for the Internet Writing Workshop
SENDING EMAIL IN PLAIN TEXT
Plain Text is like a magic mirror for email--when you use it, you look good.
Most email messages contain hidden formatting characters: accented letters,
symbols, and equals signs, all in a jumble. In person-to-person emails, these
characters usually stay hidden, but when you send to our workshop's Listserv program, they may come out of hiding.
There are two steps to fix the problem: 1) clean submissions, etc. from
your word processing program, and 2) have your email program send all workshop email
in plain text.
Both steps are needed for posts to critiquing lists (like Novels-L, Fiction,
etc.). Posts to discussion lists (such as the Writing list) are not as critical
so long as your email program sends in plain text.
Convert text from your word-processor:
Select and copy text from your word-processor, then paste
it into the Jonathan Hedley cleaner, below. Then paste cleaned text into your email's
Click this link:
There you'll see two data-entry boxes, one above the other:
- In the top box, you paste your text as copied directly from your word
- Click the "Clean" button below the lower box. This causes the corrected
plain text to appear in the lower box.
- Select all of the text in the lower box, copy it, and paste it into
your email for submission to the
If your post is created by typing into your email program, you don't need to
use the JonathanHedley cleaner.
( Do not use Microsoft's Notepad to convert to plain text. It does not convert smart quotes or accented characters.)
Make your email program send in Plain Text:
AIM or AOL Mail: AIM
Below are links to instructions from
Mac Eudora: http://email.about.com/od/eudoratips/qt/et090406.htm
Mac Mail: http://email.about.com/od/macosxmailtips/qt/et082703.htm
Outlook Express: http://email.about.com/cs/oetipstricks/qt/et082301.htm
If your email program is not in this list, do a Google or other search for plain
text for your current email program.
Useful to know:
Workshop email received in Digests format will show more
unwanted formatting characters than will regular Mail format. You can find
instructions for changing your Digests/Mail settings at
http://www.internetwritingworkshop.org/. In the menu on the left, click
The Hedley cleaning process above only works on text having
hidden formatting characters. If an email shows
visible formatting characters, it will not remove them.