By default, most email clients will deliver your emails in HTML mode. Of course, there are times when you may want to read your missives in plain text. Whether it’s because you’re concerned about security or you simply want to see how your letter reads in a plain text version, here’s how to read your emails in plain text in different email clients. (Please note, Yahoo Mail no longer comes with the option to view your mail in plain text.)
Thunderbird is probably one of the easiest email clients when it comes to converting your messages to plain text. All you need to do is go to View and then Message Body As from the Menu bar. From there, select Plain Text, and your emails will all appear as plain text from here on out. Follow the same steps in reverse when you’re ready to switch back to HTML.
Unlike certain other email clients, Gmail doesn’t have a single button that allows you to convert your messages to plain text. However, it’s still a fairly simple process. Start by opening up the message you’d like to view, and locate the downward arrow next to the Reply option. Click this arrow, and a drop-down menu will appear. From this menu, choose the box that says ‘Message Text Garbled?’
This box will open a new window, where the email message’s content will be viewable in plain text. It will be preceded by a short message stating that the text may be garbled if the message contains characters that aren’t supported by encoding.
To view your messages as plain text in Outlook 2003, start by going to Tools and then Options. From there, select Preferences, and then go to the Email option. In the Message area, you will find an option to “read all standard mail in plain text.” Check this box and you’re good to go.
In 2007, the steps are similar, but not quite the same. Start under Tools, and then head over to the Trust Center. From there, click on Email Security. There, you’ll find a Read as Plain Text tab, and a checkbox labeled “read all standard mail in plain text.”