Format email messages in Outlook 2016 for Mac

Updated: January 2018

The text formatting tools in Outlook 2016 for Mac enable you to let your personality shine through with the creative use of fonts, bullets, colors, and other options. Messages can be formal-looking for serious subjects or more playful when the situation calls for it. And if you're familiar with other Office 2016 for Mac apps, such as Word 2016 for Mac or PowerPoint 2016 for Mac, you'll recognize these buttons on the ribbon when you compose a new mail or respond to an existing one.

Formatting options on the ribbon in Outlook for Mac

This article explains how to do some of the more popular formatting tasks, such as changing the font, embedding a link, and pasting text and images into your email message.

Change the font

The default font is Calibri (Body) 11, but you can change this.

  1. Highlight the text where you want to change the font.

  2. Select the font and font size from the drop-down lists.

    Font and font size pickers in Outlook for Mac

  3. Add some color by selecting the Font Color button and choosing a color.

    Font color picker in Outlook for Mac

Embed a link

Hyperlinked text is underlined and displayed in a blue font, but you can edit the font, size, color, and style.

  1. Highlight the word or words that you want to turn into a link.

  2. Click Link Link button .

  3. Enter the URL that you want to use, and then click OK. The text you selected earlier becomes a hyperlink that the recipient selects to go directly to the web page.

    Hyperlink dialog in Outlook for Mac

  4. To edit the URL, right-click or Ctrl+click the hyperlinked text, and select Hyperlink > Edit Hyperlink.

    Shows the Edit Hyperlink option on the Hyperlink menu

  5. To edit the format of the hyperlink, select the hyperlinked text and click any of these buttons to apply formatting.

    Shows the text formatting options

Paste text and images into your message

  1. Select and copy the content you want to add to your message.

    Screenshot showing part of a web page selected to copy.

  2. Go to your email message, and select Edit > Paste.

  3. At the bottom of the pasted text you'll see a paste control icon. Click it to reveal your paste options.

    Paste options when pasting text into Outlook for Mac

    • Keep Source Formatting keeps all of the original formatting and images.

    • Match Destination Formatting changes the font to match what you're using in your message. Images are unchanged.

      Tip: If the font size increases when you paste text into your message, use this paste option to solve the problem.

    • Keep Text Only removes all of the formatting and images and leave only the text.

  4. Select the desired choice.

Add a list

You select your bullet or number format by using the list buttons on the ribbon. You can also promote or demote sections of the list with the indent buttons to create your nested list.

List buttons on Outlook for Mac ribbon

  1. Place your cursor where you want a bulleted list.

  2. On the Message tab, click the arrow next to Bullets or Numbering.

  3. Choose a bullet or number style and start typing. Here's an example of the bullet styles available.

    Highlight the text you want to turn into a list and click the bullets or numbering button

  4. Press Enter every time you want a new bullet, or press Enter twice to end the bulleted list.

Tip:  When you start a paragraph with an asterisk and a space (* ) or with number 1 and a period (1.), Outlook displays the AutoCorrect Options button and begins building a bulleted or numbered list. If you don't want a bulleted or numbered list, click the AutoCorrect Options button, and then click Stop Automatically Creating Bulleted Lists or Stop Automatically Creating Numbered Lists.

AutoCorrect button with auto numbering options shown

Frequently asked questions

Can I insert a table?

Not yet. The workaround is to create one in another Office app, such as Word or Excel, and paste it into your message. You can resize it by dragging the corners or column and row borders.

Where's the Format Painter?

Format Painter is not yet available for Outlook 2016 for Mac.

See Also

Insert pictures in Office for Mac

Resize a picture in an email message

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