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I can certainly provide you with a good start with Lion's Mail application. And that good start begins with the Mail, Contacts & Calendars system preference. If you haven't watched the movie on Lion's Mail, Contacts & Calendar system preference, now is the time. It's here that you'll have the easiest time adding your e-mail accounts. But it can also be done within Mail. But it's more easily done here. So again, choose the account, configure your information, and you're set to go. Now let's go to Mail. Once you've added an account, you just launch Mail you see any messages in your account in the leftmost pane.
Select a message and its contents appear to the right. Lion's Mail supports something called conversation. So just look for a message that has a gray box with a number in it. This tells you that there's more than one related message. So in this case, we select this message, you see the number 3 here, and sure enough, there are three messages as part of that conversation. Also in Lion, you'll see that there are options in the message header. This is the area that contains the From and Subject heading.
So just click Details for more information. And now I can hide that information. Also, you see also if you hover your mouse here, you can see controls for deleting, replying to, replying to all, and forwarding the e-mail message. You can easily move between mailboxes and notes by clicking the appropriate entry at the top of the window. So here's my Inbox, Sent, Notes, and Flagged. If you have more than one e-mail account, you're going to see arrows here.
You can choose which account that you want to view. So for example, Sent, I can choose my MobileMe account, or I can choose Gmail. Now I'd like to know which e- mail has been sent to which account. So I expose the Accounts pane and you do this by clicking on the Show button. Now you can view all your mail in a unified inbox. So click on Inbox and you'll see not only my Gmail account, but also my MobileMe account. You can also look at things individually. I can look at my Gmail account or I can separately look at my MobileMe account.
The numbers next to these mailboxes indicate the number of unread messages. So in my Gmail account, there are 6 unread messages. Now let's talk about configuring the look of Mail. Suppose you're an old time Mail user and you don't like this look. Well, we can put things back the way they were in previous versions of Mail. So we'll go to Mail's Preferences, select Viewing, and choose Use classic layout. When you do that, that side pane disappears and instead we see the viewing pane below.
And this is the way it was done in Snow Leopard. Another default under Snow Leopard was Display unread messages with bold font. And again, down here you can see there's a message with a bold font indicating that it is unread. And we'll close that. If you don't care for the conversation view, though I find it helpful, select View and Organize by Conversation. And then your conversation view disappears.
If you want it back again, View > Organize By Conversation. And you see these little blue triangles here indicate that this is part of a conversation. Let's actually create and receive e-mail messages. To create a message, just click the Compose New Message button, which is this one, the little pencil icon on a piece of paper. You can also press Command+N and then that will produce a new empty e-mail message. Fill in the To and Subject fields. So I start typing and watch what happens. If someone is in my Address Book and I start typing, their address will automatically appear here.
To enter it, all I have to do at this point is press the Return key. Enter a subject, and from the From menu, you can choose the account that you're going to send from. Fill in the message area. This pop-up menu just next to the From field allows you to add other fields. So for example, I can add Bcc. This stands for Blind Carbon Copy, Blind Courtesy Copy, and Cc stands for Courtesy Copy. So if I wanted to send this to somebody else as well, I will plug in David and there's David Banner. I can also Bcc.
This is Blind Courtesy Copy. What that means is that you can send a message to somebody, but the other people it's being sent to won't know that you've sent it to them. Christian Fletcher will see this, David Banner will see this, and also someone else may see this. So Christian and David won't know that that other person has received the message. It's a little sneaky, but sometimes you need to do this. You can also attach files to your e-mail messages. One way to do that is to click the Attach button, and let's see we'll attach this image here, Choose File, and then it's placed in the body of the message.
Alternatively, you can just drag a file into the body of the message and it will appear there. When you're ready to send the message, just click the Send button in the corner of the message. And off it goes. In the Mail Activity area, you can see the progress of your message being sent. (Whoosh) And you'll here that nice little sound as it goes away. To receive your e-mail, just click to Get message button at the top left corner. (Beep) You hear a little bleep when it's done, and then you can check in your Inbox for any new messages.
I didn't receive any new messages, but if I had, they would appear at the top of this list, because I'm sorting by date received. I mentioned earlier that it's a good idea to add people you e-mail with to your address book. One easy way to do that is to select a message you receive and choose Message > Add Senders to Address Book. So for example, if for some reason I wanted to add the iTunes Store to my address book, I simply hover over this, click on that triangle, and then Add to Address Book. Or I can do this from the menu. Message > Add Sender to Address Book.
To reply to a message, just click on the Reply button or Reply All. Up pops a new message ready for you to reply. You now have the basics of Mail's layout and sending and receiving messages.
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