TOTW: how to cut email replies down to size


Date: 1 March 2013

For this tip of the week, we show you how to cut quoted emails down to size.

It's easy for a long email chain to get out of control. Once a message has gone back and forth between two or more people a few times, replies start getting ridiculously long.

Typically, you'll have a few lines of the new message at the top, followed by pages and pages of older messages. Some email systems - including recent versions of Microsoft Outlook - make it really easy to cut this rubbish out of your replies.

Here are the instructions for Outlook. Many other email clients work in the same way:

1. Highlight the text you want to quote in your reply

Click and drag with the mouse to highlight the key text:

Highlight text in Outlook{{}}

2. Click Reply or Reply All

Just click the Reply button as normal:

Reply button{{}}

3. Write your reply

Outlook will only quote the selected text, so you can write your message and hit Send:

Write and send email{{}}

That's all there is to it! Recipients will thank you for bringing the email back down to size.

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