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Mac OS X Mail

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 6 months ago

Configure Mac OS X Mail for IPA


First things first

You won't be able to use IPA with some features of OS X Mail until you have an IPA font installed, and most operating systems don't install one by default. So if you don't have an IPA font installed yet, go to Cool free IPA fonts to download and download one. If you need help installing it, go to How to install fonts on your computer.


General how-to and tips

This page discusses how to read and write IPA using the default mail client that comes installed with Mac OS X.  Since this is a native Mac app, you will be able to make use of all the standard OS tricks you've become accustomed to in working with IPA on your Mac (if you're not comfortable with that yet, brush up on the basics here).  It is somewhat less powerful than Thunderbird for working with nonstandard fonts, but you can sometimes get by.


To change the default character encoding, click Message > Text Encoding and select Unicode (UTF-8) from the bottom of the list.


Viewing IPA characters in e-mail 

To change OS X Mail's default display fonts:

  1. Click on Mail > Preferences.
  2. Click on Fonts & Colors.
  3. Select a Mailbox font, a Message List font, and/or a Message font (that last one is what you need in order to read the contents of email messages).
  4. Click OK.



Typing IPA characters in e-mail

Just need a few characters?  No big deal: if you enabled your Character Palette and put the input menu on the toolbar, just click on it now, select your phonetic symbols, and you're good to go.  (If you haven't done that yet, get thee to our Mac general info page and go set it up.)


If you need to remap your whole keyboard for more extensive typing in IPA, see our page on Mapping Your Keyboard to find out how to do it.


To change the text style OS X Mail uses in a message you're composing (or in part of the message), just click the Fonts button in the new message window to bring up the list of installed fonts.


Note that text styles will only get sent if the mail client is configured to send them.  You can change this setting under Preferences >Composing, where you can choose between sending rich text (that is, text that includes style and formatting info) or plain text (exactly what it says). Further down on the same screen, you can also select which text option to use in replies.


Ultimately, success will still depend on the capability of your recipient's email client to read what you wrote.

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