What is a good Mail application for Mac OS X (10.3.5)?
October 20, 2004 9:43 AM   Subscribe

What is a good Mail application for Mac OS X (10.3.5)? Requirements: can send html email, generally produces "windows friendly" formatting. [slightly more inside]

At work I almost exclusively use my iBook, which I love, and occasionally use a company-issue IBM laptop, which I don't love so much. In response t oa recent email I sent, I recieved the following from my boss:
This is a good summary, but unfortunately coming from your Mac is [sic] looks
a bit jumbled. Can you set up the IBM as your email PC so you can do
HTML enabled emails with - bullets and indents?

I've always used Mail.app, but would be much more inclined to switch to a different email application that to switch my email over to the windows machine. A few of the main reasons:
1) I fear Outlook; well actually, I fear virii, and they like outlook.
2) Having the email on my personal computer makes it easier to stay in touch from home/out of town/etc.
3) I'm afraid that this is a slippery slope, and I may soon find myself doing everything on the PC, which would suck.

Help me convince my boss that I can keep using my beloved mac!
posted by rorycberger to Computers & Internet (13 answers total)
You should teach your boss that HTML email is the work of the devil.
posted by ascullion at 10:08 AM on October 20, 2004

Sorry-that wasn't very helpful! Can't you use Entourage?
posted by ascullion at 10:11 AM on October 20, 2004

I have also found Mail.app's rich text formatting to be a little wacky. It sounds like either Thunderbird or Eudora will cure your ills. Thunderbird is totally free and is well-updated, and Eudora has a nice free "light" mode. I prefer Thunderbird on all platforms I've used it on (Windows, MacOS, and Linux).
posted by zsazsa at 10:13 AM on October 20, 2004

I recommend Entourage 2004 for Mac OSX.

It comes with Microsoft Office and - for the first time that I'm aware of - has much greater, more PC-like HTML capabilities.

It's pretty easy either to create an HTML type document in Word and send it via Entourage as a formatted e-mail... or to copy and paste a web page and send it as an HTML mail.

That said, there will always be formatting differences between different peoples' e-mail apps, so your boss would be a bit optimistic to expect that just because it comes from a PC the e-mail will look identical.

I've never experienced any virus problems on the Mac and I don't see why Entourage should open you up to them significantly more than other apps. In fact, the new Entourage gives you a warning when opening attachments.

Desperately trying not to be Microsoft's salesperson here, but give Entourage a go.
posted by skylar at 10:13 AM on October 20, 2004

It sounds like the problem is one of communication, not technology. HTML doesn't magically fix that. Use a few bullets and extra whitespace in you next mail to him/her. If color will suitably impress the boss, switch to Rich Text instead of Plain Text formatting.

Oh and what ascullion said.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 10:17 AM on October 20, 2004

hmm, tried using entourage...how does html email work? I tried writing a table into an email, and it didn't seem to come through at all. Sorry if this sounds dumb, i've never used html in email before.

[on preview: I have Office v.X, haven't upgraded to 2004 yet. I'll try Thunderbird I guess.]
posted by rorycberger at 10:23 AM on October 20, 2004

Oh, and I'll admit that part of this is my fault, I generally go for the minimalist, plain-text approach in email. Rich text doesn't seem to do much for me though - if I'm going to make pretty emails I want to be able to insert tables, have movable indents, etc. Some colors and fonts aren't going to cut it here.
posted by rorycberger at 10:26 AM on October 20, 2004

Tried thunderbird, it keeps rejecting my password, despite the fact that everything works fine in Mail.app and entourage.
posted by rorycberger at 11:02 AM on October 20, 2004

Tables? Sounds like you need to (as much as I hate it when people do this) create a Word document and attach it to your message.
posted by Mo Nickels at 11:19 AM on October 20, 2004

Entourage 2004 is much better than Office X, in my opinion. Like I said, it has much better functionality for all this HTML malarkey.

As Mo Nickels said, if you want to put tables into your e-mail, you're best off going to Word, creating it in that, then using Word's function called "Send to mail recipient as HTML".

This will turn all your nice Word quasi-HTML into an HTML e-mail. Not an attachment but actually an e-mail.
posted by skylar at 11:30 AM on October 20, 2004

interesting...so what exactly can you do with html email? is it basically just the fonts and stuff like rich text?
posted by rorycberger at 11:37 AM on October 20, 2004

Entourage might still be your best bet, but this is interesting:

tell Mail to always send Windows-friendly attachments
posted by lbergstr at 1:51 PM on October 20, 2004

just a note but i tested thunderbird and found some problems with it that just were a pain to deal with in everyday, need to get stuff done, life. as i am looking to move my office over to a mozilla solution, away from eudora, thunderbird was what i started with. most of the headaches that i ran into was working with IMAP functionality. The fix? getting the full mozilla suite and using mozilla mail. it's great, has tons of great stuff you can do with it and has been running like a champ. i actually started using it on my powerbook about two weeks ago and won't look back now.
posted by chrisroberts at 1:57 PM on October 20, 2004

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