noob iMac convert - no command+ for Mail composition?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Infin 8, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. Infin 8 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    #1
    I am an iMac noob but not new to forums. I have tried searching and cannot find answers so I started this thread.

    Just got a new 24" iMac and LOVE it. However, if I keep the resolution high, I find that I really need the command+ (way better than zoom). I got this big beautiful screen because it can sit 3-4 feet from my chair and I can see it easily. At the high resolution, fonts appear small.

    The Mail program is frustrating. I can increase the mailbox font for the mailboxes, can increase the font for the mail list, but there is no change for the preview pane?? i have to Command+ (x2) in the preview pane for each and every email. It is a nuisance. Is there a work around?

    With all of the super cool features Apple has put into these things, why would they not have a changeable "default" for command+ such that a user could set it once and forget it instead of having to re-do for each and every email?

    Even more difficult to understand, is it possible that command+ does not work at all in email compose? If true, why would Apple do this? Any possible work around? I called Apple phone support and they told me to boost the font size in mail preferences and then, after typing each message, command-A, fonts, reduce back to 12. I was amazed they would expect a user to do this for each and every email composed.

    In high-res, 12 pt font appears on the screen to be about 1/8th of an inch high. I cannot imagine sitting close enough to a 24" screen to make that comfortably readable. And, where I keep my screen, about 3 feet from my chair... Why would Apple come up with Command+, have it work on each and every screen except mail compose?:eek:

    Please - help???
    T.I.A.
     
  2. Ashka macrumors 6502a

    Ashka

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #2
    command + does work in the compose message field just click in the field first to select.
    For the rest check out the Mail Prefs (Under mail on the menu bar) > Fonts & Colors.
    Best.
     
  3. Infin 8 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    #3
    Thanks for the reply. Command+ does not seem to work in my mail compose window. The Apple phone support rep could not get his to do it either. When I try, the "format" button on the menu bar flashes with blue highlight but the screen changes not at all.

    While I am at it, in Outlook I could set a default font for compose and a different default for reply (including a different color). I found how to set a default for compose but could not find a default setting for reply font style, color and size. Does this exist in mac Mail? How/where? And, Outlook the tool bar has a drop-down that shows which font style and size is being used. Nice feature in that you can highlight any piece of text and the drop-down immediately shows the font. Also great for quick font changes, color changes, and/or highlights within a message. I found how to add buttons to the tool-bar but could not find this option. Does it exist in Mac Mail?
     
  4. Ashka macrumors 6502a

    Ashka

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #4
    In the compose message field type a letter or two and select those first then use the usual command +
    There are a lot of preferences to set in Mail best to double check them.

    The Mail Menu Bar (at the top of the screen) has Format > Fonts, colours etc.

    The receiving computer can be set to receive plain text only as mine is or if it accepts rich text it may not have the same fonts installed.

    The only way you can be sure that the person receives the message as sent is by sending in pdf format.
    Saving as pdf is built in to your Mac the option is under File > Print > PDF on the menu bar.
     
  5. Infin 8 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    #5
    Thanks Ashka, these are some of the things that are different from PC. It seems a bit of a shame that these extra steps are necessary. With this big beautiful screen, users want the high resolution and the command+ feature is a nice way of increasing the appearance of font without actually increasing the fonts themselves. I am sort of amazed that with all of the thoughtful features Apple put into these machines, like Command+, that they did not add a simple setting that lets a user set a command+ level as a default so that doing these steps is not necessary on each and every message/screen.

    Thanks again for your help.
     
  6. Infin 8 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    #6
    Just tried playing with this. I think it is actually increasing the font size rather than just the viewable appearance. I had my font set at 12 pt and did the highlight first few characters, command+, continued typing and sent the message assuming it went out in the 12 pt font. Then, i went to the sent file and opened that same message. because Mac's mail program toolbar does not show you (or let you add the font selection to the toolbar), I highlighted some of the text from the sent message and copied and pasted it into a Word (for Mac) document and it showed as 17 pt font.

    If there is not other way, this would be just another version of what the Apple Support rep told me - basically that I have to boost the font to make it more viewable for typing and then select all and reduce back to a realistic size for sending. I just cannot believe all of these extra steps are necessary. There has to be a more simple way - other than reducing the resolution (which I have already sacrificed by a setting or two and it still is not enough, but if I reduce it more, the image really suffers).
     
  7. johto macrumors 6502

    johto

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #7
    The displays physical size and pixel resolution makes the overall "real" resolution(Dot Per Inch, DPI). 24" screen with 1920x1200 resolution (any computer monitor) is normally ment to use from distance of about arms reach.

    Cant see how can you complain if you are sitting too far away? :p
     
  8. Ashka macrumors 6502a

    Ashka

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #8
    If you are more comfortable sitting that far away from the screen I'd look at changing the screen resolution to one that shows everything in a bigger size. System Prefs> Displays
    Best.
     
  9. Infin 8 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    #9
    Arm's reach, or less, from a laptop or 17-20" screens sounds reasonable but that is too close for a 24" - at least imo. The configuration of my home office (where I work always) is such that a closer orientation is not optimal. And, I paid considerably extra $$ to have this 24" screen when a 2.4 processor would have been more than enough capacity for my needs. I bought this because (even though I never used a Mac), i never would have dreamed, in my wildest imagination, that Command+ would not work in composition AND/OR that Apple would not include a user changeable default setting that would allow for a one time setting of the Command+ level that would apply universally until changed. Such a large screen begs to be located differently than a smaller screen (would you sit 4 feet away from a 65" TV?); with such high resolution, the code writers have to know that will result in small appearance of fonts otherwise they would not have come up with zoom, Command+, etc. So, IMHO, not including a default for command+ is like not putting voice dial on the iPhone (a feature that just about every cell phone in existence has for safety reasons).

    iPhone is another great product from Apple that continues to lack obvious and useful features (can anyone say landscape keyboard for email and text - especially when the iPhone already HAS the landscape keyboard for Safari???!!!). Similarly, the imac already has the command+ feature but they leave out the simple setting that would be an obvious convenience of alleviating the user from having to adjust the screen appearance on each and every screen. I just do not understand why Apple continues to make such great products and then (as if almost intentionally) leave out some truly obvious and useful features.

    Ashka, thank you for your continuing efforts to help me on this. I have reduced the resolution but it is not enough and if I reduce further, the image really starts to suffer. It is frustrating that such a truly great computer would have so many little ridiculous annoyances that are all so easily fixable. Some other little examples: not being able to include font style and size drop-downs in compose tool-bars, not being able to adjust the size for the menu and toolbars, there are others but listing would be taking this OT.

    I am still hoping that there is something that I am missing because these feel like such obvious oversights, and given how thoughtful the Mac design is otherwise, I still have difficulty believing this is not fixable. Then again, after over 10 firmware updates and an entire 2nd generation unit of production, iPhone still lacks super-basic features like voice-dial and landscape keyboard for email!
     
  10. johto macrumors 6502

    johto

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #10
    Would I sit 1-2 meters from 65" TV ? Hell yes!
    (if the real resolution per dot is high enough for that distance) :cool:
     
  11. Mr Skills macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    #11
    Now what you want is a little thing called Resolution Independence, which is rumored to be in Snow Leopard, the next update of Mac OS X.

    But luckily for you, it's actually already in Leopard right now! It's just a bit 'experimental' so they have not made it easily accessible yet. :)

    1. Quit Mail
    2. Open Terminal (just type Terminal into Spotlight to find it)
    3. Type defaults write com.apple.mail AppleDisplayScaleFactor 1.25 and press return (it may ask for your password).
    4. Open Mail again.

    Where it says "1.25" can be any figure you like, with 1.00 being normal size (try 2.00 for a laugh). As for the 'experimental' status, you'll notice that a few of the buttons are a little pixelated, but other than that it's working fine for me.
     
  12. Infin 8 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    #12
    This sounds interesting but I am mostly focused on the appearance of the fonts (on MY screen) without changing the actual fonts for sending. I have found another solution, that requires action for each and every compose, but easier than changing fonts back and forth each time. In system prefs, zoom control on with mouseball and ctrl. allows me to zoom into the message for typing, It is still an every message adjustment but quick.

    I'll give your idea a try just to see what it does and to which parts of the screen. I still do not see why command+, which is so much better than zoom because it reorients everything on the screen for better fit, does not offer a simple "set it once" type of setting that would apply to all software screens unless changed. Or, better yet, allows you to set it for each program individually and hold that setting until changed. This way, you can keep the res high for max image quality and still make fonts and such appear larger for easier viewability! There is no reason, that I can see for the inconsistency of this feature as currently applied - especially in mail compose. Being able to increase toolbar and menu bar fonts would also be nice.

    I now have my resolution down to 1344x840, a huge sacrifice in image quality; it does make everything reasonably bigger tho.
     
  13. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #13
    Resolution independence only affects your screen.
     
  14. Mr Skills macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    #14
    Resolution Independence does exactly what you are asking for. It is just going to make the whole of the mail program appear bigger on your screen, just like when you lower the resolution (but only for mail, and without going all jagged). It's basically zooming in - it has no effect on fonts or the mail you are sending.

    You can also use the same command for various other programs - so you can make individual programs appear bigger or smaller on your screen.
     
  15. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #15
    Neat, I didn't know about that trick. Is there a way to change all applications?
     
  16. Mr Skills macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    #16
    The full instructions are here.

    Actually I'm surprised no-one has made a GUI app to do this so you don't have to use the terminal (I know you can use Quartz Debug but it does change individual apps).
     
  17. Infin 8 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    #17
    Reducing resolution does kind of get the job done, as does zooming, but Command+ is (IMO) still the best fix. Now, if only Apple would put in a simple option to set a command+ level for each software program (hopefully to work in 3rd party apps too), as a default, that would truly make command+ useful.

    While they are at it, a default adjustment for menu bar font size and toolbar button size would be great too!
     
  18. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
  19. Infin 8 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    #19
    Not yet, I'll try it. Still getting my feet wet in the Mac world. However, I understand the words "resolution independence" and I realize it will lower the res for only the mail program. I accept Mr. Skill's statement the edges will stay smooth. I am getting a new keyboard drawer that will permit me to sit about a foot closer to the screen - about as close as I would ever want to be with this huge screen. In theory, will know more about practice when I get adventurous enough to go play around in terminal, using res ind. will lower res for everything in mail. But, mail prefs let us change font (appearance) sizes for mail list and mailboxes without reducing res. Command+ really only (right now) works in the mail preview.

    Lowering the system res (to 1344x840) has helped with all programs, and not overly impacted image quality. I just really like the command+ idea (but not having to do it on each screen) because it re-orients everything on the screen while leaving the resolution alone.
     

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