Apple Mail tip of the day

I’ve written before about one of my favourite features of Apple Mail – the ability to select multiple mailboxes at once and see a merged list of messages which you can sort, search etc. If I’m looking for all my correspondence on a particular subject or with a particular person, I’ll often select all my (6) inboxes, sent mail boxes, and probably a few archives as well, and then type into the search box. I’ve never seen this merging of mailboxes work so well on another mail viewer; it’s the main thing I miss when using the otherwise excellent Thunderbird.

Once you’re working within some search query or other particular view of your mail, though, how do you get back to your normal view to make a quick check on something else without losing your current setup? It’s easy, I’ve just realised. On the File menu there’s a ‘New Viewer Window’ option. This gives you a duplicate of the main window in which you can work completely independently, so you can pop up a new window for a particular search, have separate windows for working in different email accounts etc.

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I use Andreas Amann’s script to archive my emails every 90 days, and then move the archived message folders to my “documents” folder so that I can easily include them in my backups and reduce the clutter in the Mail interface/window. If I want to search these archived messages, however, I have to open each archive folder individually before I can search it, and I can only search one folder at a time. Your comment above intrigues me; is there any method, or utility, that I can use to search the folders that contain my archived mail without opening them?

Speaking of Apple Mail features, one of my favorites of Apple Mail (and subsequently my most requested feature of other Mail User Agents) is the ability to specify arbitrary From addresses per “account.”

To accomplish this, in the “email address” field of your Account within Preferences of Apple Mail, add multiple E-Mail addresses separated by commas.

This is very handy if you have a single IMAP account that collects mail for many different addresses via, say, mail aliases. It allows you to send email from any of these accounts (using the same facilities as multiple accounts – namely a drop-down box to select the account/From address). Useful if you need to wear different a hat for a different organization but would like to maintain one mailbox.

Also of note is the Apple Mail extensions list which has an extension that will use the specific signature for the email address/Account that you’re currently using.

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