In this Instructable, I'm going to demonstrate a process to de-gender the Birth Announcement Stationery by adding pink and yellow versions to it. You will need Photoshop or a similar editor to make the graphic changes. It would also behoove you to install Apple's Developer's Tools package from the original Mac OS X Install DVD to use the Property List Editor tool. You can edit the Property List files with a text editor, but it's much less intuitive and elegant...

When Apple first introduced Leopard (Mac OS X vers. 10.5), one of the really neat features was the Stationery feature in the Mail application. They had supplied a number of professionally designed templates making it very easy to send out very cool emails. Some of them even had the ability to change the base color! This was especially important in the "Birth Announcement" Stationery.

At some point over the seven updates to Leopard, the original Stationery were replaced with even better constructed templates. Unfortunately, one of the sacrifices were that fewer of them had the color change feature. Most disappointing is that the "Birth Announcement" is now only available in blue! What if you want to announce a girl? What if you're announcing your new High-Def Entertainment System? You're going to need/want something other than blue!

Last week, I set out to learn how to make my own Stationery files for Mail. Part of the process is to understand how the current stationery works. It a lot easier to modify what's already there than to create new from scratch. The results are also instantly gratifying like we've grown to expect in this day and age.

Step 1: Locate the stationery file for editing...

Stationery for Mail are located in any of three places. Original files are located in the Library folder of the hard drive's main directory. add-on stationery may also be located in your Home folder's Library or the Network's Library. In all cases they follow a like path within the Library. Since there are very few custom Stationery, likely you only have Apple's supplied Stationery in the mail Library. You can find them by following this path:

/Library/Application Support/Apple/Mail/Stationery/Apple/Contents/Resources/

The specific Stationery that we will be editing is located in the Announcements folder following the additional path:


Be sure to make a backup copy of this file before editing it. The easiest backup technique is to select the Baby.mailstationery file and select the menu item: Finder -> Compress "Baby.mailstationery". This will copy the original file into a zip file within the same folder. Don't skip this step! If you totally hose the original, you can always recover it with the backup.
<p>Hello, this is a great tutorial!!!</p><p>I managed to change mine but I have some issues as followed:</p><p>1) My &quot;Images&quot; in Description.plist are not being read.<br>2) Is it possible to change the size of mask and placeholder? I have tried to resize them but it is just gone when I did.<br>3) There are some errors on missing plug-ins, are there any suggestions on how to solve it please?<br>4) I have also tried to resize everything in my grey background orange text version, and there is an excess background popping up on the right.</p><p>Thanks a lot and have a lovely day!</p><p>Cheers,<br>Karen</p>
<p>I have the same problem and its annoying. Any idea how to resolve it? Ideally it could display in list display mode or at least we could enlarge the stationary selection panel.</p>
<p>I like Mail Stationery templates but my text is often too much for the text box... cutting off what's at the bottom. Specifically I'd like to use the photo template &quot;tack board&quot; with 7 images... but the text box won't &quot;grow&quot;. Suggestions? Thanks.</p>
<p>Thanks for the great instructable! I made some stationary for my design company! </p>
<p>Thanks for the instructions but I have a need to turn a template image into a clickable link. How is that done? Need for info? Ok. Let's say I select the Air Mail template from the Photos category. I drag in three separate photos. How do I add a link to each photo so that a receiver can click on the photo and be taken to a specific web page or site? Is that option there (am I just missing it?) or can it be done 'behind the scenes' through the source coding? Thanks for any tips!</p>
The easiest solution for this is to create a hidden web page (not linked from any other page) on your site containing the body of the email with all the links and any other bells and whistles you like. Add plain text at the begging of the page reading &quot;If this isn't displaying in your email reader, click this LINK to view.&quot; with a link to itself.<br><br>Then simply visit the page in Safari and choose File:Share:Email This Page (Command-I). Problem solved!<br><br>Good luck!<br><br>LasVegas
Great set of instructions.... but the download file is wrong for some reason.... a .tmp file extension doesn't make sense.... Would be good to see a good file and share this MAC feature more widely...
Great set of instructions.... thank you! I have adjusted a template and will be emailing out next week with the results.
I am unable to open the installer packages. What could I be doing wrong?
Do keep in mind that, whether you're on a Windows PC, a Mac, Linux, BSD, or whatever, using "stationary" in email means you are sending an html page. This is one of the easiest ways to get your email blocked because it looks like spam to mail server filters. If it's business email, leave off the stationary, and send plain text (not html, and not rich text) if at all possible.
<strong>Edit:</strong> I just made a change to Step 8. A paragraph was added to define the Letter Rectangle. This feature prevents the colors from changing while you're trying to edit your message. Trust me... Without this, editing can be quite frustrating! :)<br/><br/>Also, There are now installers available in Step 9 to install this and a similar edit to the Sticky Stationary. You're welcome to download and use these on your own system. If you want to share it with others, refer them to this Instructable.<br/>
. Lorem Ipsum (or, as LV said, pseudo-text filler)
Yea! That's the term! Thanks NM. :)
Oh! It took me a bit to understand the question. The answer is no. The text in the Stationary is pseudo-text that just acts as filler to show how the document is supposed to look. When the stationary is selected, you would replace that text with your own.

About This Instructable


22 favorites


More by LasVegas: Easy Customizing of Apple Mail Stationery Make Your Regular Mac a NetBoot Server! Protect your Mac from Thieves
Add instructable to: