A website encouraging email users to use plaintext
You can not select more than 25 topics Topics must start with a letter or number, can include dashes ('-') and can be up to 35 characters long.

756 lines
30 KiB

<!doctype html>
<html>
<head>
<meta charset="utf-8" />
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">
<title>Use plaintext email</title>
<style>
body {
max-width: 800px;
margin: 0 auto;
font: 11pt monospace;
padding: 0 1rem;
}
ul li {
margin: 0.5rem 0;
}
.muted {
color: grey;
}
pre {
padding-left: 1rem;
max-width: 100%;
overflow-x: auto;
}
h2 a {
text-decoration: none;
color: black;
}
.breakdown {
display: flex;
justify-content: space-between;
}
@media(max-width: 720px) {
.breakdown {
display: block;
}
.breakdown span {
display: block;
}
}
.breakdown span {
padding: 0.5rem;
}
.green { background-color: rgba(0, 200, 0, 0.5); }
.green::before { content: '✓ '; }
.red { background-color: rgba(255, 50, 50, 0.5); }
.red::before { content: '✗ '; }
</style>
</head>
<body>
<h1>Use plaintext email</h1>
<p>
There are two main types of emails on the internet: plaintext and HTML.
The former is strongly preferred, but often isn't set up by default.
We'll get you set up right.
</p>
<h2>Table of Contents</h2>
<ol>
<li>
<a href="#recommended-clients">
Recommended email clients for plaintext users
</a>
</li>
<li>
<a href="#other-clients">
How to set up plaintext with other email clients
</a>
</li>
<li>
<a href="#etiquette">Etiquette recommendations for plaintext emails</a>
</li>
<li>
<a href="#why-plaintext">Why is plaintext better than HTML?</a>
</li>
<li>
<a href="#implementation-recommendations">
Recommendations for software which sends emails
</a>
</li>
<li>
<a href="#contribute">How to improve these recommendations</a>
</li>
</ol>
<p class="muted">
This guide is brought to you by <a
href="https://sourcehut.org"
>sourcehut</a>, the "hacker's forge" for software development, a platform
which utilizes plaintext emails for many features. 100% open source and no
JavaScript required -
<a href="https://meta.sr.ht/register">try it today</a>!
</p>
<img
src="certified.svg"
alt="Plaintext certified stamp"
style="float: right"
width="200" height="200" />
<h2 id="recommended-clients"><a href="#recommended-clients">
Recommended email clients for plaintext users
</a></h2>
<p>
The following email clients are known to handle plaintext especially well:
</p>
<ul>
<li>
<a rel="noopener" href="https://aerc-mail.org">aerc</a> (TUI)
</li>
<li>
<a rel="noopener" href="https://repo.or.cz/alpine.git">alpine</a> (TUI)
</li>
<li>
<a rel="noopener" href="https://github.com/wangp/bower">bower</a> (TUI)
</li>
<li>
<a rel="noopener" href="https://www.claws-mail.org/">claws mail</a> (GUI)
</li>
<li>
<a rel="noopener" href="https://gnus.org/">Gnus</a> (emacs)
</li>
<li>
<a rel="noopener" href="https://kde.org/applications/office/org.kde.kmail2">KMail</a> (GUI)
</li>
<li>
<a rel="noopener" href="https://freron.com/">MailMate</a> (GUI)
</li>
<li>
<a rel="noopener" href="https://github.com/leahneukirchen/mblaze">mblaze</a> (TUI)
</li>
<li>
<a rel="noopener" href="http://marmaro.de/prog/mmh/">mmh</a> (TUI)
</li>
<li>
<a rel="noopener" href="https://djcbsoftware.nl/code/mu/mu4e.html">mu4e</a> (emacs)
</li>
<li>
<a rel="noopener" href="http://mutt.org">mutt</a> (TUI)
</li>
<li>
<a rel="noopener" href="https://github.com/aligrudi/neatmail">neatmail</a> (TUI)
</li>
<li>
<a rel="noopener" href="https://neomutt.org/">neomutt</a> (TUI)
</li>
<li>
<a rel="noopener" href="https://rand-mh.sourceforge.io/">nmh</a> (TUI)
</li>
<li>
<a rel="noopener" href="http://www.squirrelmail.org/">SquirrelMail</a> (Webmail)
</li>
<li>
<a rel="noopener" href="https://github.com/wanderlust/wanderlust">Wanderlust</a> (emacs)
</li>
</ul>
<p>
These clients all compose plaintext emails by default, with correct
quoting and text wrapping settings, requiring no additional configuration
to use correctly.
<a href="#contribute">Want to add your own mail client to this list</a>?
</p>
<h2 id="other-clients"><a href="#other-clients">
How to set up plaintext with other email clients
</a></h2>
<p>
If your email provider's webmail doesn't have good plain text support,
please consider writing to <code>&lt;postmaster@yourdomain.com&gt;</code>
with a complaint, and using one of the <a
href="#recommended-clients">recommended clients</a> over IMAP &amp; SMTP
instead.
</p>
<p>Jump to:</p>
<ul>
<li><a href="#afterlogic">Afterlogic</a></li>
<li><a href="#alot">alot</a></li>
<li><a href="#macos">Apple Mail</a></li>
<li><a href="#evolution">Evolution</a></li>
<li><a href="#fairemail">FairEmail</a></li>
<li><a href="#fastmail">Fastmail</a></li>
<li><a href="#geary">Geary</a></li>
<li><a href="#gmail-web">Gmail</a></li>
<li><a href="#gyazmail">Gyazmail</a></li>
<li><a href="#k-9">K-9 mail</a></li>
<li><a href="#mailbox-org">mailbox.org</a></li>
<li><a href="#mailspring">Mailspring</a></li>
<li><a href="#outlook-desktop">Microsoft Outlook (Desktop)</a></li>
<li><a href="#outlook-web">Microsoft Outlook (Web)</a></li>
<li><a href="#nine">Nine</a></li>
<li><a href="#protonmail">Protonmail</a></li>
<li><a href="#rainloop">Rainloop</a></li>
<li><a href="#roundcube">Roundcube</a></li>
<li><a href="#runbox7">Runbox 7</a></li>
<li><a href="#smail">Smail</a></li>
<li><a href="#sogo">Sogo</a></li>
<li><a href="#sylpheed">Sylpheed</a></li>
<li><a href="#thunderbird">Thunderbird</a></li>
<li><a href="#tutanota">Tutanota</a></li>
<li><a href="#windows-mail">Windows Mail</a></li>
</ul>
<p>
After configuring your client, be sure to review our
<a href="#etiquette">etiquette recommendations</a>.
</p>
<h3 id="afterlogic">Afterlogic</h3>
<div class="breakdown">
<span class="red">Compose in plaintext</span>
<span class="red">Wraps text or format=flowed</span>
<span class="red">Supports bottom posting</span>
</div>
<p>
Afterlogic does not support plain text email. Please
<a
href="https://s.afterlogic.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=2438"
>ask them for it</a> and use a different mail client.
</p>
<h3 id="alot">alot</h3>
<div class="breakdown">
<span class="green">Compose in plaintext</span>
<span class="red">Wraps text or format=flowed</span>
<span class="red">Supports bottom posting</span>
</div>
<p>alot uses plain text email by default.</p>
<h3 id="macos">Apple Mail</h3>
<div class="breakdown">
<span class="green">Compose in plaintext</span>
<span class="red">Wraps text or format=flowed</span>
<span class="red">Supports bottom posting</span>
</div>
<ol>
<li>Select Mail → Preferences from the menu</li>
<li>Visit the "Composing" category</li>
<li>Change the "Message Format" (or "Format") option to "Plain Text"</li>
</ol>
<h3 id="evolution">Evolution</h3>
<div class="breakdown">
<span class="green">Compose in plaintext</span>
<span class="green">Wraps text or format=flowed</span>
<span class="green">Supports bottom posting</span>
</div>
<p>Plaintext is the default. To enable bottom-posting:</p>
<ol>
<li>Select Edit → Preferences from the menu</li>
<li>Select Composer Preferences → General</li>
<li>Enable "Start typing at the bottom"</li>
</ol>
<p>You can also prefer to show the plain text email by default when viewing
multipart messages:</p>
<ol>
<li>Select Edit → Preferences from the menu</li>
<li>Select Mail Preferences → HTML Messages</li>
<li>Select your preference from the "HTML Mode" options</li>
</ol>
<h3 id="fairemail">FairEmail</h3>
<div class="breakdown">
<span class="green">Compose in plaintext</span>
<span class="green">Wraps text or format=flowed</span>
<span class="green">Supports bottom posting</span>
</div>
<ol>
<li>Visit Settings → Send</li>
<li>Scroll to the Message section</li>
<li>Toggle "Write below the sender's text"</li>
<li>Scroll to the Advanced section</li>
<li>Toggle "Send plain text only by default"</li>
<li>Toggle "'format flowed' for plain text"</li>
<li>Toggle "Follow Usenet signature convention"</li>
</ol>
<p>When replying, use "Reply to all" instead of "Reply to list".</p>
<h3 id="fastmail">Fastmail</h3>
<div class="breakdown">
<span class="green">Compose in plaintext</span>
<span class="red">Wraps text or format=flowed</span>
<span class="red">Supports bottom posting</span>
</div>
<ol>
<li>Visit Settings → Customize → Preferences</li>
<li>Expand "Advanced Preferences" at the bottom of the page</li>
<li>Change "Compose Format" to "plain text"</li>
<li>Disable "When replying, use the same format as the original message"</li>
</ol>
<h3 id="geary">Geary</h3>
<div class="breakdown">
<span class="green">Compose in plaintext</span>
<span class="green">Wraps text or format=flowed</span>
<span class="red">Supports bottom posting</span>
</div>
<ol>
<li>Compose a new message</li>
<li>On the bottom right, click the three-dotted icon</li>
<li>Select the plaintext option</li>
</ol>
<p>Geary will remember your preference next time.</p>
<h3 id="gmail-web">Gmail</h3>
<div class="breakdown">
<span class="green">Compose in plaintext</span>
<span class="green">Wraps text or format=flowed</span>
<span class="red">Supports bottom posting</span>
</div>
<ol>
<li>Compose a new message</li>
<li>On the bottom right, click the three-dotted icon</li>
<li>Select the plaintext option</li>
</ol>
<p>Gmail will remember your preference next time.</p>
<p>Gmail wraps plain text messages at 78 characters.</p>
<h3 id="gyazmail">Gyazmail</h3>
<div class="breakdown">
<span class="green">Compose in plaintext</span>
<span class="green">Wraps text or format=flowed</span>
<span class="green">Supports bottom posting</span>
</div>
<p>Gyazmail has the correct settings by default.</p>
<h3 id="k-9">K-9 mail</h3>
<div class="breakdown">
<span class="green">Compose in plaintext</span>
<span class="red">Wraps text or format=flowed</span>
<span class="green">Supports bottom posting</span>
</div>
<ol>
<li>Tap the three lines on the top left</li>
<li>Select Settings</li>
<li>Tap the email address you wish to configure → Sending mail</li>
<li>Change the Message Format to Plain Text</li>
<li>Select "Reply after quoted text"</li>
</ol>
<p>
It is also recommended that you select "Manage identities", and for each
identity, untick "Use Signature". This will remove "Sent from K-9" from
your emails.
</p>
<h3 id="mailbox-org">mailbox.org</h3>
<div class="breakdown">
<span class="green">Compose in plaintext</span>
<span class="red">Wraps text or format=flowed</span>
<span class="red">Supports bottom posting</span>
</div>
<ol>
<li>Click the "gear" icon on the top right</li>
<li>Go to the E-mail section</li>
<li>Uncheck "Allow HTML formatted email messages" under "View"</li>
<li>Go to the Compose sub-section</li>
<li>Select "Plain text" under "Format email messages as"</li>
</ol>
<p>
You can request better plaintext support via their
<a rel="noopener nofollow" href="https://userforum-en.mailbox.org">
user forum</a>.
</p>
<h3 id="mailspring">Mailspring</h3>
<div class="breakdown">
<span class="green">Compose in plaintext</span>
<span class="green">Wraps text or format=flowed</span>
<span class="red">Supports bottom posting</span>
</div>
<ol>
<li>Tap the three lines on the top right</li>
<li>Select Preferences → General</li>
<li>Unselect "Enable rich text and advanced editor features"</li>
</ol>
<p>
Mailspring supports basic plaintext composing. You can also create a
single plain-text email by holding Alt or Option while clicking
"Compose" or "Reply". Request more features by
<a
rel="noopener nofollow"
href="https://github.com/Foundry376/Mailspring/issues/52"
>asking them for it</a>.
</p>
<h3 id="outlook-desktop">Microsoft Outlook (Desktop)</h3>
<div class="breakdown">
<span class="green">Compose in plaintext</span>
<span class="red">Wraps text or format=flowed</span>
<span class="red">Supports bottom posting</span>
</div>
<ol>
<li>Select File → Options → Mail</li>
<li>
Under "Compose Messages", select "Plain Text" from the "Compose messages
in this format" options.
</li>
</ol>
<h3 id="outlook-web">Microsoft Outlook (Web)</h3>
<div class="breakdown">
<span class="green">Compose in plaintext</span>
<span class="red">Wraps text or format=flowed</span>
<span class="red">Supports bottom posting</span>
</div>
<ol>
<li>Click the gear icon on the top right</li>
<li>Click "View all Outlook settings"</li>
<li>Go to Mail → Compose and reply</li>
<li>Scroll down to "Message format"</li>
<li>Change HTML to Plain text</li>
<li>Click "Save"</li>
</ol>
<h3 id="nine">Nine</h3>
<div class="breakdown">
<span class="green">Compose in plaintext</span>
<span class="red">Wraps text or format=flowed</span>
<span class="red">Supports bottom posting</span>
</div>
<ol>
<li>Open the side menu and click the "gear" icon</li>
<li>Select General, then Composer</li>
<li>Under Editor, change the Editor option to "Text editor"</li>
</ol>
<h3 id="protonmail">Protonmail</h3>
<div class="breakdown">
<span class="green">Compose in plaintext</span>
<span class="red">Wraps text or format=flowed</span>
<span class="red">Supports bottom posting</span>
</div>
<p>
<strong>Notice</strong>: Use of IMAP and SMTP with Protonmail requires
the use of a bridge. A
<a
href="https://github.com/emersion/hydroxide"
rel="nofollow noopener"
>third-party, MIT-licensed bridge</a> is available.
Proton technologies also makes
<a
href="https://github.com/ProtonMail/proton-bridge"
rel="nofollow noopener"
>the source code to their official bridge</a> available under the GNU-GPL-3.0-or-later.
</p>
<ol>
<li>Visit Settings → Appearance</li>
<li>Set "Composer Mode" to "Plain Text"</li>
</ol>
<p>
It's also recommended that you visit Settings → Account → Identity and remove
the default email signature.
</p>
<h3 id="rainloop">Rainloop</h3>
<div class="breakdown">
<span class="green">Compose in plaintext</span>
<span class="red">Wraps text or format=flowed</span>
<span class="red">Supports bottom posting</span>
</div>
<ol>
<li>Click the "person" icon on the top-right corner and choose "Settings"</li>
<li>Set "Default text editor" to "Plain"</li>
</ol>
<h3 id="roundcube">Roundcube</h3>
<div class="breakdown">
<span class="green">Compose in plaintext</span>
<span class="green">Wraps text or format=flowed</span>
<span class="green">Supports bottom posting</span>
</div>
<ol>
<li>Click Settings on the top-right</li>
<li>Select Preferences → Composing Messages</li>
<li>Select "never" under "Compose HTML messages"</li>
<li>Select Composing Messages</li>
<li>Select "Start new message below the quote" under "When replying"</li>
</ol>
<p>Also consider setting "Automatically add signature" to "never".</p>
<h3 id="runbox7">Runbox 7</h3>
<div class="breakdown">
<span class="green">Compose in plaintext</span>
<span class="red">Wraps text or format=flowed</span>
<span class="red">Supports bottom posting</span>
</div>
<p>Runbox 7 uses plain text email by default.</p>
<h3 id="smail">Smail</h3>
<div class="breakdown">
<span class="green">Compose in plaintext</span>
<span class="green">Wraps text or format=flowed</span>
<span class="red">Supports bottom posting</span>
</div>
<p>Smail uses plain text email by default.</p>
<h3 id="sogo">Sogo</h3>
<div class="breakdown">
<span class="green">Compose in plaintext</span>
<span class="red">Wraps text or format=flowed</span>
<span class="green">Supports bottom posting</span>
</div>
<ol>
<li>On the top-right, click the gear to open Preferences</li>
<li>Select the Mail tab</li>
<li>Change "Compose messages in" to "Plain text"</li>
<li>Click the green "Save" icon on the top-right</li>
</ol>
<h3 id="sylpheed">Sylpheed</h3>
<div class="breakdown">
<span class="green">Compose in plaintext</span>
<span class="green">Wraps text or format=flowed</span>
<span class="green">Supports bottom posting</span>
</div>
<ol>
<li>Open Configuration → Common preferences</li>
<li>Visit the Compose → Editor tab</li>
<li>Enable "Wrap on input"</li>
</ol>
<h3 id="thunderbird">Thunderbird</h3>
<div class="breakdown">
<span class="green">Compose in plaintext</span>
<span class="green">Wraps text or format=flowed</span>
<span class="green">Supports bottom posting</span>
</div>
<ol>
<li>In the accounts tab, right click on your account</li>
<li>Select "Settings"</li>
<li>Select the "Composition &amp; Addressing" settings</li>
<li>Disable "Compose messages in HTML format"</li>
<li>Select "Start my reply below the quote"</li>
<li>Repeat this for any other email accounts</li>
</ol>
<h3 id="tutanota">Tutanota</h3>
<div class="breakdown">
<span class="green">Compose in plaintext</span>
<span class="red">Wraps text or format=flowed</span>
<span class="red">Supports bottom posting</span>
</div>
<p>
<strong>Notice</strong>: Use of IMAP and SMTP, open standards for email
clients, is not possible with Tutanota. This is not acceptable behavior
for an email provider and use of Tutanota is strongly recommended against
for this reason. Tutanota's stated reasons for not supporting these
protocols are lies and you would be well served by closing your account
there.
</p>
<ol>
<li>Visit Settings → Email → Formatting</li>
<li>Set the format to plain text</li>
</ol>
<h3 id="windows-mail">Windows Mail</h3>
<div class="breakdown">
<span class="red">Compose in plaintext</span>
<span class="red">Wraps text or format=flowed</span>
<span class="red">Supports bottom posting</span>
</div>
<p>
Windows Mail does not support plain text email. Please issue a feature
request through the Feedback Hub app, and use a different mail client.
</p>
<h2 id="etiquette"><a href="#etiquette">
Etiquette recommendations for plaintext emails
</a></h2>
<p>
In addition to training you that HTML emails are the norm, many harmful
mail clients may have trained you with other bad habits. Here are some
tips to unlearn them:
</p>
<h3>Top posting</h3>
<p>
When you reply to an email, many email clients will include a quoted
version of the message you're replying to beneath the text of your reply.
This leads to long email threads containing the entire history of the
discussion in an increasingly long and nested footer on every email. This
is called "top posting" and is strongly discouraged.
</p>
<p>
Though some clients would have you believe otherwise, you can edit the
quoted version of the message you're replying to, and you're encouraged
to. Feel free to trim it down, cutting out any extra text which isn't
directly relevant to your reply - or removing it entirely. Write anything
you have to say underneath the quote it pertains to.
</p>
<ul>
<li><strong>A</strong>: Because it reverses the logical flow of conversation.</li>
<li><strong>Q</strong>: Why is top posting frowned upon?</li>
</ul>
<h3>Wrapping your text</h3>
<p>
Email writers are encouraged to wrap their text at 72 columns by inserting
a newline and resuming your writing on the following line. The
<a href="#recommended-clients">recommended clients</a> will do this for
you, as well as any client shown above with "Wraps text or uses
format=flowed" checked. Don't worry about re-wrapping the quoted parts of
message you're replying to unless you want to. If your client doesn't do
this for you, it can easily be the most frustrating part of being a good
email netizen, but it's very much appreciated by recipients.
</p>
<h2 id="why-plaintext"><a href="#why-plaintext">
Why is plaintext better than HTML?
</a></h2>
<p>
HTML emails are mainly used for marketing - that is, emails you probably
don't want to see in the first place. The few advantages they offer for
end-users, such as links, inline images, and bold or italic text, aren't
worth the trade-off.
</p>
<h3>HTML as a vector for phishing</h3>
<p>
HTML emails allow you to make links which hide the URL behind some
user-friendly text. However, this is an extremely common vector for
phishing attacks, where a malicious sender makes a misleading link which
takes you to a different website than you expect. Often these websites are
modeled after the login page of a service you use, and will trick you into
entering your account password. In plaintext emails, the URL is always
visible, and you can more easily make an informed choice to click it.
</p>
<h3>Privacy invasion and tracking</h3>
<p>
Virtually all HTML emails sent by marketers include identifiers in links
and inline images which are designed to extract information about you and
send it back to the sender. Examine the URLs closely - the strange numbers
and letters are unique to you and used to identify you. This information
is used to hack your brain, attempting to find advertisements which are
more likely to influence your buying habits. HTML emails are good for
marketers and bad for you.
</p>
<h3>Mail client vulnerabilities</h3>
<p>
HTML is an extremely large and complicated set of specifications designed
without emails in mind. It's designed for browsing the world wide web, on
which a huge variety of documents, applications, and more are available.
Implementing even a reasonable subset of these standards represents
hundreds of thousands of hours of work, or even millions. A large subset
(perhaps the majority) of these features are not desirable for emails, and
if included can be leveraged to leak information about you, your contacts,
your calendar, other emails in your inbox, and so on. However, because of
the herculean effort necessary to implement an HTML renderer, no one has
built one specialized for emails which is guaranteed to be safe. Instead,
general purpose web browsers, with many of their features disabled, are
employed in most email clients. This is the number one source of
vulnerabilities in email clients which result in information disclosure
and even the execution of arbitrary malicious code.
</p>
<p>
<a
href="https://www.cvedetails.com/vulnerability-list.php?vendor_id=452&product_id=3678&version_id=&page=1&hasexp=0&opdos=0&opec=1&opov=0&opcsrf=0&opgpriv=0&opsqli=0&opxss=0&opdirt=0&opmemc=0&ophttprs=0&opbyp=0&opfileinc=0&opginf=0&cvssscoremin=0&cvssscoremax=0&year=0&month=0&cweid=0&order=3&trc=421&sha=e340a73ad8b935c928250f8f7668f55ce061c8ec"
rel="noopener nofollow"
>This is a list</a> of 421 remote code execution vulnerabilities in
Thunderbird. If you're bored, try finding one that doesn't exploit web
tech.
</p>
<h3>HTML emails are less accessible</h3>
<p>
Browsing the web is a big challenge for users who require a screenreader
or other assistive tools to use their computer. The same problems apply to
email, only more so - making an accessible HTML email is even more
difficult than making an accessible website due to the limitations imposed
on HTML emails by most mail clients (which they have no choice but to
impose - for the security reasons stated above). Plain text emails are
a breeze in comparison for screenreaders to recite, especially for users
with specialized email clients designed for this purpose. How do you speak
bold text aloud? How about your inline image?
</p>
<h3>Some clients can't display HTML emails at all</h3>
<p>
Some email clients don't support HTML emails at all. Many email clients
are designed to run in text-only environments, like a terminal emulator,
where they're useful to people who spend a lot of time working in these
environments. In a text-only interface it's not possible to render an HTML
email, and instead the reader will just see a mess of raw HTML text. A lot
of people simply send HTML emails directly to spam for this reason.
</p>
<h3>Rich text isn't that great, anyway</h3>
<p>
Rich text features desirable for end users include things like inline
images, bold or italicized text, and so on. However, the tradeoff isn't
worth it. Images can simply be attached to your email, and you can employ
things like *asterisks*, /slashes/, _underscores_, or UPPERCASE for
emphasis. You can still communicate your point effectively without
bringing along all of the bad things HTML emails come with.
</p>
<hr />
<p>
In short, HTML emails are a security nightmare, are mostly used for
advertising to you and tracking you, are less accessible for many users,
and don't offer anything especially great for it.
</p>
<h2 id="implementation-recommendations"><a href="#implementation-recommendations">
Recommendations for software which sends emails
</a></h2>
<p>
Thanks for your interest in making plaintext emails more accessible to
your users!
</p>
<h3>For senders of automated emails</h3>
<ul>
<li>
If you must use HTML, send a
<a
href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIME"
rel="noopener nofollow"
>multipart/alternative</a>
email with both a plaintext and HTML version included. Your programming
language probably includes tools for creating these kinds of emails.
</li>
</ul>
<h3>For senders of user-authored emails</h3>
<ul>
<li>
Allow users to compose emails in plaintext, and consider making this
the default. When the user composes a message in plaintext, send a
text/plain email instead of a multipart/alternative email with a
generated HTML part.
</li>
<li>
When composing a plaintext email, hard-wrap their lines at 72 columns by
inserting newlines at the nearest word boundary. Optionally, use
<a
href="https://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2646.txt"
rel="noopener nofollow"
>format=flowed</a> instead to
allow plaintext emails to be displayed and composed without hard
wrapping.
</li>
<li>
When users reply to an email in plaintext, don't encourage top-posting
by leaving their cursor above the quoted message. Instead, add two
newlines after the quoted message and leave their cursor there. Allow
the user to edit the quoted message. Quote each line of the original
message with &gt; and a single space, followed by the quote.
</li>
<li>
When users send an HTML email explicitly, convert it to text/plain and
send a multipart/alternative email which includes both versions.
</li>
<li>
When displaying multipart/alternative emails, give the user the option to prefer
to view the plaintext part by default.
</li>
</ul>
<p>
Email clients which meet all of these criteria and prefer plaintext by
default are entitled to a spot on our recommended clients list.
</p>
<h2 id="contribute"><a href="#contribute">
How to improve these recommendations
</a></h2>
<p>
Do you want to add instructions for a new email client? Have suggestions
or questions? Please send a <strong>plain text</strong> email to
<a
href="mailto:~sircmpwn/public-inbox@lists.sr.ht"
>~sircmpwn/public-inbox@lists.sr.ht</a>. You can also
<a href="https://git-send-email.io">email a patch</a> to this address. The
code may be found on
<a href="https://git.sr.ht/~sircmpwn/useplaintext.email">git.sr.ht</a>.
</p>
<hr />
<p class="muted">
"But if plaintext is so good, why is this page written in HTML?"
<br />
This is a reference document, not an email, you twit.
</p>
<p class="muted">
This site is under a <a
href="https://git.sr.ht/~sircmpwn/useplaintext.email/tree/master/LICENSE"
>MIT license</a>. "Plaintext Certified" graphic by
<a href="https://fosstodon.org/@ohyran">Jens</a>, <a
href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/"
>CC-BY-SA</a>.
</p>
</body>
</html>