Equinux Mail Designer puts you thoroughly in command of your emails' appearance, using a DTP-style metaphor of text and image boxes.

It's integrated with Apple Mail's stationery feature, so you can't send its layouts from other clients, though of course recipients can view them in nearly any mail program.

If you're used to a DTP package such as InDesign or QuarkXPress, you may not need to browse the manual and tutorial videos.

Select from a dozen ready-made layouts – oddly, you can't start with a blank canvas, though it's easy enough to delete what's there – and tweak them to your needs with drag-and-drop backgrounds, text styles, photos, graphics and so on.

Then create a new message in Apple Mail and select your Mail Designer layout as stationery. It's that simple, but it's not crude.

Design geeks will appreciate features such as the distance indicators showing the number of pixels between elements. DTP veterans will be at home with grouping and layering elements. And those creating designs for others will welcome the ability to auto-insert the sender's name according to Mail preferences.

However, not all text areas support backgrounds, for example, and there's no save-as-HTML option (though Equinux hints it may be coming).

And at more than £50, or £80 with 200-plus business templates, the price is steep. But if you need emails with full-blown layouts this makes it easy.

Follow TechRadar Reviews on Twitter: http://twitter.com/techradarreview