After you've read a message, you may want to respond. You could simply open a new message window and enter the original sender’s address into a brand new e-mail, but it is usually easier and more appropriate to use the Reply function.
- The window with the e-mail you are reading typically has a Reply Click this button to open a new window. The To and Subject lines are automatically filled in with the e-mail address of the sender and the subject of the message.
- You might also have a Reply All or similar button that also opens a new window. In this case, all the addresses in the To and CC lists are included in the To and CC lines.
- In some programs, the original message appears automatically. Other programs have a Quote or Include Original Message button. By clicking this button, the text of the original e-mail appears in the body of the reply, usually marked in a different font or color, or with a special character, such as the greater than sign (>) at the beginning of each line.
- You can choose to place your reply before or after the original text.
- To respond to a series of ideas or questions, intersperse your reply with the original text. Typically, your replies appear in a different color or font, making it easier to identify.
E-mail offers users several ways to expedite communication and easily organize their correspondences, such as the Reply and Reply All functions, which make it simple hold conversations across the Internet.
Frequently Asked Questions
I don’t see anything that says Reply. Where’s the Reply button?
The Reply button is usually shown as a left-pointing arrow. The Reply All button is usually a double left-pointing arrow. In some cases, these arrows may be bent or placed on top of a mail icon.
Is there a way to set up a default style for replies?
Yes. Most e-mail clients will allow you to specify how you want your replies formatted. You can choose whether to reply at the beginning or end of the message, whether or not to include the original messages, and how to format the original message if including it. You can usually find this under your program’s options or settings menu.
Why is it better to use Reply rather than creating a brand new e-mail?
The Reply function offers many advantages over creating a new e-mail. First, it’s easier. You don’t have to retype the sender’s address (which also means you can’t mess is up). Second, it allows you to easily include the previous communication, so you can read and respond to the entire conversation in a single e-mail. Third, using the Reply function ensures that all of the follow-up e-mails have the same subject, making it easier to sort and review the entire conversation later.
When should I use Reply vs. Reply All?
Reply is used when you want to respond directly to the sender of the original message. Reply All allows you to respond to everyone who received the first message. This can be very useful if you are trying to get input from several people at one time. In general, though, you should restrict the use of Reply All for times when it is truly necessary. If you don’t need to involve the entire group, leave them out. Otherwise, people will stop following the conversation, and important messages may be missed.
When I reply to a message, I can’t change my font color. Why not?
This is usually because the original message was written in Plain Text. Plain text does not support special formatting, such as font colors. To add colored fonts, you will need to go to your formatting menu and change to HTML or Rich Text. Keep in mind, though, that if the original sender is using an e-mail program that does not support HTML or Rich Text, he or she won’t be able to see your colored font.