What Does ‘Please Type Your Reply Above This Line’ Mean?

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What Does 'Please Type Your Reply Above This Line' Mean?

Have you ever received an email that prompts you to type your reply or response to the email above a given line?

When you see such an email, you may wonder about the meaning of Type Your Reply Above This Line. You may also wonder why it is necessary to request that you type your reply above the given line.

You are likely to have seen this prompt when you receive an email from an organization, especially from a support ticket correspondence.

But what does Type Your Reply Above This Line mean, and why are you requested to do so? Read on to find out all the answers that you need on this subject.

What Does ‘Type Your Reply Above This Line’ Really Mean?

When you receive an email that requests that you Type Your Reply Above This Line, you would normally have to click the reply button to reveal the line that you are supposed to type your reply above.

What this instruction means is that when replying to the email, you should type the text of your reply above the line that is provided by the sender of the email.

In such scenarios, the email of the sender that you are replying to normally appears below the line, which then requires that your reply appears above the line.

The idea behind this is to make sure that email correspondences appear in some kind of chronological order, where the latest email appears at the top, and the oldest email appears at the bottom of the correspondence or email thread.

Another important rationale behind this is to make sure that you do not mix up your latest reply with a previous email either from the sender or from yourself.

You see, if you are using your mobile phone or computer to reply to an email, especially on Gmail or Outlook, you are able to load the full email thread and type your response anywhere in the email thread, even if it is within a message that was previously sent by the other party or by you in the past.

This should not be possible as each email should be separated by an uneditable frame, but unfortunately, it is possible, and you can type a reply within an old email message and have everything distorted.

When you type your reply above the line, you ensure that you do not mix your latest reply with a previous email.

So, putting emails in chronological order and avoiding replying to an old email message are the two main reasons why you are prompted to Type Your Reply Above This Line.

Do I Have to Type The Reply Above This Line?

Yes, you actually do have to type your reply above the given line. Even though it is true that when you click on the reply button to reply to an email, the cursor is placed in a space above the given line where you can then type your message.

However, you could mistakenly place your cursor in the wrong space and type below the line, which places your message within the email that you are responding to.

As we explained in the section above, you need to type your reply above the line in order to make sure that the email thread remains chronological and that you are not typing within a previous email.

So, yes, you do have to type your reply above the given line. Even though the reply space automatically appears above the given line, it is important that you consciously ensure that you place the cursor above the line and type in the space.

When you type your reply above the line and send the reply, the messages appear in chronological order and are separated by a line. It is actually this line separation that the sender is trying to maintain when they ask you to type your reply above the line.

How to Type a Reply Above This Line in Gmail

We are going to use Gmail in our example, but the same principle applies to just about any major email client that you may be using, including Microsoft Outlook, eM Client, and Yahoo mail.

On Gmail Web

1. Log into your Gmail account and open the email that you want to reply to

2. Click on Reply

3. When the reply window opens, you will see space above the previous email that States Type Your Reply Above This Line

4. Make sure that your cursor is placed in this space, and then you can begin typing your reply

5. If you tap the reply button but do not see the previous email that states that you should type your reply above the line, you may see three dots at the bottom of the reply window instead. These 3 dots represent the line that you are typing above

6. Click on the three dots to reveal the previous email

7. Then you should see something like “On a given date and at a given time, the email sender wrote…”

Make sure that your cursor is placed above this text. Then you can start typing your reply

On Gmail mobile app

1. Launch the Gmail app and open the message that you want to reply to

2. Tap on Reply

3. When the reply window opens, you will see your cursor blinking in space, with three dots at the bottom of the space

4. Those three dots are the line that you are typing above

5. To be double sure, tap on the three dots to reveal the previous message that you are replying to

6. Then make sure that your cursor is above the date and time stamp text

7. You can then start typing in the space above the timestamp text. This ensures that you are typing above the reply line

How to Remove Type Your Reply Above This Line

When you click to reply to an email on Gmail or any other email client, you are automatically provided with a space to type your reply, which is always above the previous email that you are replying to.

In our illustrations above, you can see that the line that you are to type your reply above is already provided. Therefore, it is not necessary for the email sender to add a message stating that you should type your reply above the line.

So, if you receive such a message to type your reply above a line, you can actually delete that instruction and simply type your reply above the previous email as we demonstrated in the section above.

Here’s how to do this:

1. Open the email that you want to reply to and click on Reply

2. Select the text that reads Please Type Your Reply Above This Line and delete it

3. Make sure that you place your cursor above the time stamp of the email that you are replying to

4. Then type your reply and send it

Can’t Type Your Reply Above This Line?

Some users report that when they click to type their reply above the line in the email message, they are unable to: there is no editable space for them to type their reply above the line as instructed.

This error usually occurs with emails that are from support tickets. We have found that such problems are a result of poor User Interface (UI) on the end of the ticket-generating platform and not the email client like Gmail or Outlook.

To be able to click to type a reply above the line, you have to first click on the reply button…which should have been stated in the first place.

You cannot simply just click in the space above the instruction to type your reply above the line without first clicking on the reply button. Clicking the reply button activates the editable space where you can then type your reply above the given line.

David Johnson is a freelance writer with 9 years of experience writing for Techzillo and other established tech outlets like iMore. His focus and key interests are Apple and accessibility as well as consumer technology in general. Read our Editorial Guidlines and Fact Checking process.

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