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How can I change the default text color (black to dark grey) in Mail on Lion?

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Do you mean font color in messages or in the general layout? – please delete me Sep 23 '11 at 2:41
I mean the font color of the body of the email. – Joseph Sep 23 '11 at 4:35
Unfortunately, you cannot. Mail only accepts font type and size. It does not accept changes to color value. If you are writing an HTML email, you can change the color of the text as you send it (and Mail certainly respects the text color of emails people send you), but that is as far as you can go. – user10355 Sep 23 '11 at 5:04
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Unfortunately I'm unaware of any way to do this without a workaround. Here it is:

  1. Go to preferences -> signatures and create one that uses the font color you want to use. You have to select the text, right-click, go under font and pick the color from there (at least on my Lion machine)
  2. Set that signature as your default
  3. When you compose a new message, put your cursor on the beginning of the line that the signature is on, hit enter a few times, and when you start typing your message it will be in that font/color. There will be a blank line at the top that is formatted black, which you can backspace to delete, just make sure you've started typing something first or it will set it back to black.
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Thanks for the workaround. Don't really understand why apple would omit such a standard functionality. – Joseph Sep 24 '11 at 6:43

Some people have created apps to try and make up for this feature (setting default font, size, color) being missing in Mail:

Universal Mailer

I have not tried them myself.

Commonly used alternative email clients which do have the feature are Thunderbird and Entourage/Outlook.

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