Add shadows to text in emails

19 February 2013, 09:00

Here’s a neat-o trick that lets you add a shadow to text within emails — proper Photoshop-style shadows that actually look like real-life shadows! However, there’s a couple of caveats:

1. You’ll need the Pages word processor to create it (although Keynote and even Numbers might work just as well).

2. The recipient of the email will need to have a Mac to see it, and view it using the Mail app, although it’ll also be visible on iPhones and iPads. It won’t be visible on Windows or Linux computers, or in webmail interfaces like the Gmail website — even if they’re accessed on a Mac.

Here are the steps:

1. Open Pages, start a new document, then type some text. Anything will do. Select the text.

2. Open the Inspector (Option (Alt) + Command + I) then select the Graphics icon — fifth along from the left, and represented by a circle inset against a square.

3. Put a check in the Shadow box. The text will now have a shadow. Alter any of the shadow settings if you want, or just leave them be.

4. Copy the text to the clipboard.

5. Switch to Mail, then start a new message. Ensure it’s a rich-text message by clicking the entry on the Format menu (if the entry reads Make Plain Text then the message is already rich-text).

6. Hit Cmd+V to paste in your text.

Hey presto, shadows in your email! Anything you type now in the email will also be shadowed. To turn off shadow text, activate then immediately deactivate bold by pressing Cmd+B twice.

This same trick works with images too — drag an image onto the page within Pages, then apply shadows using the Inspector (or reflections or opacity — both of which are beneath the shadow options). Then copy and paste the image into an email. However, the image will be pasted as an inline PDF, rather than image, so will appear as an attachment on everything other than Mail running on a Mac.

Write in the comments how you get on with this trick!

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