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Saturday, August 11, 2012

1261. Include original email when replying

Cindy asked: When I look at email messages sometimes I see the entire thread of the email conversation. How can I do that in my email messages, and is this something I should be doing?

One benefit of email over SMS text messages is that email maintains a thread of the conversation, so you have some idea of the context of the response. Generally, it's a good idea to include the entire email thread in your emails (although there are often reasons to "prune" the thread of messages, if it gets too long).

Most email systems provide some means of including email threads in reverse order each time you respond to an email message. If you're using a browser-based email (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, and so on), find the settings for your email server and look for the option to include original email in response to messages. You can search the internet for information on exactly how to do this for all of the popular email clients and email systems. 

Most email clients support this feature, as well, including Microsoft Outlook and Mac Mail. The exact steps to turn it on differ, depending on the version of the software, but in every case, look in the options or preferences, and look for options dealing with replies or responses, and turn on the option to include or quote the text of the original message.

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