Batch exporting / printing hundreds of emails
February 24, 2009 8:58 AM   Subscribe

Batch exporting / printing hundreds of emails?

I have to get several hundred emails into a (single) PDF in chronological order. Since this is obviously a tedious task to do manually, I'm looking for alternatives.

The Emails are currently in a GMail account, so any IMAP client or online solution is acceptable. Exact formatting is not important as long as everything stays human readable, so a detour through plain text format is ok, if necessary.

Any ideas? Thanks!
posted by uncle harold to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you can find an old copy of Eudora, it stores emails chronologically in a plain text file. So you could install Eudora, download all of your gmail via IMAP or POP, then manipulate the resulting text file (on Windows, it has the file extension .mbox) to your heart's content before converting to PDF. If desired it would be pretty simple to trim away a lot of the extended headers using a short program written in the scripting language of your choice.
posted by harkin banks at 11:08 AM on February 24, 2009

Thunderbird might be your friend here. Pull the emails onto your computer using IMAP, put them in a folder. Make sure you have checked the option to download messages in that folder for offline use. Give it a while to make sure everything is downloaded.

Next, close Thunderbird and open the mailbox file in a text editor. (File will live in your profile folder - link explains where it is if you need help). In your profile folder, find the folder ImapMail\ and look for a file (with no file extension) with the same name as the folder you dropped the mail in.

Open this file in a text editor. It will contain the full text of each message in the mailbox, in chronological order (oldest message first). It will contain the mail headers, and HTML mail will be rendered as source, not interpreted as HTML, but as far as I know this is going to be the easiest way to do this quickly.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:12 AM on February 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

Previously, + FreePDF XP or something similar to print to a PDF file.
posted by themel at 5:17 PM on February 24, 2009

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