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Is there a way to change the default style for an email message? Right now, when I click "New" mail message I get a default style of "Paragraph". I don't want it, I hate it. Can I make it go away, and just have a "Normal" style by default?

I'm using Outlook to compose my mail, not Word.

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Perhaps you should add a screenshot of what it looks like on your side ;-) – Ivo Flipse Jan 27 '11 at 11:09
  1. Start a new message
  2. Select the "Format Text" tab
  3. Make sure the cursor is in the body of the text (click somewhere in the body)
  4. Choose the style you want under the "Styles" section
  5. Click the "Change Styles" button in the "Styles" section
  6. Click "Set as Default"

Your selection should now be the default under all new emails. As well, if you select the formatting settings you want (using the "Paragraph" section), you can save your settings to a new style by clicking [ Change Styles > Style Set > Save as Quick Style Set ], then save that newly created style as your default.

Hope this helps!

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I don't see any "Format Text" tab, or the Styles section either. I'm not even sure what you mean by "tab", or "section". All I have are menu items for File, Edit, View, etc., and toolbar buttons. Where are these? Are you sure this is for Outlook 2003? Even though my problem appears fixed, I'd like to know what I did. Upvote for the try anyway. – DCookie Jan 26 '11 at 18:57

I'm using Outlook 2007, but it might be similar to you:

Open a new mail message, right click on text field --> Paragraph.. the window below will open: Paragraph options

Click on Default button at the bottom of the window, you should receive the message below:

Outlook poupup message

Click on Yes to change it to NORMAL mode.

EDIT: Searching for more info on Outlook 2003 I found some help on MS support here, but only when using Word as mail editor (which is not your case). I also found this information, but I can't guarantee this will work (because I have only MSO2007 version, so I can't test it).

Please, test it and let me know if this is where you can set the NORMAL mode/style.

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Well, I don't know what I did, but now the default seems to be set to what I want. The feature you describe is not available in 2003, apparently. I'm upvoting you anyway for the good try. – DCookie Jan 26 '11 at 18:46
Maybe there is something similar on Outlook 2003. I'll try to find a better answer to your question. – Johnny Jan 27 '11 at 0:23
I tested the link you gave and there's nothing in there that helps. Thanks for the try. – DCookie Jan 27 '11 at 16:54

I was having the same problem with Outlook due to altering the "Normal" style in Word 2003. No matter how many times I changed the formatting back to the style I wanted in Outlook, it would still default to the unwanted style when I opened a new mail message.

I found this link which addresses solving the problem in Word (in my case, 2003), but I followed the instructions, and it worked for Outlook as well.

Hope this helps!

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