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Even Text Edit can't paste well into Mail now.
#63209 01/25/23 04:09 PM
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kevs Offline OP
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I converted my important Word letters to RTF to text edit -- ones I have to paste into Mail (to retain formatting, paragraph breaks.

AFter Ventura, now even rtfs, coming into Mail arrive, without formatting in the letter. Anyone know much about this? thanks.

Last edited by kevs; 01/25/23 04:11 PM.
Re: Even Text Edit can't paste well into Mail now.
kevs #63216 01/25/23 09:34 PM
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The problem is not with Ventura. I just created an RTF document with formatting. I copied it and pasted it into a new e-mail in Mail. All formatting was preserved. I also dragged the RTF document into the mail message and everything was retained.

RTF is a standard format, so unless there is a Word setting that altered this, it should work.


On a Mac since 1984.
Currently: 24" M1 iMac, 27" iMac, M2 Macbook Air, macOS 10.15.x and MacOS 13; iPhones, iPods (yes, still) and iPads.
Re: Even Text Edit can't paste well into Mail now.
Ira L #63217 01/26/23 12:45 AM
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Thanks Ira, turns out it one rtf. Cause I tried a few others and they were ok. So how could one that looks fine on page rtf text edit, not paste in well?

Re: Even Text Edit can't paste well into Mail now.
kevs #63218 01/26/23 01:38 AM
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What the specific error was in you case is a matter for speculation, but there are some things you may or may not know and I have a suggestion to reduce the possibility of its recurring...

  1. Composer in Apple Mail creates messages in Rich Text Format by default, so there really is no need to create the RTF in Word to retain the formatting, unless you are using formatting beyond the rather basic set supported by Composer.
  2. Some recipients have their email client set to use plain text to save bandwidth on slow networks. The only way send a formatted message to those persons is as an attachment (which ends up taking even more bandwidth than a formatted message.)
  3. The RTF formatting as seen on your computer is the result of invisible tags embedded in the text that tell the receiving application how to display the text.
  4. Formatted text copied directly from the Word screen into Mail another app may not capture the tags or all of the tags.
  5. A missing or incorrectly copied tag can cause serious havoc with the format when it is opened in another app or device.
  6. Create the message in Word and save it as an RTF, then send RTF file as an attachment, and even recipients with their email client set to plain text only will see it ass the fully formatted document you intended.


"Sacred cows make the best hamburger"

- Mark Twain
Re: Even Text Edit can't paste well into Mail now.
joemikeb #63219 01/26/23 04:34 AM
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Joe, thanks, I do create in Word and save as RTF.

I don't want to send an attachment, as that looks goofy and people dont want them. They want to see text inline.

Why this particular rtf is coming in non formatted (doing a do command V in mail from the finder after a copy command C in text edit) , I have no idea. Got corrupted? This is the mystery.

Many other rtf, are still coming in ok with the easy command. V.

ON the bad one, it does, however come ok with a paste and match value from the edit menu in Mail. Someone just showed me that on the Word forum.

So basically I'm just lost as to why and rtf goes bad all of the sudden -- using the command V. method of pasting into Mail.

The idea that if looks good to me in my Apple Mail, but may not look good to others has not even occurred to me. Unless there is a tool to see how others might receive it in their Mail client, I can't worry about it.. but would be great if there was some app, that showed you how other clients will see it .

Re: Even Text Edit can't paste well into Mail now.
kevs #63224 01/26/23 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by kevs
ON the bad one, it does, however come ok with a paste and match value from the edit menu in Mail. Someone just showed me that on the Word forum.

Why just the one confused It would be tempting to blame Word, but that doesn't answer the "why".

Originally Posted by keys
So basically I'm just lost as to why and rtf goes bad all of the sudden -- using the command V. method of pasting into Mail.

I don't know either, but to be sure you are picking up all the hidden RTF tags before you press ⌘C, press ⌘A to guarantee copying the entire document including the tags.

Originally Posted by kevs
JThe idea that if looks good to me in my Apple Mail, but may not look good to others has not even occurred to me. Unless there is a tool to see how others might receive it in their Mail client, I can't worry about it.. but would be great if there was some app, that showed you how other clients will see it .

That would require your having an exact duplicate of each recipient's machine with the same fonts, email client, and settings. I dealt with this many years ago and found that even if the recipient had the same font on their PC, a different release of the font file could virtually destroy a tightly formatted RTF, DOC, or DOCX document. The only solution we could come up with that would produce consistent results was to use PDF. But there again you are dealing with an attachment. If you have a web site where you can store the text files you can send an email that in place of the text has an automatic link to that downloads a PDF or HTML file as the message text, but those can run afoul of spam detectors. The sub-set RTF features used by Composer in Apple mail has been carefully curated to provide the maximum cross-platform capability, but even that does not work if the recipient has the text only option set.


"Sacred cows make the best hamburger"

- Mark Twain
Re: Even Text Edit can't paste well into Mail now.
joemikeb #63225 01/26/23 06:08 PM
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Thanks Joe, just tested select A, and this troublesome one still command V badly. Edit, paste and match style does ok.

Again other rtf command V fine, so this guy is still a mystery. ANd it was fine years before...

Re: Even Text Edit can't paste well into Mail now.
kevs #63227 01/26/23 07:02 PM
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I suspect that if you opened the problematic RTF file in a programming editor like BBEdit that does not attempt to format the file and you can see the actual RTF tags you would find some minor quirck, like a stray or missing tag that is making the Paste with Style necessary, but it would probably take an RTF expert to comprehend. The fault could be in either Word or Mail.


"Sacred cows make the best hamburger"

- Mark Twain
Re: Even Text Edit can't paste well into Mail now.
joemikeb #63229 01/26/23 07:50 PM
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Joe I had BB edit, use it every 5 years! I see lot coding, would not have clue what means. but I get what saying..

So for problem file best this is to copy past into new word or text edit docs and hope issue goes away with new file?

Re: Even Text Edit can't paste well into Mail now.
kevs #63230 01/26/23 10:07 PM
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Copying the file is unlikely to solve the problem. Going back to the original in Word, making a minor insignificant change, and recreating the file might work but if the issue is due to a glitch in the code as produced by Word it might not work. Paste with format apparently does work, at least as you see it in Mail, so my inclination would be to stick with that for everything in the future - just in case there are things going on the recipient's end that I was not seeing.

When I catch a break, I will look at AppleScript dictionary for Mail to see if it would be possible to create an Automator or AppleScript to make that a one click process and let you know what I find.


"Sacred cows make the best hamburger"

- Mark Twain
Re: Even Text Edit can't paste well into Mail now.
joemikeb #63231 01/26/23 11:30 PM
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kevs Offline OP
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Joe you were right copy and making new file did not help. To word or text edit. So what do you think happened? I mean, it did fine, with command V for years...

If did not understand, " AppleScript dictionary for Mail to see if it would be possible to create an Automator or AppleScript to make that a one click process and let you know what I find."

What one step process? If you want copy of my file I'd send it, no problem, but no issue ; your help her is always great/ enough!

Re: Even Text Edit can't paste well into Mail now.
joemikeb #63232 01/26/23 11:59 PM
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Thanks for mentioning the AppleScript dictionary. I wasn't aware that it existed.

I don't know that I'll ever actually use it productively, but I have toyed around with thinking about maybe playing around with AppleScript. tongue


The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire
Re: Even Text Edit can't paste well into Mail now.
artie505 #63258 01/28/23 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by artie505
Thanks for mentioning the AppleScript dictionary. I wasn't aware that it existed.

The dictionary for each Apple Scriptable app is included in the app itself but the Script Editor will display the dictionary for every installed scriptable app by

Originally Posted by AppleScript the Missing Manual
“Opening a Dictionary

If you hope to do real work with the Finder, being able to open windows or display dialog boxes is really just small potatoes. For more complex tasks, you have to read the Finder's dictionary— a list of all the commands it can accept. Every program that AppleScript can command has a dictionary, too, so it's helpful to take some time to explore.To access a program's dictionary, follow these steps:Open Script Editor, and choose File → Open Dictionary (Shift--O).

A dialog box appears, with a list of every program on your Mac that AppleScript can control.”

Excerpt From AppleScript: The Missing Manual
Adam Goldstein
https://books.apple.com/us/book/applescript-the-missing-manual/id396931552
This material may be protected by copyright.


"Sacred cows make the best hamburger"

- Mark Twain
Re: Even Text Edit can't paste well into Mail now.
joemikeb #63268 01/29/23 12:29 PM
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Thanks for the instructions.


The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire
Re: Even Text Edit can't paste well into Mail now.
artie505 #63272 01/29/23 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by joemikeb
Originally Posted by AppleScript: The Missing Manual
To access a program's dictionary, follow these steps:Open Script Editor, and choose File → Open Dictionary (Shift--O).

In my experience, this approach will lead macOS to ferret out every single application on your Mac, which can take awhile if you've got multiple volumes mounted. (Of course, I'm running on ancient spinning rust, so this may be a moot point.) Nonetheless, a quicker technique is to go to Script Editor's Window menu —> Library command, which will quickly list only applications on the boot volume which are scriptable.



dkmarsh—member, FineTunedMac Co-op Board of Directors
Re: Even Text Edit can't paste well into Mail now.
dkmarsh #63273 01/29/23 10:44 PM
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Thanks for that.

Either way, my options come up really quickly on my SSD, but your way presents a more compact and user friendly list.


The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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