux.com has the widest multi-purpose collection of templates available through their free Stationery Greeting Cards application, also available in the Mac App Store.

The app includes a few free sample templates, and a wide variety of premium holiday, seasonal, and business templates. You can preview templates before purchasing them, and all of your purchases are backed up with Equinux where they can be restored to the app if they are ever deleted or lost.

Stationery Greetings

To install a selected template, you can use the keyboard shortcut, Command+N, or drag the template into the preview window and click the New Message window. The template will be sent as a new message in Mail, and you will get the option to install it in the Stationery library. All imported templates can be found in the Custom section of the library.

Stationery custom

Equinux also sells a Picture Mails greeting card app ($0.99) for the iPad, in which you can browse, purchase, and customize templates from its expansive catalogue.

C image

Another developer, Macmanus, also sells a potpourri of templates in its Mail Stationery Designs ($9.99) application, which includes designs for invitations, announcements, notes, and holidays. Selected templates can be previewed by hitting the space bar, and installed in the Stationery library with a simple double-click.

Macmanus

The Macmanus website provides a few more sample previews of its stationery designs, which are not sold individually or in packs, but as an entire collection.

Macmanus_2

Perhaps the developer with the most modern designs is Jumpsoft’s Mail Stationery ($19.99) application, which includes 149 templates that can be previewed on its website. Their Cardboard templates, for example, could great attention grabbers for short email messages, and they would work for both personal and creative business purposes.

Jumpsoft_templates

A significant advantage in Jumpsoft’s templates is that when you click on the background of most templates, the background color changes providing additional options to choose from for the same design.

Jumpsoft_2

Before You Buy

There a few good online digital greeting and stationery card services, including AmericanGreetings.com, 123greetings.com, and BlueMountain.com, each including free and premium selections. So before you purchase templates from third-party providers, you might want to look into other options for the type and style of stationery that fits your needs.

Do you use Mail Stationery? Ever bought any third-party designs? Let us know!

  1. Susan E Chipps
    January 21, 2016 at 1:39 am

    I have Microsoft Word... do you have stationary for use on that program?

  2. Keith
    January 24, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Bakari,

    I'm trying to create stationery using a graphic with my logo and contact details. I frequently get emails from others like this, but can't figure out how to make my own using a custom image.

    Thanks.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      January 29, 2015 at 5:19 pm

      Keith, what you're talking about can be done with Stationery, but it's not the best tool. You need take a look at MailChimp or other similar services that allow you to create newsletter type emails with your logo.

  3. Anonymous
    January 16, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    I used the Maple Leaf stationary and it too looked dull and gray when it arrived in my friend's Outlook.com account...

  4. Sonia
    January 15, 2015 at 4:06 am

    Hello Bakari, thanks for helping me out.
    He uses Outlook. And I recently upgraded to Yosemite on my MBP. Could it be an issue with me because even yahoo and Gmail does not show stationery.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      January 17, 2015 at 7:39 pm

      It could be a failure on Apple's part to upgrade the feature for other Mail systems. Sorry it's not working.

  5. Sonia
    January 15, 2015 at 1:10 am

    Hi,
    I sent a beautifully customised mail and the receiver (using Dell with windows 7 & Google Chrome) got a botched grey mail which does carry the message I typed but is far cry from the original look! Am I doing something wrong or it would only look the way it supposed to on a apple? Help peez?
    Thanks already.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      January 15, 2015 at 2:11 am

      Sonia, it may have something to do with how the recipient's mail client handles stationery mail you sent. Do you which mail client he uses?

  6. Reinaldo Varela
    December 19, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    Hi Bakari,
    I tried to locate the folder with the stationery but once I get to the "...application supportmail" the only thing on that folder is "onlineAccountTypes", any idea why I don't see the rest?
    Thanks,
    Reinaldo

    • Bakari Chavanu
      December 20, 2014 at 4:18 am

      Reinaldo, are you referring to the stationery in Apple's Mail?

  7. lionel
    October 15, 2014 at 2:38 pm
  8. lionel
    October 15, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    I've just customised a stationery template but it won't let me save it as a new template. Any way around that?

  9. Amy Kramer
    October 9, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    I used the Mac mail stationery today for the first time (the one with the daisies). But, I created the email, minimized it bc I had to go out, came back and now I'm trying to edit it and it won't let me. I've tried everything. Why won't it let me type again on the document?!? Help!

    • Bakari Chavanu
      October 14, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      Hi Amy, sorry for the late response. Did you ever get it work? Were you trying to edit the content you wrote in the stationery, or the stationery itself?

  10. Howard B
    September 6, 2014 at 12:47 am

    I can't stand "plain text" emails - at least give me proportional fonts, bold, italic, underline; rich text is great, and I can't figure out how anybody can say they hate HTML email; but I can't *stand* over-composed, graphics-laden rubbish like this.

    • KimA
      September 7, 2014 at 1:31 pm

      If you don't like it, don't use it. No one is forcing you to.

    • Ryan C. Ashton
      April 28, 2015 at 2:39 am

      You can't stand a lot can you?

      Must have a very tough life - made that much harder by your outlook.

    • Doc
      April 28, 2015 at 3:03 pm

      @KimA: OK, tell me how to make everyone sending me emails use proportional text. Fortunately, those people who don't are few and far between.

      @Ryan: Yeah, there are trolls everywhere. And I don't use Outlook.

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