Learn the basics and go under the hood with Mail in Snow Leopard!

Take Control of
Apple Mail in Snow Leopard

Joe Kissell

Master Apple Mail in Snow Leopard! Along with the basics of sending and receiving email, you’ll find help with special topics like attachment handling, searching, rules and smart mailboxes, integration with Gmail, reading RSS feeds, digital signatures and encryption, notes and to-dos, MobileMe syncing, backups, and much more.

This product has been discontinued.

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.

Joe Kissell

About Joe Kissell

Take Control publisher Joe Kissell has written more than 60 books about technology, including many popular Take Control books. He formerly wrote for publications such as Macworld, Wirecutter, and TidBITS. He lives in Saskatoon with his wife, his two children, and his cat.

What’s New in Apple Mail 4

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:

  • Better Exchange support: Mail now uses Microsoft’s Exchange Web Services to communicate with Exchange servers, providing a number of benefits. See Exchange.
  • Improved Data Detectors: Among other things, Data Detectors can now find and use flight data. See Use Data Detectors.
  • Keyboard shortcuts for filing messages: You can now assign keyboard shortcuts to commands on the Message > Move To and Copy To submenus. See File and Organize Messages.
  • New text handling features: Mail makes use of the new Substitutions and Transformations features in Snow Leopard. See Snow Leopard’s New Text Tricks.
  • Reorderable mailboxes: You can now arrange your mailboxes in any order—not just alphabetically. See Arrange Your Mailboxes.

What’s New in This Edition

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:

  • Gmail and IMAP: I’ve dramatically expanded the instructions for using Mail with a Gmail account via IMAP. See Use IMAP with Gmail.
  • Dock unread count: I’ve added a sidebar about modifying the badge on Mail’s Dock icon that indicates unread messages. See Changing the Dock Unread Count.
  • Navigation: I now discuss techniques for moving between messages more efficiently, especially when using the keyboard. See Navigating between Messages.
  • Message highlighting: The section Follow Message Threads now includes information on how Mail highlights messages in the same thread, even when Organize By Thread turned off.
  • Filing messages: Remedying a shocking omission from all former versions of this book, I now explicitly discuss the mechanics of filing messages into user-created mailboxes—manually or automatically. See File and Organize Messages.
  • Smart addresses: A new Smart Addresses sidebar explains why smart addresses aren’t very smart, and what to do about it.
  • Safe addresses: I explain how Mail can call attention to potentially misaddressed messages before you send them in Highlighting Unsafe Addresses.
  • Previous recipients: The section Handle Previous Recipients has more information about the Previous Recipients list and how to make it behave.
  • Add-ons: I go into more detail about some of my favorite third-party Mail add-ons. See Take Control of Your Attachments, Follow up on a Message You Sent, Rocketbox, and Running Rules on Command.
  • Digital signatures and encryption: I’ve added an entirely new, and rather lengthy, section about signing and encrypting messages using Mail. See Sign and Encrypt Messages.
  • The outbox: I explain this important but seldom-seen mailbox in Mail. See About Out.
  • Read Me First
  • Introduction
  • Quick Start to Controlling Apple Mail
  • Learn What's New in Snow Leopard Mail
  • Learn about Email Protocols
  • Set Up Your Accounts
  • Read Incoming Messages
  • Read RSS Feeds
  • Address Addressing
  • Compose and Send Messages
  • Sign and Encrypt Messages
  • Manage Your Mailboxes
  • Keep Track of Notes and To-Do Items
  • Find Your Messages
  • Synchronize Mail Data Using MobileMe
  • Automate Mail with Rules
  • Fix Mail Problems
  • Back Up and Restore Your Email
  • About This Book
  • 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.