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Take Control of Apple Mail in Snow Leopard
Learn the basics and go under the hood with Mail in Snow Leopard!
Are you using Apple Mail in Snow Leopard effectively? In this book, author Joe Kissell provides comprehensive guidance. Perhaps you just want to fully understand the basics of receiving, composing, and sending email. Or maybe you want to master many advanced options—including account set up, integrating multiple accounts, formatting, rules, and MobileMe syncing. Either way, you'll find helpful advice and detailed steps. 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: You'll understand the difference between POP and IMAP, plus learn about special aspects of MobileMe, Exchange, and Gmail accounts. In the case of Exchange and especially Gmail, you'll also learn how to integrate them into your overall Mail setup. Joe also covers Mail's integration with MobileMe syncing.
Read: Okay, we expect you know how to read, but you'll learn efficient ways to quickly open, read, process, and file your messages. You'll also get tips on handling incoming attachments, avoiding spam, and using Mail's built-in RSS feed reader.
Write and send: You'll learn 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. You'll also find out about how to address a single message to a group of recipients, and how to know if you should use digital signatures or encryption, plus what to do if you want to send a message with a digital signature or encryption.
Find your stuff: You'll get advice on how to organize Mail's sidebar and your various mailboxes so you can easily locate messages using a variety of techniques. Joe covers simple features—such as making a new mailbox or rearranging your mailboxes—as well as advanced techniques—such as creating rules and smart mailboxes.
Use Notes and To Dos: Mail has a Notes feature for leaving yourself reminders and a To-Do feature that integrates with iCal. Learn the strengths and limitations of these options and make them 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, find your notes, 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. The ebook has 11 pages of hard-won troubleshooting advice.
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 Tonya Engst, and published by TidBITS Publishing Inc.
Back in the days of Mac OS X 10.3 Panther, I noticed that a lot of people were having trouble with Mail, Apple’s descriptively named email program. I liked Mail, but I also realized that it had some significant bugs and missing features, and was poorly documented. So I wrote Take Control of Email with Apple Mail to try to help people make the most of Mail. (I also wrote a companion volume, Take Control of Spam with Apple Mail, which dealt solely with junk mail; it’s still available separately.) Later, I wrote new editions of the book to cover the versions of Mail included with Tiger and Leopard, which improved in many ways, but still weren’t exactly intuitive.
Now 10.6 Snow Leopard is available, and along with it, the latest and greatest incarnation of Mail, version 4 (or, to be more precise, 4.2 as of Mac OS X 10.6.3). And guess what? Despite significant improvements in performance and usability, it’s still poorly documented. As before, I’ve had to spend far too many hours figuring out how to do things that Apple didn’t bother to explain in the user interface, in the online help, or on the Web. So I’ve written this book in the hope of saving other people all that time and effort.
This book is a no-nonsense guide to help you take control of a powerful email program without getting lost in extraneous information. In order to keep it reasonably compact and concise, I’ve focused on the most important things that I think you need to know about Mail 4.x—I give little attention to many obvious, self-explanatory features and omit certain advanced topics (such as working with non-Roman alphabets). I do, however, occasionally refer you to articles elsewhere on the Web for more details about things I can only touch on here.
You can read this book in any order you wish, though I recommend reading the background information listed under "Manage Mail setup" before proceeding with the rest of the book.
If you are familiar with previous editions of this ebook, you may instead wish to start with the What's New in This Edition section, a few pages earlier.
The version of Mail included with Snow Leopard (4.x) looks superficially much like the version that shipped with Leopard, but it has many changes. Among them are:
In this edition, I cover new features found in the Snow Leopard version of Mail, Mail 4. You can see a list of those features in Learn What's New in Snow Leopard Mail. In addition to Snow Leopard-specific features, I added quite a bit of new material that the previous edition, Take Control of Apple Mail in Leopard, doesn't have, including:
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!
We don't plan to update this ebook to say more about Mail in 10.6 Snow Leopard. We have created several ebooks about Mail in later versions of Mac OS X, so please look in the Take Control catalog or use the Search field to find them, if you'd like to purchase a newer title.
—Tonya J Engst
July 1, 2010 --
Apple has posted a Knowledge Base article detailing a problem with generating Mail messages after installing Safari 5 on a system running the latest version of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard or 10.6 Snow Leopard. When you start an email message in Mail using some other program to get the ball rolling, the new message may have black text on a black background, rendering it unreadable.
[This problem was fixed in Safari 5.1. —Tonya 27-Oct-2010]
For full information see Apple's article about the problem.
May 11, 2010 --
Find out what Joe thinks about changes in the Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard version of Apple Mail and with the topic of email generally. In MacVoices #1076, Joe joins host Chuck Joiner to chat about what's new in the world of handling spam, how to use Google Apps to manage multiple email addresses within a single Gmail account, compromises and changes that Apple made to Mail in order to turn it into an app for an iDevice, and more.
Joe also talks about what's new in his Mail-related ebooks that were released in May of 2010—Take Control of Apple Mail in Snow Leopard, Take Control of Spam with Apple Mail, and Take Control of Mail on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.
—Tonya J Engst
March 24, 2010 --
In MacVoices #1065, Joe Kissell talks with host Chuck Joiner about two core email concepts - the POP and IMAP protocols. In particular, he explains how IMAP makes it possible to work with your email messages from more than one computer in a fluid, sensible manner. He also gives tips for switching from POP to IMAP and for using IMAP in popular email systems, including Gmail and MobileMe accounts, the Mail program on a Macintosh, the Mail app on an iPhone or iPod touch, and he discusses how the Gmail approach to storing, searching, and labeling email messages can sometimes be "hyper-weird." Joe also talks about how spam filtering can work with IMAP accounts.
—Tonya J Engst
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