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An email sent with Content-Type of 'multipart/alternative' (often) contains two copies of the email: one html, one plaintext.

Gmail displays the html version of the email by default, but how do I view the plaintext contents, just to make sure that it looks right? I can view the raw text using the "view original" option, but that's not really what I want; there's a lot of escapes visible when doing this, which is not what users would see.

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migrated from superuser.com May 9 '12 at 17:57

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up vote 21 down vote accepted

Try clicking the dropdown next to reply and select "Message garbled?"

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This is it! I wish they'd make the label a bit more clear though =/ – bukzor May 11 '12 at 6:27
I can pass along your feedback. I think it is a trade-off, though. You are clearly a knowledgeable and technical user :) There are many users who are not so technical. A main case where this is useful is when there is an encoding problem, and in that case, "Message garbled" may make more sense than "View plaintext"; they might not understand plaintext could make their message legible. – Sarah Price May 11 '12 at 22:49
When composing an email, there's a link labeled "« Plain Text". I feel like you could follow that precedent without issue: "View Plain Text". – bukzor May 14 '12 at 17:59
"Message text garbled?" doesn't just show the plain text version - for a HTML-only mail, it seems to show the HTML source. So "View Plain Text" wouldn't cover both cases. But I wonder if a non-technical user would even think to look in that menu. – Henrik N Jul 8 '12 at 10:07
Showing HTML source when no plain-text part exists is normal behaviour for an e-mail client. The e-mail is badly formatted. That's not Gmail's fault. A good thing to do with those e-mails are to delete them. – Ken Sharp Jan 4 at 5:00

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