Email Reply Quoting

Despite the rise in texting and other communication mediums, I think we all still use quite a bit of Email. If you do even a moderate amount of Email, you invariably reply to messages. If you get into a complicated message thread with several other people, quoting previous Emails in the reply can become confusing and cumbersome. There is a way to alleviate at least some quoting burden.

Email Quoting

Most Email Apps these days have a way around having to include full quotes in Email replies. Obviously, you can turn off quoting of previous Emails altogether. But, if you need to include quotes from previous Emails, you can minimize the confusion by only quoting part of a message. In Apple Mail you do this in the “Composing Tab” in preferences.


Once you select the Composing Tab, look at the last setting in the window. This setting allows you to “include selected text” from your reply of quoted Emails instead of including the entire text of the quoted Email. Here is how that looks.

Quote Position

The above Email is a reply. The sentence in the quote was selected in the original Email. I did not quote the whole Email which was about 5 sentences in my replay. This is so convenient. If you want to reply to a specific part of an Email, just select that the text in question and hit reply.

In my research many Email Apps have this capability. In the Airmail App you have to go into the Accounts and then into each Email account to the “Composer Tab”.

Quote Level

Your choices for quoted reply text are “Do not include”, “Quoted Original” or “Quoted Message”. Airmail needs to be set to “Quoted Original” to be able to select and use only part of your original Email as quoted text in a reply.

Email Quote

It works in similar fashion in the Spark Email App and several others.


If you process a lot of Email and do a lot of quoting, being able to select the quoted text is very helpful. It can save time, avoid confusion and make your Emails more focused.