Mac OS X 10.4: About printing Mail messages, wrapping text, and font sizing

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The application Mail that's included with Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger allows you to print emails in three different ways.

To find these three choices, choose Print from the File menu, then change the third pop-up menu's choice from "Copies & Pages" to "Mail". Whichever option you select will remain in effect for future printouts from Mail, until you change it again.

Tip: For any option, use the Preview button before printing to get an idea of how much paper will be needed, as well as how the printout will look.

Scale message to fit

With this option selected, Mail will not rewrap the text of the message on the printed page.

The printed document will look like how the message is displayed on screen. If the message window is wider than the paper width, then the message, including any text or graphics, will be reduced in size to fit the width of the paper. Any specified font size settings will be ignored.

Changing the width of a message window can cause the lines of text to rewrap—widening the window will create longer lines of text.

In many cases, the size of the text will be smaller than expected.

As when printing from TextEdit, the printout may not automatically be reduced to fit onto one piece of paper.

Rewrap message to fit

Mail strictly maintains the specified font size of the message with this option. This means that the text of the message will likely wrap differently on the printout, so that the width of the printout doesn't exceed one page. The printed document won't look exactly like it does on the screen. Also, because points per inch on a display is not the same as on paper, the printout may appear smaller than expected. Increase the font size before printing if desired, or use the "Keep the same apparent font size" choice.

Because printed text may wrap differently, this choice may not be best for printing structured text, such as a web page's HTML code, or an indented or nested list.

Keep the same apparent font size

If you're not sure which option might be best for you, try this one first. Mail will print the message using a font size that considers the difference between the number of points per inch on a display and on paper. The message may be rewrapped so that it's no wider than one page, but if you hold the piece of paper next to the display, the fonts should appear to be the same size (even if some words are on a different line).

Published Date: Feb 19, 2012