apple mail references
April 24, 2005 6:57 PM   Subscribe

I use Mail.app on OSX. Is there a way to have a reference/resource link/shortcut to a particular email. Ideally, I'd like to be able to click on that link, have it fire up Mail (if not already up) and pop up the email. Possible?
posted by vacapinta to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
 
Oddly enough, Apple's ubiquitos drag-and-droppability is missing in this case. (I just tried dragging an e-mail from my Mail inbox to the desktop and failed.) There doesn't appear to be a straighforward way to accomplish this, but AppleScript can probably do this for you. Unfortunately, my AppleScript-fu is subpar.
posted by pmbuko at 7:23 PM on April 24, 2005


This isn't a particularly helpful answer, but I'd be curious to see if the new Mail.app in Tiger has fixed this. We'll know in about 5 days (or sooner if there's a tester who is now free from his or her NDA).
posted by socratic at 8:06 PM on April 24, 2005


Are you trying to do a template-type thing or do you just want an easy reference to a received email? If it's the latter, yes you can do that in Tiger. Apple changed the mailbox format so that each message is now a discrete file (*.emlx files) -- if you can find which file corresponds to a given message, you can just open it and have the message displayed in Mail.app.

Really tho, if you're planning to upgrade to Tiger, just use Spotlight to find it.

I'm one of the lucky people who ordered their copy of Tiger from ClubMac. Since my copy is a bought-and-paid-for retail copy, I am not embargoed
posted by nathan_teske at 8:32 PM on April 24, 2005


Mail.app doesn't store email in discrete individual text files, so there's not a easy way to make just a "pointer" to it...

My (admittedly imperfect) solution is to use the Mailboxes (mbox format files stored in your ~/Library/Mail/Mailboxes directory).

Put a message or a group of messages into their own Mailbox (click the + in the Mailboxes window and create a Mailbox called 'Project1' for instance). Then, drag the Mailbox to your Desktop or another location (which makes a copy). You can then open that message or group of messages independent of the rest of Mail.app.

(On preview -- this is a Mail.app 1.3 specific answer, I guess. )
posted by maniactown at 8:36 PM on April 24, 2005


maniactown, the individual messages still have distinct identifiers within the mailbox file, so it's possible to (using AppleScript, say) find that individual message again. It would presumably be pretty easy to write a script that would, when run with a message selected, spit out a new script of the form "tell Mail to open mailbox foo ... and select message whose id is blah..." to a file on your desktop. It wouldn't be an alias exactly, but it would make it easy to 'bookmark' individual messages. I'd take a shot at doing this if I were near a Mac atm.
posted by hattifattener at 11:00 PM on April 24, 2005


Theres a (semi-lame?) program called Personal Aide that lets you keep an email handy and display it, but in Personal Aide's window, not Mail.app
posted by michaelkuznet at 11:06 PM on April 24, 2005


Thanks for the responses but it sounds like there is no solution (yet)

I simply wanted to be able to reference emails in other apps (e.g. voodoopad etc.) in a sane manner. For almost every other type of document I can use a URL or a filename. I was hoping there was something of the form MAIL:xxx that I was just missing... Oh well.
posted by vacapinta at 10:44 AM on April 25, 2005


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