Understanding Front's composer
Edited

Overview

Front has a rich-text composer with a suite of editing options to format your message exactly the way you want it. This article will explain the different features of the composer.


Email composer

To compose a message, click the Compose button at the top left corner or click Reply on a message.

When in composing mode, you will see many options for formatting. Click on the Formatting options icon, the icon showing Aa, on the bottom left to hide or display the full formatting bar. 

Font family

By default, Front uses Sans-Serif fonts. This can differ depending on the machine you're using. Front uses Helvetica on macOS 10.10 and later, and Segoe UI on Windows Vista and later. Otherwise, it will default to Arial. Of course, you can choose from other options in the Font family dropdown as well.

Font size

Front's default font size is 14px, which is standard. Use the dropdown of the Font size if you'd like to change your font size.

Text color

Front's default font color is black, but that can be changed in the dropdown of the Text color menu.

Text highlight

You have an array of highlight colors to choose from in the Text highlight menu.

Font styling

Emphasize different parts of your text with the styling icons: bold, italic, underline, and strikethrough. Hovering on the icons will show the keyboard shortcuts for them, which are standard.

Lists

Format your email with bulleted and numbered lists, or indentations by clicking the Lists icon. You have the option of checking the Auto-Formatting feature, which means that typing dashes or numbers then pressing the Enter key will automatically format your text into a list.

Insert link

Hyperlink a word or phrase in your email by highlighting the text and clicking the Insert link icon. Alternatively, highlighting your text and pressing the paste shortcut, Cmd V, will automatically add the hyperlink if you've previously copied the hyperlink.

Insert image inline

Click the Insert image inline icon to add an image to your email using a URL or inserting from your computer.

Quote

Adding quotes will add a vertical line to the left of the text, with the text and styling able to be edited after making it a quote. Click the Quote icon of the quotation marks to do so.

Reset style

If you copy and paste a line of text into an email, and the formatting isn't what you're looking for, click the Reset style, or Tx icon, to revert back to your default style.

Save default style

You can change your default font style so that every email you write will automatically have your set style, by clicking the three-dot menu then Save default style. For detailed steps, see here.

Switch to Markdown

If you prefer to compose in Markdown, we've got you covered. Simply click the three-dot menu, click Switch to Markdown, and start typing. You can switch back to the rich-text editor any time without losing your work.

Insert emoji

Liven up your message with the Insert emoji icon and choose from the full menu of emoticons. 

Insert GIF

Use our Giphy integration to bring your message to life. Search your keywords and click the GIF to insert it.

Attach files

Use the Attach files icon to attach from your computer, Dropbox, or Google Drive. To learn more about attaching files to your messages, check out this article.

Message templates

One of Front's superpowers is to help you be more efficient with your message templates. Click the Message templates icon to access your pre-loaded templates and insert them into your message. 

Knowledge base

Use the Knowledge base icon to insert links to your Front Knowledge Base articles.

Scheduling

Front Calendar allows you to offer meeting times directly in your message by accessing your available times and inserting your availability. When customers click on the time of their choice in your message, the meeting will be automatically added to both your calendars. Learn how to use this magic here.

Compose with AI

Use the Compose with AI icon to generate a draft using Front's AI features.

Delete

Click the Delete trashcan icon to delete the whole draft you were typing.


Chat composer

You will see a slightly different composer when replying to a chat message, which exist in these channel types: Front Chat, Facebook, Twitter, Intercom, Sunshine Conversations, and Twilio SMS. Though you do not have as many formatting options using chat, there are some helpful features in the composer, described below.

Formatting options

Front Chat channels only: Use bold, italics, strikethrough, lists, links, and quotes in your responses to customers. Click Reply via email to quickly create a follow-up email linked to the original chat conversation.

Insert emoji

Liven up your message with the Insert emoji icon and choose from the full menu of emoticons. 

Attach files

Use the Attach files icon to attach from your computer, Dropbox, or Google Drive. 

Message templates

One of Front's superpowers is to help you be more efficient with your message templates. Click the Message templates icon to access your pre-loaded templates and insert them into your message. 

Knowledge base

Use the Knowledge base icon to insert links to your Front Knowledge Base articles.

Delete

Click the Delete trashcan icon to delete the whole draft you were typing.

Enter to send

Tick the "Enter" to send checkbox if you'd like to send replies by simply hitting Enter on your keyboard. Conversations aren't archived when you use Enter to send, so you can easily send multiple replies in the same conversation, providing a real-time chat experience.

You can press Shift + Enter on your keyboard to add line breaks to your message.


FAQ

Can I embed videos in email?

No, Front does not support embedding videos into email. Instead, we suggest embedding an image or .gif with a play button added on top of it, and hyperlink out to the video.

Can I build composer plugins?

Yes! Previously, plugins could only be embedded within the right sidebar, but it’s now possible for developers to build plugins that embed themselves in the composer instead.

More details on how to build composer plugins can be found here.