Apple list selections (and deletes!)
October 7, 2008 2:17 PM   Subscribe

Apple question: I'm setting up a friend with Apple's Mail ( 3.5 on Leopard 10.5.5). Everything is great -- it works like a charm. Except for something that is different than his old client (AOL for Mac -- ack!): When a message is selected, and you delete it, the selection moves "UP" the list, selecting the *prior* message, not "DOWN" to the *next* message. This is exactly the opposite of AOL and Outlook and other mail clients. Anybody know of a terminal hack on defaults write or another way to swap this behavior?

I have seen the tip to use option+delete, which kinda works, but it gives up the selection entirely, which requires the user to now select again in the list. This is, um, sub-optimal in the extreme since it requires the user to pick back up the mouse.

I have googled to no avail. Anybody care to help me with search terms is welcome (I found the same complaint from Mac os 10.0 from 2000, but...)
posted by zpousman to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
I did not even notice that before, but you're right, and it's quite "wrong" if you're in the habit of reading-deleting through a list.

What they're doing here is emulating the usual Mac standard UI behavior without regard for the specialness of mail. That's what would happen if you deleted a line in a word processor, after all, or pretty much anywhere else.

Instead of option-delete, you could assign or remap a macro key to do "delete, down arrow" and that would give you the behavior you want. But there's no such macro-ing built into OSX, sadly, so that means some third party keyboard macro program is needed.

Or, odd hack, just reverse-sort the list. Then moving up WILL be the next message. :)
posted by rokusan at 2:25 PM on October 7, 2008

Considering Thunderbird has an OS X port, I honestly dont see any reason to be using if you dont like the OS X UI conventions.
posted by damn dirty ape at 2:44 PM on October 7, 2008

I'm not seeing this. I keep my mailboxes sorted by date, and regardless of whether it's an ascending sort or descending sort, deleting one message selects the subsequent message by chronology, not list order (so it can move up or down, depending). This seems to me to be the logical behavior.
posted by adamrice at 2:55 PM on October 7, 2008

ditto dirty damn ape -- that's why I have Thunderbird on my mac. There are quite a few things in OS X Mail that just feel wrong; though it works just fine the UI doesn't fit me.
posted by anadem at 3:11 PM on October 7, 2008

Response by poster: rokusan, note that if you reverse sort the list, the behavior is switched (keeping the semantics correct, but moving DOWN the list). Curses!

Adam, I agree that the current sorting is logical. But there's a perfectly cromulent reason to have the list pop to the next-most-previous message too. Which is why this should be something I can set via defaults write. Or so I really wish were true.

If I get the macro-ing working, I'll mark rokusan's answer the best. If not, I'm still waiting for a more elegant hack.
posted by zpousman at 3:53 PM on October 7, 2008

I'm seeing the same behavior as adamrice: deleting always selects the next newest message. But I can't find anything in the prefs or defaults to indicate that it could be otherwise.
posted by Phssthpok at 6:45 PM on October 7, 2008

« Older What is wrong with social news?   |   Long range bluetooth headset for use in apartment... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.