When viewing an email message in Mu4e, HTML is converted to text using Emacs’ built-in html2text by default. The results aren’t always very readable. Fortunately there are other options.

The first thing I tried (since I’m on a Mac) was this:

(setq mu4e-html2text-command
      "textutil -stdin -format html -convert txt -stdout")

This converted things pretty well (and better than html2text) but it would lose all of the links and much of the text alignment was off.

I then read about shr and changed my configuration like so:

(require 'mu4e-contrib)
(setq mu4e-html2text-command 'mu4e-shr2text)
(add-hook 'mu4e-view-mode-hook
            ;; try to emulate some of the eww key-bindings
            (local-set-key (kbd "<tab>") 'shr-next-link)
            (local-set-key (kbd "<backtab>") 'shr-previous-link)))

This works very well. Most HTML emails are now nicely readable right in Emacs and the links are preserved. Plus, I can quickly jump to links by using the Tab key.

Of course I can still just press a V to open any messages that really needs to be seen as HTML right in my browser.