Sorry for such a simplistic sounding question, but I haven't found any resolution to this. As I migrate users from Outlook to Mail, this is one of the biggest things I miss...

When you forward a message in Mail.app, it gives full attribution, listing complete To, From, Subject, and Date information. However, when you reply, all you get is "On so-and-so wrote:" and nothing else. The big missing piece is the To information. In a corporate environment, it is really important to see who had been written to in a historical message in a thread, since the distribution group often changes from reply to reply.

Is there any way to get the full attribution in replies as well as forwards? It must be possible. I know that you can edit the Delayed.strings file which can help space things out more desirably, but I'd like to also have all the lines (From, Date, To, Subject) there in exactly the same way.

Any ideas or advice would be most appreciated :)

5 Answers 5


I'd be very interested in this if you can pull it off, as that reply header format is super annoying to me.

For the previous version of Mail, a guy at Purdue wrote a plug-in to do exactly what we're looking for here. He's since moved off OS X so he isn't maintaining the code for Lion, but it might serve as a good starting point for you. The source is at: https://github.com/saptarshiguha/ReplyWithHeaders

The author gave me the following tip (all Greek to me, but might be helpful to you):

Fixing this to work in Lion might be as simple as including new UUIDs (plugins require something called UUID compatibility IDs), or a rewrite (the Mail internals might have changed).

Hope this helps! I know a lot of people that would be very excited to fix this little shortcoming in Lion Mail.


  • This should still work fine on Snow Leopard. I added the correct PluginCompatibilityUUID to it, and it didn't work in Lion. The plugin will have to be recoded to work on Lion. The Console logs from my attempt are here: pastie.org/2290415
    – zevlag
    Jul 29, 2011 at 20:20

Happy to report there is a solution to this now, as Purdue's Saptarshi Guha has updated his plug-in for Lion Mail. You can now see the standard reply header instead of that ugly Mac standard.



One used to be able to (sort of) change "REPLY_ATTRIBUTION” in /System/Library/Frameworks/Message.framework/Versions/B/Resources/English.lproj/Delayed.strings.

Will try and see if that still works... (once the new Lion Xcode is downloaded....)

  • I know you can change the reply attribution to a good extent (it seems to have reset itself since I upgraded) but only includes the %1$@ (Date) %2$@ (Time) %3$@ (Name of Sender - excludes email address).
    – maclunian
    Jul 23, 2011 at 4:03
  • 1
    Looks like we'll have to build our own plugin - but mail.app plugin api is undocumented - only info I've found that is still around is here: <eaganj.free.fr/weblog/?post/2009/07/14/…> ... gonna give it a whirl, because the default "On...wrote:" annoys me, too... Jul 23, 2011 at 5:42

The plugin mentioned above (https://github.com/saptarshiguha/ReplyWithHeaders) still works for Mountain Lion (Mail 6.5). However, you will need to update the UUIDs as explained here: http://code2k.net/blog/2010-05-16/. It is not as difficult as it sounds. I'm no programmer, and it took me about 30 minutes total time.

Hope this helps. I almost quit using Mail over this issue as I absolutely need to be able to keep track of who received what.


Edit: Just had to update the UUIDs again with the version change to Mail 6.6. Still seems to be working fine.


Hello ReplyWithHeader Users -

ReplyWithHeader plugin development back on track. Plugin is compatible with Lion and Mountain Lion (up to Mail 6.6)

Plugin Homepage and Download plugin from MacUpdate.com

For any issues, you can report here

PS: This is to share latest info, kindly not to delete!

  • @Scot I have updated the message, please feel free to improve it.
    – jeevatkm
    Sep 21, 2013 at 6:31

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