How to Remove the Vertical Line in Forward Mail

By Michael Ryan

Removing the vertical line from a forwarded message makes it easier to read.
i computer image by Hao Wang from <a href=''></a>

When an email message has been forwarded many times using Microsoft Outlook Express or Windows Mail, a number of vertical lines may be seen on the left side of the forwarded message. Although this provides insight into how many times a message has been forwarded, it can indent the email significantly, making it difficult to read, especially if the body of the forwarded message includes large images. Thankfully, Outlook Express and Windows Mail make it easy to edit the source HTML of a forwarded email before you send it, thus removing the vertical lines.

Open the email you want to forward. Find the message you want to forward, whether it is stored in your inbox or a different folder. Click on the "Forward" button in your email client.

Allow Outlook Express or Mail to show the source HTML. Click the "View" menu on the top of the screen and select "Source Edit." You will see a new tab for "Source" located on the bottom of the email message.

Open the source HTML. Click the "Source" tab at the bottom of the message you want to forward.

Review the HTML. Look for a section that begins with "BLOCKQUOTE" on a line by itself. The command is followed by single line of HTML. Each time a new vertical line was added to the message during forwarding is accompanied by another "BLOCKQUOTE" command in the source HTML. For example, if a message was forwarded five times, you will see five "BLOCKQUOTE" commands that correspond to five vertical lines in the email.

Delete BLOCKQUOTE lines. Highlight all occurrences of the command in the email source. As the lines are next to each other in the email, they are also grouped together in the source code. Highlight each of the BLOCKQUOTE lines and delete them.

Return to editing the email. Click the "Edit" tab at the bottom of the message. This tab reopens the email using the view that recipients see. Verify that the blue lines are gone. Go to the "File" menu and click "Save" to preserve a draft of the forwarded message without vertical lines.

Send your message. With the vertical lines removed, you can enter any message you want to include with the forwarded one. Once you enter the recipients and add your personal message, click "Send" to have your outgoing mail server send the message without vertical lines.