How to Get Rid of Left Margin Lines in an Email


Most email programs use a blue line on the left margin to identify quoted text in a forwarded message. The blue line is created with an HTML coded table. Every time a message is forwarded, another blue line is embedded in the message. Sometimes, you may receive a forwarded email with several blue lines on the left, but it's not difficult to remove the blue lines in some email programs.

Microsoft Outlook

  • Open the email that you want to forward to another person. Left click and drag the mouse over the text to highlight it. Press "CTRL" and then the "C" key to copy the text to your computer clipboard.

  • Click "New" to open a new blank email message. Click on the area where the email message will be typed. Press "CTRL" and the "V" key to paste the message into the body of the email. Repeat the previous step to copy the text that was pasted in the new blank email message if any blue lines remain.

  • Click and drag the mouse to highlight all the text in the new email message. Press "Backspace" to delete all highlighted text or right click and choose "Cut" or "Delete." Press "CTRL" and "V" to re-paste the text. Repeat the copy, paste, copy, delete until the blue line is no longer pasted into the message.

Outlook Express

  • Open the email that you want to forward. Select "Forward" in the menu. Click to the right of the blue line that you want to remove.

  • Click on the "Message" tab at the top of the email message. Select "Clear Formatting."

  • Remove additional lines by repeating the previous steps. Add email addresses of those who will receive the forwarded message. Type your personal message above the forwarded message.

Mac Users

  • Open your email program. Click on a forwarded email to open it. Select the text that has the blue "quoted text" line on the left side of the text.

  • Highlight the text by pressing and holding the right mouse button at the beginning of the text. Drag the mouse to the end of the text to be highlighted. Press the "Command" key and then press the letter "C" to copy the text. Open a new, blank email message and paste the copied text by pressing "Command" and then "V."

  • Open the forwarded email message that contains the blue quoted text lines. Choose "Format" from the menu. Choose "Quote Level" and then select "Decrease" to remove one blue line. Repeat for each blue line on the left side of the email message.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your email program allows you to edit messages in HTML mode, locate and delete the code for the blue line. It should look like this:
  • MARGIN-LEFT: 5px; BORDER-LEFT: rgb(16,16,255) 2px solid">
  • The "copy" email message and then "paste" into a new blank message in Microsoft Outlook will copy the text only. Embedded and attached images will not appear in the new email.


  • Photo Credit Chad Baker/Photodisc/Getty Images
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