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Removing the Blue Lines in Forwarded Emails

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011 by | Filed Under: E-Mail Help

Is there any way to get rid of the vertical lines on the left side of forwarded email?

Removing Blue Vertical Lines in Your Forwarded Outlook and Windows Live E-mail:

Ever try to forward a really funny or thought provoking e-mail, only to have the forward appear horribly mis-formatted due to a bunch of weird, commonly blue, vertical lines streaking down the left side of your e-mail? Well, you can take a small amount of comfort knowing you are definitely not alone. An odd anomaly generated by some e-mail clients/services when a message is forwarded, these colored lines are not only annoying, but typically a pain to get rid of as well. However, there are a few tricks that can speed up your ability to remove these annoyances without resorting to using a third party “e-mail cleaner” program. Here are the top three methods to remove vertical lines in some of the most common e-mail programs and services . . .

Microsoft Outlook:

Despite possibly having the most options for formatting e-mail of any e-mail program or service available, Outlook has, surprisingly, the simplest method of removing vertical lines from forwarded e-mails:

Step 1. Open the e-mail you wish to forward, select the content directly in front/to the right of your vertical line(s) in the body of the e-mail message, and press Ctrl+C to copy the highlighted contents to your clipboard.

Step 2. Create a new blank e-mail message.

Step 3. Paste (press Ctrl+V) your copied e-mail into the new e-mail message. Your e-mail message will be pasted into the new message window sans most, if not all, vertical lines.

Step 3-1. If any vertical lines remain, simply copy any text and images with said vertical lines still attached, and paste the copied content into the same e-mail just above the content you just copied.

Step 3-2. Repeat Step 3-1 until all vertical lines are gone.

Step 4. Delete any duplicate or unnecessary text/images beneath your newly cleaned content, and send your e-mail.

Quick, simple, and easy!

Windows Live Mail

For those needing to remove vertical lines in the latest evolution of Outlook Express, Windows Live Mail offers a push button solution to removing these email annoyances:

Step 1. Select your e-mail and press the forward button to open it in the standard “Send E-mail” editor.

Step 2. Place your cursor directly in front of (to the right of) the vertical line you wish to remove.

Step 3. At the top of your e-mail editor, select the Message tab if it is not already selected. Various message formatting options will appear.

Step 4. Find and click the Clear formatting button just next to the font size and style fields.

Step 5. Voila! The vertical line will instantly disappear. Repeat Step 4. as needed to remove any additional vertical lines.

Step 6. Once all vertical lines have been cleared, you will likely be left with a bit of margin space to the right of your e-mail content. To remove this, simply select the message content you wish to forward, copy it (Ctrl+C), and paste it (Ctrl+V) at the beginning of your message. Delete the old content beneath your freshly formatted message, and hit Send.

And that’s it!

~J. Conboy

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16 Responses to “Removing the Blue Lines in Forwarded Emails”

  1. William McCommis says:

    The tip was good for the environments listed – but how do you remove the lines if you are using Yahoo! Mail ?

  2. John Holland says:

    Great tip — those blue lines have bugged me for a long time! I used the Microsoft Outlook method (copy & paste a copy of the area to the right of the lines into a blank email) and it works with Gmail too!!

  3. Errett L "Reb" Allen says:

    I use a different method, which may take a few minutes longer. I copy to my Word Processor. Then I can edit, change the format, ‘n remove any lines or other symbols, ‘n make any other changes I wish. Then I copy ‘n paste it into an email ‘n send it on, with or without any comments. Besides, the extra time spent keeps me out of the pool hall.


  4. Don D says:

    Did not work in Windows Vista Live Mail.

  5. David L says:

    Is there any way to do it with Gmail in Firefox?

  6. Nicole says:

    These blue lines really bug me – tried everything to get rid of them, short of going into the Source codes. Tried your hint but there is no Message Tab in the Editor – where do I find this Message Tab? Why can’t I see it? Really frustrating……

  7. W Belcher says:

    Works like a dream, so easy and simple that I can’t believe I went for months trying to figure out an easy way to delete these blue lines. I am using Windows Live Mail with Vista. Thanks

  8. Marybel says:

    How DO you use the Source method in Live Mail? That was my favorite way in Outlook Express?

  9. susi taylor says:

    I advertised in my newsletter that I needed to know how to do this. The easiest way I was told was simply to highlight what I wanted to forward, click copy and paste it into a new email. Voila! No Blue Lines!!!
    Thanks to the person who told me this. You know who you are.

  10. Bill Smith says:

    There is another way in Outlook to do this which is even easier. Outlook has keyboard shortcuts to “Clear Formatting”: CTRL+SHIFT+Z or CTRL+SPACEBAR. Either of these methods will remove the blue vertical line.

    • Bruce Easley says:

      Thanks Bill! CTRL+SPACEBAR works great for me!

      • Stephen Clayton says:

        Good work Bill. I had a horizontal blue line that I couldn’t delete even when I tried to delete it with the text above and below it. Your method worked.

        CTRL +Spacebar

  11. landscaping austin says:

    Wow, a new Anata album? I thought they broke up…

  12. Waheed Islam says:

    you can also delete the side bar to change the format of message…. click on reply button and go on format and change the format from Rich Text to Plain text when format changed then again change the format from plain text to rich text…

    this is the easier way to get from from side bar.


  13. Johne989 says:

    Fckin awesome things here. I am very glad to see your article. Thanks a lot and i’m looking forward to contact you. Will you please drop me a mail? gdedgdddbebd

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