Horizontal line option?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by majaca, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. majaca macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2013
    In my emails, when I reply, I like to separate one email from another-when it's ongoing, with a 'horizontal line'. This is what it's called on other email sites. I cannot seem to find out how to 'insert' a horizontal line on this email system. So, as a makeshift 'horizontal line', I have to hold down the shift button while hitting this _ button repeatedly until I have a 'horizontal' line. PIA!

    Anyone can help? Thanks.
  2. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Mar 19, 2008
    Warrington, UK
    Which email program are you using?

    No you don't. Just hold the _ key down and the repeat function will draw a line for you.
  3. majaca thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2013
    Ok, please be more specific. I do not know what the repeat function is. Or, where it is.

    If I just hold down the _ without holding the shift then it looks like this: - and not this: _.

    I am not tech-y so pls give more detail. Thanks.
  4. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    Look down at your keyboard and by the 'Delete' key two keys two the right should be the _ sign (hold down the shift key while clicking the - sign on your keyboard). To easy.
  5. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Mar 19, 2008
    Warrington, UK
    If you hold down a key, it will just type the same thing for as long as you hold down the key. So to get a horizontal line, I press Shift then _ and hold down both keys until _ is as long as I want it to be:
  6. majaca thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2013
    I am doing this, holding down the shift button with the other one until the line is longer. This is a pain in the rear.



  7. Thraun macrumors regular


    Dec 18, 2008
    Abbotsford, BC
    No. There is no 'line' tool if that's what you're asking. I'm sorry, you're going to have to spend the extra 6 seconds and do it the old-fashioned way I guess.
  8. chown33, Nov 26, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013

    chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Sailing beyond the sunset
    The main phases of a solution are:
    1. Make a Service in Automator that types '_' your desired number of times.
    2. Assign a Keyboard Shortcut to the Service using System Preferences.
    3. Test it.

    Phase 1 : Make a Service in Automator.
    1. Launch Automator.app.
    2. Choose "Service" from the "Choose a type for your document" dialog.
    3. Add a "Run AppleScript" action to the workflow.
    4. Paste the following AppleScript into the action:
      tell app "System Events" to keystroke "_______________________"
      The pasted-in AppleScript should completely replace the template AppleScript that automatically appears in the "Run AppleScript" action. That means you click in the box of the action, choose Select All from the Edit menu (⌘A), then delete everything.
      Optional: you can increase the length of the __ string.
    5. At the top of the workflow, set the popups to show:
      Service receives no input in any application
    6. Save the Service (⌘S), and give it a name.

    Phase 2 : Assign a Keyboard Shortcut in System Preferences
    1. Launch System Preferences.
    2. Choose the Keyboard pane, then click the Keyboard Shortcuts tab.
    3. Two side-by-side lists will appear.
    4. Choose Services in the left-hand list. The right-hand list will show the available Services.
    5. Scroll down the list until you see the name you gave your Service. It will probably be under the General heading.
    6. Ensure your service's checkbox is checked.
    7. Click its "add shortcut" button, then press your desired key combination to assign it a keyboard shortcut (the key combination must be unique).

    Phase 3 : Test it
    1. Launch Mail.app.
    2. Click the Mail menu, then move down to the Services hierarchical menu.
    3. Does your named Service appear in the menu items?
    4. Does your named Service have its assigned keyboard shortcut?
    5. Create a new message (⌘N).
    6. Click in the body of the new empty message.
    7. Press the keyboard shortcut.
    8. Is the series of _'s correctly added to the message?

    I have tested the above on 10.8.4 Mtn Lion. If you're using a different OS version, tell us what it is. The Keyboard Shortcuts pane in particular may vary.

    For more details on Services, follow a tutorial on how to make Services in Automator.

    If you have a problem or a question with anything above, post a reply and identify the exact step where you have a problem or question. If there's an error message of any kind at any point, post the complete exact text of the message, and identify the specific step where it occurs.

    P.S. If your '_' key is auto-repeating too slow, or not at all, change it in:
    System Preferences > Keyboard pane > Keyboard tab
    Slider : Key Repeat ( off slow - - - fast )
    Slider : Delay Until Repeat ( long - - - short )
  9. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Mar 19, 2008
    Warrington, UK
    Even in this day and age, there are some things that computers will do for you, and there are some things that you just have to do yourself. This is one of those. ;)
  10. DharmaShanti macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2014
    Simple fixes

    I used to enjoy using the 'insert: line break' feature...in MS Word, many years ago; it was a nice tool, which seems like a basic, helpful feature that might be included in TextEdit.
  11. RenderBay macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2008
    I know what you're talking about maraca. Try this:
    "OS X Mail does support options to add line breaks to list items, allowing you to generate multiple paragraphs and other separations in lists. To do this, simply hold the Control key when pressing Enter or Return, and the program will maintain the list structure and give you a new line to work with. This feature is similar to those in other programs such as Apple's Pages and TextEdit editors, so if you have looked for ways to add line breaks in these programs, then you can do so there as well, without using inspectors or other adjustment panels."
    See more at: http://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-add-line-breaks-between-list-items-in-os-x-mail/
  12. brianclarkbecker macrumors newbie


    Sep 30, 2015
    Horizontal Line:

    1. Select Format button (it's the paintbrush icon, upper-right).
    2. Within Format pane, select the 2nd menu button, Layout.
    3. Within Layout area, scroll down to the 4th section, Borders & Rules.
    4. Within Borders & Rules, change the dropdown menu from None to ______.

    * Within Borders & Rules, use the Position and Offset menus for more detailed positioning.
  13. somedudesomewhere macrumors newbie


    Nov 11, 2015
    You can create an HTML file on your computer called, maybe, 'hr.html' with the following contents:
    <hr />

    When you open that file, it will have just a horizontal row in it, so you can copy the contents of that file at any time in the future without having to return to this forum.
  14. Somps, Oct 20, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016

    Somps macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2016

    Not sure if you still need this or not, but for those who say"Just spend the extra time and do it the old fashion way". They can go grab a big chief tablet with one of those big pencils. So many people view the world from one simplistic point of view. Now, you can either create a shortcut very easily on a Mac that will allow you to type in 3 of any character and have it replace it with your line or anything that you choose. I accidentally created a line in Notes by accidentally hitting some keys and I don't know how I did it, but the feature seems to be there. It's just finding the person who knows. If this is still something you need, let me know. It has been a few years now.
    Oh, and for those who settle for "Its not there so just do it the old way". Where is your forward thinking?

    ****Update - Sorry, had a rough day. I came off a bit scolding towards some comments and I just want to apologize for it. Instead of deleting my comment, I would rather own up to it and apologize. There is no need for harshness and, after re-reading my post, I believe that's what I did. Again, I do apologize.
  15. RenderBay macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2008
    This is a typesetting function that used to be very common and was a part of Mac Mail for a long time. It's less common now-days because there are fewer people trained in typesetting and they want easier things like "make a line with repeating underscores." Typesetting is an old-school skill. Many believe those that know how to use a keyboard know everything there is to know about typesetting. But some people remember the rules of typography and the conveniences and are missing them.

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