How to add line breaks between list items in OS X Mail

Though by default, lists in OS X Mail seem limited to a condensed format, you can make them more appealing by adding line breaks.

Topher Kessler MacFixIt Editor
Topher, an avid Mac user for the past 15 years, has been a contributing author to MacFixIt since the spring of 2008. One of his passions is troubleshooting Mac problems and making the best use of Macs and Apple hardware at home and in the workplace.
Topher Kessler

When composing messages in OS X Mail, you have the option to use the program's built-in list tool to keep numbered or bulleted lists properly formatted, but you may find its formatting options to be a bit limited.

Mail list line breaks
With a list type selected, pressing Control-Enter will input line breaks while preserving the list format. Screenshot by Topher Kessler/CNET

The list generator is not intended to be a complex option; however, by default it only displays one list entry per paragraph, so if you attempt to create a line break to separate list items or add multiple paragraphs per item, the default behavior is to simply append new list entries.

This can be a bit annoying to deal with, and because it results in condensed lists, it may cause you to avoid using this feature. However, OS X Mail does support options to add line breaks to list items, allowing you to generate multiple paragraphs and other separations in lists.

To do this, simply hold the Control key when pressing Enter or Return, and the program will maintain the list structure and give you a new line to work with. This feature is similar to those in other programs such as Apple's Pages and TextEdit editors, so if you have looked for ways to add line breaks in these programs, then you can do so there as well, without using inspectors or other adjustment panels.

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