The Daily Tip: Tips and Shortcuts for Mac Mail

If you’re a Mac user you’re probably using Apple’s Mail program for email. Here are some of my favorite Mail tips and shortcuts.

1. Command-Shift-M
Hide the Mailbox list if it’s showing, show it if it’s hiding. Go from this…
not_enough_room

… to this…

plenty_of_room
… and back, using Command-Shift-M. Show the Mailbox list when you need it, hide it when you don’t.

2. Show the Text labels under the toolbar buttons
The standard Mail toolbar looks like this:
standard_icons_only

Hold the Control key and click in the gray part of the Mail toolbar, producing this contextual menu:
contextual_menu_customize_toolbar
Choose “Icon and Text,” leading to a Mail toolbar with labeled buttons, and larger targets (you can click the labels as well as the buttons).
standard_icons_and_text

Ah, that’s better.

3. Customize the toolbar to include your favorite buttons
Use the same control-click technique as above, and choose “Customize Toolbar…”. Drag the buttons you want right up to Mail’s toolbar and put them where you want. Here’s how mine looks:
my_mail_toolbar

4. Use the Favorites bar
(If it’s not showing, look for it in the View menu).
favorites_bar

Show the Mailbox list (Tip 1) and then drag your key mailboxes (folders) to the Favorites bar. Once you’ve done this you’ll hardly ever have to show the Mailbox list, because you can switch mailboxes by clicking a button in the Favorites bar, and you can file messages by dragging them to buttons in the Favorites bar. Works great, but hardly anyone uses it. Everyone should.

There are plenty of other Mail-related tips but these are my favorites because they save me time and trouble every day.

If you have a question about Mail on the Mac please send me a note. And, as always, if you think this will help someone else please pass it along. There’s a “Share” button at the bottom of this post. Your friends will thank you and so will I.

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