Teeny Weeny Fonts

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I’ve joined a few new writing mailing lists lately. As a result, the number of HTML emails I get in teeny weeny fonts has skyrocketed. I don’t know whether it’s AOL’s fault, Yahoo’s or the ever-culpable Microsoft’s, but tonight I got annoyed enough to do something about it.

Once again, macosxhints came through with a solution: using a local stylesheet to control Mail. Don’t follow the directions there without reading all the way through to the comment that shows the simplest way to do it. Or follow my summary here:

First, you need the stylesheet. Save the following in a plain text file called, say, mail.css:

font[size="1"] {
    font-size: 10pt;
font[size="2"] {
    font-size: 11pt;
font[size="3"] {
    font-size: 12pt;

Adjust the font sizes if they’re still too small. If you know CSS you can tweak to your heart’s content—put in a nice background watermark that says Munged by Microsoft, De-munged by WebKit, for example. I’ll skip that step, though.

Put your mail.css file in a safe place and note the path. For example: /Users/jemimap/Documents/mail.css

Quit Mail. Open the Terminal. Cut and paste the following line into the Terminal and hit return:

defaults write com.apple.Mail WebKitUserStyleSheetEnabledPreferenceKey -bool True

Cut and paste the next one the same way, but change the path to match where you put mail.css:

defaults write com.apple.Mail WebKitUserStyleSheetLocationPreferenceKey '/Users/jemimap/Documents/mail.css'

Terminal won’t give you any feedback when you hit return, but it’s now safe to quit the Terminal and open Mail. Your mail should now be de-munged.

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