Editing Mac Mail Stationery

I love the new Mail templates that came with Mac OS X Leopard.

But the first thing I said when I saw them was, “why are there no business templates?” It continues to befuddle me. It would have been simple for the Apple dev team to throw the business community a couple of bones and at least create a template that would allow you to replace a logo and edit some styled address and contact fields. I don’t think that’s asking too much.

The second thing I said was, “there better be a way to create your own templates.” Well, there is.

Edited Stationery Template ImageIt will help to know a little HTML, but it’s actually quite simple. The image on the right is a screen capture of a quick first attempt on my part. I edited the existing “Fun” template to include an icon in place of the flowers at the top and company logo and address information to replace the flowers at the bottom. In this case, the only editing of the actual HTML document was to change the default color on the font in the email. The rest was done by simply editing the jpg files.

You get to the Stationery templates by going to the Library> Application Support> Apple> Mail. From there you’ll need to drill down until you get to the resources folder that contains the different Stationery templates. In this case I dragged the “Fun.mailstationery” file to the desktop and renamed it RES.mailstationery. Then I Control clicked on the file to Show Package Contents. All of the files are there for your editing.

To rename the template inside Mac Mail, open the English.lproj folder and edit the template name in the file, “DisplayName.strings.” Content.html contains the meat of the HTML for each template.

Make your changes. Save the new graphics files into the resources folder of your edited Stationery file and then copy that file into the place with the other files in the category you’ve chosen your template from. When you fire up Mail again, your edited template should be available. Like this:

Edited Stationery List

The thumbnail on the far right was easy to generate. As you can see, it was created before I moved the logo box to the left on the template.

I still feel strongly there needs to be some good, easy to edit business templates for the program. But it’s 2am right now, so that may have to wait for another day. :)

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Spot on! I was looking forward to this feature in Leopard and what a poor selection for business use or own design templates. Someone please design some iTemplate software

I too stayed up last night doing the install. Went to mail right away and found the templates to be “cute”.

As I’m in the real estate business myself as an appraiser this was a great thing to see on Saturday morning.

Guess, I’ll have to use the new “webclip” feature and watch your blog now. :)

A little groggy today, so I’ll save my editing attempts for tomorrow.

Thanks for the info!

Mikea… iTemplate software… now there’s an idea.

Benjamin… I ended up not hitting the sack until almost 5am. Not a bright idea, by the way. I’m NOT a programmer, but I’m going to make an attempt at a “letterhead” template that will allow you to put in your own logo from iPhoto. I won’t get to it until later and I’m actually hoping someone beats me to it. :)

Jeff: Late night so need some obvious help!
I followed your instructions until I came to edit the DisplayNames.strings and nothing I do will open it this is an Unix file???
I have my new html file in the folder but am failing to display it
Help appreciated
best regards
mike a

Mikea… you’ll need a program like BBEdit to open that file. Open it from inside the package and save directly back to it.

Once you’ve edited the name, attempt to put your stationery file back into the base resources folder for the category you want it to appear in. That should do it. Let me know if you still need more help.

I’ll be happy to make a video if that would assist.

Here is a downloadable template you can use to create a very simple business letterhead.



I cant get the template to display the NEW name, so I have duplicate filenames.

Im inside English.lproj with the “DisplayName.strings” file…I wnt the filename “DDDDD”

Here are the contents of the file…just wondering if u can help.

Thanks in advance!

/* Stationery template name as appears in the stationary selection pane in the New Message window after clicking Show Stationery toolbar item. */
“Display Name” = “DDDDD”;

Delane… you may want to try changing the file name in the content.html file as well. But that should have done it. Can you give me a link to download what you’ve done so I can look at it?


Thank you for your help and your templates Better than real estate…mac template design!
I am off on my own now Thanks to your help… Best regards
Mike a


I think I got it to work. I was attempting to edit the file in place. I had to move the file to the desktop, then make the edit…then move the file back to the correct location for it to show up…



Delane… good news. I have edited them in place, however, and it has worked. Mail has to be restarted to recognize a new template, but it will recognize changes to an existing template without restarting.

Very exciting… How do I resize the place holder for my logo? I tried resizing the logo as you suggested but it is still to big… Thanks so much for any help you can provide.

Jeff… it won’t size down, it will only size up. So, you need to edit the logo in a graphics pacage to make it fit right. I suggesting making the logo the right size and uploading that file into iPhoto.

I would think that the ability to build stationary for Mail and templates for iWeb would be a nice software suite.

Jim… I agree. I don’t really think the Mac community wants to be left with template manufacturers or custom html editing as their only options.

Yeah… I posted a link to it in the comments on another post. A great many of the templates are still very “cheesy.”

unfortunately even the stationary pack looks like something a teenager might use… not a business.

I am waiting for software or something that will allow me to build or drag and drop my logos and photos and design a branded letterhead.

When you drag a file to the desktop, what do you have to do to open the file to see the html code?

Open Package Contentshare cliper… click on the file while holding down the control key, it will present you with some menu options. One of those is “Show Package Contents.” Click on that and it will open a new window to allow you access to the resource files in that package.

Thanks for this. I really do think Mail’s templates will be great resource for small businesses because you can so easily personalize them with photos and graphics. Just dropped yours in my Favorites folder. Now I just need to learn enough CSS, XML, etc. to create my own.

Bakari… glad to help. I’ve been playing with another template on and off and will post it here when finished.

Thanks for all your help. Got a great branded email stationary working today.

My confidence has been restored with Mail.

You’re amazing! Thank you so much!

Jeff, I love this post, I ended up making a very nice stationary, except one problem, when i was editing the html i saved as rtfd, and now the html is gone…I was wondering if you could email me the fun.mailstationary text file. It would be greatly appreciated.
Thank You,
My email is kunaal.arria@gmail.com

Peter V… thanks.

Kunaal… done. It has been emailed to you.

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for the great tips and templates. Very helpful.

What about creating a new stationery category? I tried duplicating one of the other folders and then adding this:

Folder Name

To the main TableOfContents.plist. I also changed the DisplayName in DisplayName.strings. But no go. What’s the catch?

Best Regards,
Antoine Palmer

Antoine… I just tried to do it the logical way, as you describe above and it didn’t work for me either. I’m going to take a harder look later.

Thanks, would be interesting. For now though, I actually just found a trick that works.

If you go into ~/Library/Application Support/Mail/Stationery/Apple/Contents/Resources, you can add folders and they are automatically recognized by Mail as new Categories.

This I learned after reading a helpful tip in comment #11 here.

Mail allows you to save any email message as a new stationery item (Compose New Message, then File > Save as Stationery…). The first time you do this, it creates a new “Custom” Folder at the path above. This is then a new category in the Stationary pane, as will be any other folders you add in the same location.

The tip at comment #11 suggested using webpages as new templates through File > Mail Contents of This Page in Safari, and then saving the message as stationery in Mail.

Pretty cool.

Best Regards,
Antoine Palmer

Antoine, while that will work, there will be quite of bit of html editing to do before it can be useable. The saved custom stationery from a Mail Contents command will come into Mail as one whole unit. So, the individual parts of the page will not be editable unless you build the “contenteditable=”true”” commands into the design at the right places. I will test this further later, but attempts to do it the “easy” way via apps like iWeb, failed miserably.

Test this one from iWeb and see what I mean.


Sure. But the functionality through ~Library makes it easy to create new categories in the stationery pane. You can always copy stationery bundles from the main Library into your ~Library/custom folders and then edit them as you describe above.

I guess there is no easy way to turn a webpage into a fully functional Web template. But you can directly edit text in the webpage templates. I had some good fun with the front page of the NYTimes today. Hee Hee.

If anyone wants to see, send me an email address to send to.


:) I’d love to see it. tojt at mac dot com.

sent to tojt

Jeff – I tried to customize the stationary, I was able to change some things around, but when I went to try to use it I realized that I don’t seem to be able to use my signature with stationary. I have my website linked in my signature. Do you know if you can use stationary and signatures?

Maureen… that is one of the downsides to the templates, the signatures need to be built into the html.

Sometimes I wish I was a genuine Mac geek instead of a wanna be. 😉

Hi! If the template doesn’t appear:
Take care to delete the string of Stationery ID in the “Description.plist” file. Just leave blank the under de tag. You will found this tags at the end.

Save changes and execute, Mail will prompt you if you want to install a new template.

Yuhuu! Hope to be usefull ^__^

HTML : stationary

I’m a typical “knows enough to be dangerous” wanna be geek. I’ve been messing about with creating new jpgs for creating custom stationary looks but am wondering how to get into the actual html of the stationary in order to SET the default text font.

Any ideas please? Thank you.

Johnie… you’re going to need a program like BBEdit, something that won’t add any “extra stuff” to the code when you save it. That’s my suggestion.

Thank You Jeff.

I’m just recovering from a G4 melt down loosing the ability to use ANY of my “classic” software which included a web design software called Dreamweaver. i was hoping not to have to buy even more new software. I’m now iMac’d and flat broke. Yippie.

Thank again.

Johnnie… here is a link to their downloadable demo version, fully functional for 30 days.


Johnie… I found a free one for you.


Jeff your AMAZING !

Thank YOU!

I’ll give this a try and let you know what strangeness happens. It’s late here, time for a late dinner then to bed for before my last cubicle work day before the holidays.


Couldn’t wait. Downloaded the “taco” and in just a few seconds have now set the default font for my custom stationary! An understanding of html is of course required to do this but this worked SLICK as . . . . . !

Thank you Jeff! *bowing*

I found this method easier…

1. Compose your “template” page in a HTML editor such as MS Word, iWeb, or NVU.
2. Open or preview your page in Safari…
3. To get HTML into Apple Mail press Apple-i – that puts the current page into an email for you.
4. In Mail go to the File menu and choose – Save as Stationary…

found stationery with Limewire. Can be edited to make even more

Hey Jeff,

I’d like to be able to send my RES flyers out as emails. I know I did this successfully before by editing one of your templates and pasting the flyer html into the email stationary, but for the life of me I can’t seem to make it work now. Feel like making a blank email template to use with RES flyers??? Or an instructional video would be nice.

Hope you are having a great week ~ Maureen

Hi Jeff,
good post! Thanks!

Found another interesting tutorial which I wanted to share with you:



Martin, that is an excellent link. Thank you for posting it here!

I start on my Place in the Finder, then I click on Library> Application Support> but there is no Apple> Mail. What do I do to get to stationary?

Do the templates have to be so complicated? I created one for Outlook (for Windows) that looks like this (I replaced the less-than and greater-than’s with brackets):
[html][head][title id=”ridTitle”]My Stationery[/title] [style][!– body,P.msoNormal, LI.msoNormal { background-position: top left; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-color: “#FFFFFF”; margin-left: 1em; margin-top: 12em; margin-bottom: 0em; color: “#000000″; font-size: 10pt; font-weight: normal; font-family: “Arial”; } –][/style] [/head] [BODY id=”ridBody” background=”Logo.gif”]
[/body] [/html]

and I’m trying to help one of our outside salesmen to install it on his Mac, and the ones that I downloaded from your blog are much more complicated. Is all that necessary?

Note that users may not wish to modify the /Library/Application\ Support/Apple/Mail/Stationery/Apple/Contents/Resources/ location (starting from the root of the hard drive) with their own creations, but instead should place custom entries within their own home folder, at the following path: ~Library/Application\ Support/Mail/Stationery/Apple/Contents/Resources/ (where “~” represents your home folder).

This way, they will be more-easily portable via Migration Assistant, are directly a part of this single user’s environment (so a problem won’t modify behavior for any other users on the system), etc. This user-specific path is created for you if you use Mail’s “File -> Save as Stationery…” command.

Just to let you know: equinux offers hundreds of really impressive stationery templates that expand the possibilities of Leopard Mail. You can add your own photos in the clever masks, write what you want in the expandable text fields and many of them also allow you to play around with background colors and motifs. And they’ve just come out with a Season’s Greetings Collection to send Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year cards. If you’ve got Leopard Mail and like the stationery feature, you’re really going to enjoy Stationery Pack from equinux.


Hi, I would like to pursue the “add a different logo size” question posted before.

How do I replace the AppleCompositeImage with my own logo? I want to use a much bigger logo than the 175 x 168 image container you provide.

I have also written a How To for Create your own HTML Templates for Mac Mail.

Take a look at how I customized a Stationary Template right from our website.


[…] Customised Mail Letterhead templates (English) […]

Thank you very much Jeff. This was extremely helpful. Do you know of any free downloadable software that will allow me to revise and re-save/re-write the DisplayNames.strings file?

I see there’s Taco HTML Edit for Mac OS X, but it expires in 30. I tried to open it with DreamWeaver, but no luck.

[…] Stationery discussed here on Technosanity are bad. I have replaced all of the individual links on Editing Mac Mail Stationery , Two More Mac OS X Leopard Mail Templates and A Customizable Mail Letterhead Template for OS X […]

Funny (or not) no one has written an OS X software application to create or modify mail os mail templates / stationary.

Maybe you should change the page subject title Editing Mac Mail Stationery | TechnoSanity to something more generic for your webpage you make. I loved the post nevertheless.

I wanted to put my logo where the template has a picture. what size do i need it to be to make it fit there?

Hello all! I like this forum, i organize multifarious compelling people on this forum.!!!

Large Community, good all!

THANK YOU! These templates have been driving me crazy and I really wanted to create my own. You provided a very clear and simple way to figure out how to take the work that was already done and use it to develop something of my own. You’ve been so helpful!

Hi Jeff,
When clicking on the folder dig to the end, the resource folder is empty.
I’d like to use one of the templates, any suggestions?
You can just email me when you have chance – don’t know if others need this help or not.

Good evening.
It will help you grow, but it could also have other side effects.!!for woman…
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