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Take Control of Apple Mail in Lion
Learn the basics and go under the hood with Mail in Lion!
Are you using Apple Mail in Lion effectively? In this book, email expert Joe Kissell provides the comprehensive guidance you need. Perhaps you want to fully understand the basics of receiving, composing, and sending email. Or maybe you want to master many advanced options—including account setup, employing multiple accounts, formatting, rules, smart mailboxes, and iCloud or Gmail integration. Either way, you'll find helpful advice and detailed steps, based on extensive real-world experience. You'll also find tips on various third-party add-ons that make Mail smarter and more enjoyable to use.
This book will teach you to:
Comprehend account options: Understand the difference between POP and IMAP, plus learn about special aspects of iCloud, Exchange, and Gmail accounts. Discover how to integrate all these types of accounts, and more, into your overall Mail setup, as well as learn how you can manage Gmail’s labels in an IMAP environment.
Read: Learn efficient ways to quickly open, read, process, and file your messages. See how best to use Lion’s three-pane view (or turn it off if you prefer), and how to follow email threads and conversations. You'll also get tips for handling incoming attachments, flagging messages, avoiding spam, and using Mail's built-in RSS feed reader.
Write and send: Read about different methods for quickly addressing your email, how to take control of the From, To, Cc, and Bcc lines, and how to create multiple signatures. Find out how to address a single message to a group of recipients, and how to decide whether you should use digital signatures or encryption, plus what to do when you want to send a digitally signed or encrypted message. And, get advice about formatting an email message—and why you might not want to, plus learn how to include URLs, add attachments, and include quoted text from other messages.
Find your stuff: Keep Mail organized with advice on how to arrange Mail's sidebar, Favorites bar, and your various mailboxes so you can easily locate messages using a variety of techniques—including search tokens and Boolean expressions. Joe covers simple features, such as making a new mailbox and rearranging your mailboxes, as well as advanced techniques, such as creating rules and smart mailboxes.
Use Notes: Mail has a Notes feature for leaving yourself reminders. Learn the strengths and limitations of Notes, and make it work for you.
Unravel Mail mysteries: Understand the sometimes-present Outbox, sort out the Dock unread count, learn why smart addresses can be stupid, avoid "unsafe" addresses, manage the Previous Recipients list, wrangle attachments, and determine why certain mailboxes appear in particular categories on Mail's sidebar.
Avoid and fix problems: Get advice on how to back up your email, and find out how to restore it from a backup. Also read the dozen pages of hard-won troubleshooting advice with tips on managing a misbehaving mailbox, fixing sending problems and delays, resolving connection errors, and more.
iPad & Kindle
About the Author
Joe Kissell has written numerous books about the Macintosh, including many popular Take Control ebooks. He's also Senior Editor of TidBITS and a Senior Contributor to Macworld, and previously spent ten years in the Mac software industry.
Table of Contents
Read Me First
Mail, Apple’s full-featured email application, is the most popular way for Mac OS X users to send and receive email. This book helps you get more out of Mail by explaining its most important features, providing useful tips, and solving problems. This book was written by Joe Kissell, edited by Michael E. Cohen, and published by TidBITS Publishing Inc.
This book is the fifth in my series of titles about using Apple Mail, stretching back to the version included with Mac OS X 10.3 Panther (which I wrote about in 2004) and continuing with coverage of Mail in Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, and now, Mail version 5.x in Lion. After all those versions of Mail, all I can say is, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”
Mail is still my favorite email program—and believe me, I’ve tried them all. Yet it remains far from perfect. Certain aspects of Mail’s operation continue to be nearly inscrutable, and sometimes internally contradictory. Problems that have been around for nearly a decade are still there, and new ones have materialized. Features have appeared and disappeared over the years without warning or explanation.
But worst of all, in my opinion, is that Apple’s documentation on Mail is still, in typical Apple style, appallingly inadequate. Mail has no instruction manual as such, just the basic guidance you can find when you choose Help > Mail Help. In fairness, Mail Help contains lots of useful information, but it still barely scratches the surface of Mail’s capabilities. Dozens of features aren’t mentioned at all, and much of the information there is sketchy. Nearly every time I consult Mail Help, I find that it leaves me with more questions than answers. Based on the hundreds of messages I’ve received from confused Mail users over the years, I’m not alone!
I’ve had to figure out a lot of things in Mail by trial and error—but you shouldn’t have to. My goal in this book is to provide clear, helpful explanations of how to perform the most important tasks in Mail. But more than that, I want you to understand why things work the way they do, how to avoid or work around Mail’s limitations, and how to approach Mail in the most effective way.
In this edition, I cover the numerous new features found in the Lion version of Mail (Mail 5.x). You can see a list of those features a few pages ahead, in Learn What’s New in Lion Mail. In addition to those Lion-specific features, I added quite a bit of new material that the previous edition, Take Control of Apple Mail in Snow Leopard, doesn’t have, including:
Coming in Mountain Lion: Mail in OS X 10.8 will feature unicorns and rainbows.
The version of Mail included with Lion (5.x) looks similar to the version that shipped with Snow Leopard, but it includes many changes. Among them are these:
Yes, we've been doing this for a while now. You can choose from Take Control of Email with Apple Mail (covers Mail in 10.3 Panther), Take Control of Apple Mail in Tiger, Take Control of Apple Mail in Leopard, and Take Control of Apple Mail in Snow Leopard.
There are lots of great ways to read our ebooks on these devices. For more details, please read our latest Device Advice.
Feel free to ask us if you have a question about this title!
How could we not publish such kind words? If you'd like to send us your comments (good or bad, though we hope they're all good), just click the Feedback link on the cover of your copy of the ebook. Be sure to let us know if we can publish your comment. Thanks!
February 26, 2012 -- Although we do not plan to update this ebook again for Lion, we did create a new edition for 10.8 Mountain Lion—Take Control of Apple Mail in Mountain Lion. And, there's now also an ebook for Mail in 10.9 Mavericks and iOS 7, Take Control of Apple Mail. This paragraph might not get updated again, but it seems possible that there will be more editions of this title in the future.
—Tonya J Engst
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