Change the appearance of your e-mail message

What do you want to do?


Add a background color, gradient, texture, pattern, or picture

  1. On the Message Options tab, in the Themes group, click Page Color.
  2. Click a color on the Theme Colors or Standard Colors palette. To remove the color, click No Color.

Theme Colors and Standard Colors palettes

  1. If you want to add a gradient, texture, pattern, or picture, click Fill Effects.
  2. Select the fill options that you want.

 Tip   The color of the gradient, texture, or pattern is based on the color that you select in step 2.

Change the font

You can change the font in your message in several ways:

  • On the Message tab, in the Basic Text group, you can select the font, font size, font style (bold, italic, and underline), font color, and text highlighting.
  • On the Format tab, in the Font group, you can select the font and font size; increase or decrease the size by one increment; change the font style (bold, italic, underline, strikethrough, subscript, superscript); change the case, the font color, and the text highlighting; and remove all font formatting.
  • On the Mini toolbar that appears when you select text, you can select the font, increase or decrease the size by one increment, select a theme, use the Format Painter, select the font style (bold, italic, and underline), and highlight text.

Mini toolbar

  • On the Format tab, in the Style group, you can select styles.

 Tip   Use styles to create professional-looking messages.

Add graphics

Graphics can get the attention of your recipients. Graphics can also increase the file size of your e-mail message, so graphics should be used in moderation. If you want to send graphics as attachments, not as part of the body of the message, see the next section, Insert or attach items to your message. To change the background appearance of the message, see the previous section, Add a background color, gradient, texture, pattern, or picture.

  • On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click one of the following:
    • Picture from File     Browse to the folder where the picture that you want is saved, select the picture, and then click Insert. You can resize or rotate the picture with the picture drag handles. For additional picture options, right-click the picture, and then click a command on the shortcut menu.
    • SmartArt     Choose a layout for a SmartArt graphic, and then click OK. Click the SmartArt graphic to add text. For additional options, right-click the SmartArt graphic, and then click a command on the shortcut menu.

For additional information about how to use SmartArt graphics, see Create a SmartArt graphic.

  • Chart     Choose a chart type, and then click OK. In the Microsoft Office Excel 2007 worksheet that appears, enter the data for your chart. On the File menu, click Close. For additional chart options, right-click the chart, and then click a command on the shortcut menu.
  • Shapes     Click a shape. For additional shape options, right-click the shape, and then click a command on the shortcut menu.
  • To insert WordArt, on the Insert menu, in the Text group, click WordArt.

Add a numbered or bulleted list

  1. Type * (asterisk) to start a bulleted list or 1. to start a numbered list, and then press SPACEBAR or the TAB key.
  2. Type any text that you want.
  3. Press ENTER to add the next list item.

Outlook automatically inserts the next bullet or number.

  1. To finish the list, press ENTER twice, or press BACKSPACE to delete the last bullet or number in the list.

Add a table

A table is made up of rows and columns of cells that you can fill with text and graphics. Tables are often used to organize and present information.

Table used to present information in grid-like format

You can also use tables to create interesting page layouts, or to create text, graphics, and advanced table layouts.

Page layout created with tables

  1. Click where you want to insert a table.
  2. On the Insert tab, in the Table group, click Table.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • Point to Quick Tables, and then click the table that you want. Replace the data in the table with the data that you want.
    • Click the table grid to determine the number of rows and columns to create in a new empty table.

Table picker

Add a signature

You can create a default signature to be added to all your outgoing messages, or you can insert a signature manually into outgoing messages on an individual basis. Do one of the following:

  • Insert a signature automatically    
    1. On the Message tab, in the Include group, click Signature, and then click Signatures.

 Note   You can also access the signature options that are available on the Message tab after you click Reply, Reply to All, or Forward in an open message.

  1. On the E-mail Signature tab, in the Select signature to edit list, select the signature that you want.
  2. Under Choose default signature, in the New messages list, select the signature that you want.
  3. If you want to include a signature in messages that you reply to and in messages that you forward, in the Replies/forwards list, select the signature. If you don't want a signature in these messages, select none.
  4. Click OK.
  5. To add the default signature to a current message, on the Message tab, in the Include group, click Signature, and then select the signature.
  • Insert a signature manually    
  1. On the Message tab, in the Include group, click Signature, and then select the signature that you want.

 Note   You can also access the signature options that are available on the Message tab after you click Reply, Reply to All, or Forward in an open message.

Add symbols, equations, and horizontal lines

You can use the Symbol command to enter the following:

  • Symbols that are not on the keyboard, such as ¼ and ©
  • Special characters that are not on the keyboard, such as an em dash (—) or ellipsis (…)
  • Unicode characters

If you are using an expanded font, such as Arial or Times New Roman, the Subset list appears. From this list you can choose from an extended list of language characters, including Greek and Russian (Cyrillic), if available.

The Equation command allows you to enter complex equations quickly.

The Horizontal Line command allows you to break apart sections of your message.

  • On the Insert tab, in the Symbols group, click Equation, Symbol, or Horizontal Line.

Change the theme

A theme is a set of unified design elements and color schemes. A theme helps you to easily create professional and well-designed messages.

Document with theme applied When you apply a theme to a document, Outlook customizes the background colors and graphics, body and heading styles, lists, horizontal lines, hyperlink colors, and table border colors. Both the single-level and the multiple-level lists are also customized.

To quickly change the appearance of these elements, you can change the theme.

  • On the Message Options tab, in the Themes group, click Themes.

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Applies to:
Outlook 2007