3 Ways to Use Canned Mail with Apple Mail on Mac

Hey there everyone!
This time, I’d like to talk about 3 ways to use canned text in Mac Mail.

For those of you who use Mac Mail for work and want to use canned text for addressing, reporting, and communicating, please read this article.

Using “Signature”, “Draft”, and “User Dictionary” for canned text.

It would be nice if there was a basic function or extension that allows you to register and use canned text, but apparently there isn’t.
Thunderbird has a useful extension called “Quicktext”, but Apple’s Mail doesn’t seem to have such a thing.

Well, I checked and found several ways to do it.
There are three ways: “Signature”, “Draft”, and “User Dictionary” .

Let me explain each of them in detail.

How to use “signature” for canned messages

How to use “signatures,” a basic function of e-mail.
As the name suggests, the signature is a feature that inserts a canned text such as a name or contact information at the end of an email message.
The idea is to use this feature for other canned text as well.

Using a signature is as simple as selecting it from the drop-down menu in the upper right corner of the compose window.

Using “signatures” as canned text

Setting a signature

  1. Open the Mail application
  2. Select “Mail” > “Preferences” from the menu bar and open the “Signature” tab in the window that opens
  3. With “All Signatures” selected, click the “+” icon to add a signature.
  4. Drag the added signature to the email account you want to use.

Use the signature

  1. Open the compose mail window (new, reply, forward)
  2. Open the “Signature” drop-down list in the upper right corner of the window and select the signature you want to use

Signatures are a basic feature of email, and the whole operation can be completed only in the email application.
It’s a nice way to do it, but there is one subtle point.
That is.

Only one signature can be inserted per email.

So, for example

  • Addressee and greetings
  • Signature

I can’t combine the two canned text.
If I had to do it, I would set up the above case as one signature, from the address to the signature.

For example, if you have many addresses because you communicate with many customers, but you only need one signature, you can use all the signatures in one place.

Even in the case of “I communicate with many customers, so I have many recipients, but I only need one signature.

In addition, you cannot use signatures other than the one you have assigned to an e-mail account in the signature settings screen.
This is, well, not that much of a problem, since you probably have a certain number of mail accounts that you communicate with one customer.


  • Complete only within the “Mail” app.
  • Simple and easy to set up and use.

Not so Good

  • Cannot combine multiple canned messages
  • Must be assigned in advance to the email address where you want to use the signature
  • A little bothered about using “signature” as “canned text”.

How to use “drafts” as canned text

How to use a saved draft email as a template.
Drafts” itself is a basic feature of any mail application, and of course Apple Mail also has such a feature.
This is a way to use it as a template.

Using “Drafts” as templates

Creating a draft and saving it as a template

  1. Create a new email and save it as a draft
  2. Choose “Mailboxes” >”New Mailbox…” from the menu bar and create a mailbox named “Template (or “canned text” or “template”)” in “Location: in this Mac”
  3. Drag the draft email you just saved into this mailbox.

Use the saved template

  1. Go to the template folder and select the template you want to use.
  2. Open it with command + shift + D (“Message” on menu bar > “Send again”.
  3. Create an email.

The biggest weakness of this method is that it “Cannot be used for replying or forwarding“.
It is useful when composing a new mail, but not being able to use it when replying to or forwarding a message is quite inconvenient.

To use it when replying to or forwarding a message, you would have to copy and paste the text of a message saved as a template.
Still, it is much easier than saving the template text to an external editor and then opening it and copying and pasting it every time.


  • Complete only within the “Mail” app.
  • Can freely set the recipient, subject, sender, and body text to use as templates.

Not so good

  • Cannot use when replying or forwarding
  • I have to keep one mailbox to save templates.

How to use “user dictionary” for canned text

How to use “user dictionary” which is a basic feature of Mac and iOS devices.
This is a way to use the “user dictionary,” which is a basic feature of Mac and iOS devices.

Using “user dictionary” as a fixed phrase

Setting up a user dictionary

  1. Open “System Preferences”
  2. Click on the “Keyboard” item and open the “User Dictionaries” tab
  3. Click the “+” icon in the lower left corner and set the “Input” and “Conversion” strings respectively.

Use the user dictionary

  1. In the compose mail screen, enter the “input” string you added to the user dictionary
  2. Select the “conversion” string you added to the user dictionary from the displayed conversion candidates

The greatest advantage of this method is that it is easy to use.
It is very easy to use because it can be converted and used quickly and easily.

Another advantage is that it can be used on all Apple devices.
User dictionaries are managed in conjunction with Apple IDs, so added user dictionaries can be used on other devices that are logged in with that Apple ID.

However, if you don’t make sure that the string before conversion is intuitive, you may forget what characters you have set to be converted.

Also, since the conversion candidates will appear in any situation other than e-mail, it is a bit annoying if you don’t set the candidates to strings of characters that you don’t normally use.

Also, when setting up the user dictionary, it is not designed for line feeds, so it is a little difficult to set up strings that contain line feeds.


  • Use with the same feel as normal conversion
  • Can be used on other Apple devices using a common Apple ID.

Not so good

  • You have to remember the string from which you are converting
  • It appears as a conversion candidate in any situation except email
  • It is a little difficult when setting up a string that contains line feeds.

Every method has its advantages and disadvantages.

Each of the three methods introduced has its advantages and disadvantages, and there may not be a definitive “this one! but it is not always possible to copy and paste from an external editor.
However, it is better than copying and pasting from an external editor or copying and pasting from past e-mails, isn’t it?
Maybe you should try all three and choose the method that works best for you.

Well, this time I wrote about 3 ways to use canned messages in Mac Mail.
How did you like it?
I hope you guys found it useful!

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