Mail App Selective Reply

Even though there are several excellent Email Apps for macOS, I still believe most people use the Apple Mail App. There have been many improvements to the Mail App over the years. One feature that has been around for quite a while is “Selective Text Quoting” in Email replys. This can really come in handy, here is how it works.

Selective Quoting

Typically, Email quoting works like this. You receive an Email like this one.

Typical Email

When you click on the “Reply” button, a new Email is created in the Mail App that looks something like this.


The full text of the Email is quoted in the new, reply Email. Sometimes, an Email can be quite lengthy. If you do not wish to quote the whole previous Email, you can quote just a portion of it by selecting the part you wish to address.

Quote Selection

Now, when you click the “Reply” button, the new reply Email will look like this.

Selected Reply

Only the part you selected in the original Email is actually quoted so you can address that particular issue.

To make this work, you have to activate “Include selected text” in the Mail App Composing Tab.

Activate Selected Text

As long as that setting is activated, you can quote selected text. Just a FYI, other Email Apps have this feature as well. You may have to search in the Preferences to activate it, but most of the time it is in there.


Being able to quote selected text in Email replys is efficient and a time saver.