Default to HTML when replying to HTML mails, or get the "loose formatting?" dialogue back

I’m using Evolution for e-mail, and recently installed version 3.44.4-0ubuntu2 on a fresh system.

My default e-mail formatting is set to plain text, and that is how I prefer it.
When replying to an HTML mail, I saw a dialogue box asking if I wanted to preserve the formatting. I always chose “Don’t loose formatting” because otherwise the result often looks ugly. There’s a little check box in that dialogue labelled “don’t ask me again”.

Today, I checked that checkbox, clicked “Don’t lose formatting”, and now all of my replies are in plain text, and Evolution stopped asking… This is not what I wanted.

What I expected to happen was that from now on HTML mails will be replied to in HTML, and all other mails should be in plain text formatting. I trawled through the settings and was not able to find anything that looks like it could either adapt the format of replies to the original message or restore the dialogue box.

1: How can I achieve a setup where plain text is the default but replies match the format of the original message?
2: If that is not possible (which I am convinced it should), how can I at least get the original behaviour back? Having one extra click per HTML reply is annoying (and a source for human error) but at least it does not force me to choose between messing up other people’s formatting or making HTML my default.

For Evolution 3.50.0-1 it’s in menu Edit/Preferences/Composer Preferences and then the General tab and Format messages in Plain text.

Setting it to plain text, should revert back to asking what formatting you want, IIRC.


1: How can I achieve a setup where plain text is the default but
replies match the format of the original message?


I agree an “always HTML” and “always Plain Text” buttons would be
better than “do not ask me again”, but it’s not possible at the moment,
I’m sorry.

2: If that is not possible (which I am convinced it should), how can
I at least get the original behaviour back?

Edit->Preferences->Composer Preferences->Confirmations tab->Before
composer format changes from HTML to Plain Text.


I just did the following:

  • switched the default format to HTML
  • checked that replying to an e-mail does default to HTML
  • Quit Evolution and started it again, just in case
  • Switched to plain text
  • started a reply to an HTML e-mail

There is no box popping up, and every e-mail I reply to is converted to plain text.

If this is what the checkbox in the dialogue is supposed to do, then I think it is misleading: I would assume that “don’t ask me again” means “from now on, apply my choice to all future occurrences of this scenario”, but now it is applying the opposite of what I chose, and the change appears to be irreversible.

…I suppose that there must be something I could reset in one of the configuration files in ~/.config/evolution/? The choice of whether the dialogue is shown or not has to be stored somewhere.

I also just tried clicking “reply” and then directly switching to HTML, before entering any text, but that only applies generic formatting to the original message.

“always HTML” sounds like from now on all my mails will be in HTML, and that is expressly not what I want. I expected Evolution to act as if I was always clicking the same button whenever it comes up, and not change anything else.

Ignoring current abilities of Evolution, the best solution would be to have, in addition to choosing a default format, the choice of letting replies adapt to the format* of the original message, and that should ideally be a reversible setting.

[*]: That is: to the “lowest” common setting between default message format and original message format: If my default is HTML, then it would always be HTML, but if it’s plain text, then it should only use HTML if the original message is HTML. That is how it was working for me before I ticked the “don’t ask again” box, except I had to confirm that choice every single time.

That’s what I meant. “Always HTML” as “Always keep HTML format”, not as changing the default composer format to HTML. That would not make sense here.

I do not see a confirmation you found the option in the Composer Preferences section.

the choice of letting replies adapt to the format

That’s Use HTML for reply/forward only if original mail does (#885) · Issues · GNOME / evolution · GitLab

I know the option (see my first reply), but it does not have the desired effect.

…I did find something else, though, just now, on the 100th look through the settings:
In Preferences -> Composer Preferences -> Confirmations, there is an option “Before composer format changes from HTML”

Ticking this brings the confirmation dialogue back again!
This means the “don’t ask again” tickmark is in fact reversible, which is a relief to me.
It also gave me the opportunity to double-check that the effect of the checkbox is indeed “lose it, every time” and not “whatever I chose now, every time”. I think that must be a bug. At least I can’t imagine that this behaviour could have been the intention behind that checkbox.

Well, I pointed exactly to that option in the Composer Preferences section in my first reply here. I guess you did misread it or overlooked it.

That’s confirmed in my first reply as well, I suppose.

Aaargh, I guess being able to read does help sometimes.

Apologies. I misinterpreted your first sentence and somehow determined that the second one was pointing to the same option that ssatwork recommended. Not a proud moment. Probably been troubleshooting too much in the last few weeks, and sleeping too little :frowning:

Anyways: Thanks for your patience, you helped me!

no problem. Good you have it working better again.

If you’d like to file a feature request for the “loose formatting”
dialog (adding buttons for “always/never loose”, instead of the check),
then it’ll help to not have it forgotten. The place is here:


Just in case: the word is “lose”, not “loose”. This is a common


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