Replacing Outlook 2011 (Mac) with Apple’s Mail, Calendar & Contacts
I recently decided to give up on Outlook for Mac 2011 and try to substitute Mac OS X’s Mail.app, Calendar and Contacts. If you’ve used Outlook 2011, you know that it is lacking in most of the Enterprise Outlook features, but that also means it can be replaced with some other native client. I still have a copy of Office 2010 running on a Parallels VM for when I need the more advanced features (like message expiration dates or voting buttons).
For the most part the integration with Microsoft Exchange 2010 works well, but Mail.app has given me some headaches. Here’s a quick list of my solutions:
Fixing the Outgoing Message Font Problem
In Microsoft Office 2010, the default font for outgoing messages has been changed to Calibri. I would like my messages to appear as normal as possible to my coworkers, so inside Mail’s Fonts & Colors preferences page, I set my font to Calibri 15. However, when the message was received in Outlook 2010, the font appeared as Times New Roman. Looking at the source HTML of the message, I could see that no Font information was included in the message.
To fix this problem, you can select all of your text and set the font before sending each message. A better alternative is to purchase the Universal Mailer plugin (currently $4 for 5 copies).
Forcing Reply and Forward Headers to use Outlook 2010 style
When you reply to a message with Mail.app, it formats the headers of the previous message in a way that makes it obvious that you are not using Outlook:
This can be adjusted using a Mail bundle (plugin) called QuoteFixForMac. Enable the Customized Attributions, HTML and automatic conversion:
Enable the advanced templating (required for CC detection):
Finally, add the following code to the Reply and Forward sections (matches US English Outlook 2010 style):
Although this plugin is freely available, I encourage you to donate a few dollars to encourage continued development.
Creating a fancy signature
My signature block includes a picture for my company logo. Unfortunately when I cut and pasted the signature out of Outlook 2011 into Mail.app’s signature preference page, the picture was transformed into an attachment.
The trick is to save the image file to your desktop, open it in Preview, then copy it and paste it back into Mail. I’m not sure why it works, but it does.
Other Mail Plugins
For more information on Plugins to Apple Mail, check here: http://www.tikouka.net/mailapp/