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. :)

55 thoughts on “Editing Mac Mail Stationery”

  1. Jeff,
    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?
    Sincerely,
    Brian

  2. 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‚Ķ” command.

  3. 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.

    http://www.equinux.com/us/products/stationery/index.html

  4. 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.

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