Outlook 2010 (beta). I like responding to email inline-style, where there is an indicator (typically a gray vertical bar, |) denoting the quoted content.

Not sure if I can attach an image, but will give text example:

This is some email content.

|  This is a quote from the original email

This is my response to that quote

| |  This denotes a nested quote from a previous message

And another inline response.

I just got an email from someone who replied inline with this same style, but I can't for the life of me find what format option in the Ribbon I need to do the same.

I know I can go through and do this manually with plain-text emails, but the email I am responding to accomplished this with HTML style message, and I would have to remove the formatting and then re-apply the quote style with plain-text markings.


  1. Click the File tab

  2. Choose Options from the left menu

  3. Choose Mail from the left menu

  4. Scroll down for Replies and Forwards

  5. Choose your relevant options from the dropdown. I think what you're looking for is "Prefix each line of the original message"

Prefix each line of the original message

To remove the existing prefix / blue bar, press Ctrl-Q (per @djp; be sure to up-vote that comment below if this helps).

  • 63
    What if I want to be able to reply into the middle of a message, like in gmail? It appears in HTML messages you can't get rid of the bar on the left by hitting return in the middle of the message. – dfrankow Mar 28 '11 at 21:18
  • 4
    I have the same issue as @dfrankow, is there any way to reply inline to an HTML email? – gav Sep 20 '11 at 13:08
  • 5
    NOTE: The solution addin that is talked about in the above question, is not provided. – user66001 Feb 2 '13 at 1:41
  • 31
    To get rid of the blue bar on the left (in the middle of a message) try CTRL+Q – djp Oct 22 '15 at 3:11
  • 4
    It's a long and well known bug in Outlook. You should choose RTF format for the message (on the Format tab). Then the changes you make with Ctrl-Q will be visible to the recipients. – Alexander Amelkin Dec 12 '16 at 12:42

As the comments have noted is an issue with variant's answer, you can't add text into the reply if you use the "Prefix each line of the original message" feature.

This is what I'm doing that takes a bit more setup and a bit more work to use but is way more flexible. Note that I'm using Office 365 ProPlus

  1. Double click on some text to highlight it then click on the Styles menu
  2. Name your new style. Click the Modify button
  3. Make sure the checkbox Add to the Styles gallery is checked.
  4. Make sure the option Style for following paragraph: is set to ¶ Normal
  5. Click the Format drop down then click on Border
  6. Set a left border, with the color you want, and the width you want.
  7. Keep clicking Ok until you're back to your e-mail

Now that you've got your reply text style created, just highlight text that you want to mark and apply the style to your replies. Of course, you can apply all kinds of other customization to the style as you see fit.

  • 2
    This is perfect! – frakman1 Jan 17 '20 at 12:17

In case you want to write plain-text emails with some nicely formatted text quotes, quotefixmacro might be a solution. It automatically converts HTML mails to plain text mails and reformats the quotes nicely (in most cases)

Other than that, for Outlook 2017 and newer, following are the options to add > before each line:

Tools > Options > Preferences > E-mail Options... > On replies and forwards

  • When replying to a message: "Prefix each line of the original message"
  • When forwarding a message: "Include original message text" or "Prefix each line of the original message"
  • Prefix each line with: "> "

Following @chizou 's answer, these are the parameters I found working.

  • Modify Style > Format > Paragraph > Indentation

    • Left, 0.1 cm
  • Modify Style > Format > Borders and Shading

    • Color blue

    • Width 1 + 1/2

    • Click the left border button

    • Options > From text > Left, 4 pt

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