Is there a way to allow HTML composition temporarily, while the account settings has been configured as plain text ?

On google, couple of things turned up:

  • Holding down the shift key while clicking on reply (disadvantage : no keyboard shortcut)
  • Use HTML mode, TB will automatically use plain text when there is no HTML used (disadvantage : sometimes the thread is in HTML, so the HTML will be used when I want to use plain text)

Searched addons, but did not find anything.

  • 9
    Thanks, this was actually the first google result when searching for almost the same problem - just that I didn't know SHIFT+CLICK did the job. Personally, I don't care if a have to use a mouse once a month for HTML mail :-P
    – WhyNotHugo
    Jan 1, 2011 at 19:18

4 Answers 4


You could try using Keyconfig to create a keyboard shortcut equivalent to shift+reply.


check out this article...



Further to BenA's answer (sorry, I can't comment yet) about Keyconfig a couple of useful links on mozillaZine:

and the actual code relevant to this question is MsgNewMessage({shiftKey: true}) or replace MsgNewMessage part with one of MsgForwardAsAttachment, MsgForwardMessage, MsgNewMessage, MsgReplyGroup, MsgReplySender, or MsgReplyToAllMessage.


That's easy:
Once you click on Reply, open the "Options" menu, select "Format" then click on "HTML only" or "Text & HTML".

  • 1
    This is bugged somewhat. HTML mail is still displayed as HTML when you change to "Plain Text" from this menu.
    – WhyNotHugo
    Jan 1, 2011 at 19:18
  • 5
    Yep - this bug is easily reproducible. Also note that once your email is in "Text" mode, the Options=>Format option disappears. What a user experience nightmare.
    – rouble
    Apr 20, 2011 at 21:05

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