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Take Control of Apple Mail in Mountain Lion
Master Mail in Mountain Lion!
Use Apple Mail in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion more effectively with real-world advice from Joe Kissell! Perhaps you want to understand the basics of receiving, composing, and sending email—Joe has you covered. Or maybe you're more interested in learning about Mail's many advanced options, including account setup, employing multiple accounts, formatting, rules, smart mailboxes, and iCloud or Gmail integration.
Joe also explains the new-in-Mountain-Lion VIP feature and how to control which messages become notifications. Plus, Joe has laced the ebook with tips on third-party add-ons that make Mail smarter and more enjoyable to use. Put simply, this ebook is by far the most comprehensive resource about Apple Mail available.
Join Joe as you become confident with how 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. Build your know-how of Mountain Lion's new VIP options for identifying important messages and take control of which messages appear as notifications. See how best to use 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: Discover different methods for quickly addressing your email; how to handle 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, attachments, and 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.
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.
Every time Apple updates OS X to a major new version, one of the first things I do is open Mail and choose Help > What’s New in Mail? to find out what features have changed since the last big release. This time, for Mail version 6.x in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, that window shows just three changes: VIP senders, notifications for new messages, and sharing Web pages in different formats. My initial reaction was, “Wow, that’s not much of a change.” But then, as I began poking around, my reaction changed to, “Hey, wait a minute—why didn’t Apple mention _this_…and this and this?” I quickly found several other important differences from the Lion version of Mail.
This has been Apple’s way for years: Change things but don’t mention what has changed or why. Add features, remove features, make things work differently—but don’t publish release notes or call attention to changes, even if it means confusing users who have been used to doing something a certain way for a very long time. I realize Apple is trying to put a veneer of simplicity on their products, but in my opinion, giving users more information is better than making them guess.
In fact, it’s not just new features that leave users guessing. Lots of the ways Mail has worked for the past decade have been far from obvious, with explanations in Mail’s built-in help or on Apple’s Web site being either inadequate or absent. Mail is an outstandingly powerful tool, but too many of its capabilities are left undocumented—either you stumble across them or you don’t.
Email is crucial to my work and personal life, and my feeling is that I can’t afford to have anything less than a complete grip on the tool I use to manage it. Since Apple didn’t provide the instructions I needed, I spent lots of time figuring out how things worked and wrote my own instruction manual! That’s the book you’re now reading. It explains all the important things I’ve wondered how to do in Mail. I hope you’ll find it both helpful and interesting.
This minor update addresses a few issues in Mail that came to light in the weeks immediately after Mountain Lion’s release. I changed the following:
In this revised edition, I covered all the new features found in the Mountain Lion version of Mail (6.x). You can see a list of those features in Learn What’s New in Mountain Lion Mail. I also removed the discussion of features that no longer exist, and changed various terms to match Apple’s new usage in Mountain Lion—for example, Contacts is the new name for the app formerly known as Address Book, and Calendar is what we now call iCal. Other than Mountain Lion-related changes, however, I added no substantive new content since Take Control of Apple Mail in Lion.
The Mountain Lion version of Mail (6.x) hasn’t changed dramatically from the Lion version, but it does have several important differences:
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, Take Control of Apple Mail in Snow Leopard, and Take Control of Apple Mail in Lion.
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, 2014 -- We don't plan to update this ebook with more details about Mail in Mountain Lion, but there is a newer ebook, Take Control of Mail, that looks at Mail in 10.9 Mavericks and iOS 7. Check it out!
—Tonya J Engst
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