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In this course, Macworld senior editor Christopher Breen provides a comprehensive overview of Mac OS X Mountain Lion, complete with insider tips for getting the most out of the operating system. The course shows how to configure system preferences, personalize the interface, master gestures, and achieve fluency with applications such as Mail, Calendar, and Preview. The course also includes tutorials on browsing the web with Safari, automating complex tasks with Automator, sharing over a network, performing maintenance operations using Disk Utility, and offers time-saving techniques for using the Mac efficiently. Along the way, Christopher reviews the 200+ new features in Mountain Lion, which gives even experienced Mac users a valuable head start.
Delving into every nook and cranny of Mountain Lion's mail is beyond the scope of this course, but I can certainly provide you with a good start, and that good start begins with the Mail, Contacts & Calendar System Preference. Go to System Preferences. Click on Mail, Contacts & Calendars, and as I've shown you earlier, you can create a new email account in here. So you can create an iCloud account if you don't already have one created, Exchange, Gmail, Yahoo!, AOL, or add other and then add an IMAP account or a POP account.
Once you have that set up, launch Mail. If you have mail waiting for you on the server, Mail would download it for you. My mail has already been downloaded. Any messages that you've received will appear in the left column. Select the message, and the contents of that message will appear to the right. Now Mail supports something called Conversations. So what we'll do is look for any message that has a little gray box with a number in it, and here's one right here between me and Ian.
So I select that message and we see that there are two messages here that detail the conversation we've had between each other. So Ian can't make the meeting, and here's my response that we'll get together another time. This is an easy way to keep track of a conversation that may have happened over days or maybe even weeks. It's much easier to keep the thread of a conversation if you could see them all in a single window. If you bring your cursor up to the message header, you can see buttons for reply, reply all, forward, and trash.
You can also find these icons up here in the toolbar. But if you prefer to work within the message itself, just bring your cursor up and you can access those options here. Now it's possible that within an account, you have multiple mailboxes, and in this day and age, you may have multiple email accounts, so how do you see those? Click on Show, and here you see your accounts as well as the mailboxes within them. So this is my unified inbox, and that means any mail that I've received regardless of the account, will appear when I select that inbox.
If I like, I can go down and select individual accounts, so here's my iCloud account and here's my Gmail account. So if I want to see messages just in my Gmail account, I click on All Mail and that shows me that Gmail information. We'll go back to the unified inbox. When I click the down arrow there, I can also explore those inboxes, so iCloud and Gmail. Now this look came into being with Lion, but suppose you're an old-fashioned mail user and you don't care for this look, we can put things back the way they once were.
So we'll go to Preferences, and then Viewing, and Use Classic Layout, and we'll dismiss that. This is the way that mail used to look back in the Snow Leopard days. In this configuration, again, you see your accounts and mailboxes on the left, you see your messages on the right. Select the message and then the contents of the message appears at the bottom of the window. We'll go back to Preferences, and Viewing, and you have a couple of options here.
One is that you can choose to display unread messages with a bold font. Let's see what that looks like. So even though unread messages appear with this little blue dot next to them, you can make them even more obvious by making them bold. Now let's actually create and receive email messages. To create an email message, I just click on the Compose New Message button. I would enter an email address. So I've typed my email message, I've addressed it to Ian.
I can add other recipients if I like. If I wanted to, I can attach a file by clicking on the Attach button, choosing a file to attach, and Choose File, and there's my attachment. I can also drag in files and they will become attachments. I can also choose the image size. Right now, it's actual size, which is quite large. So let's make that medium, so that the email message will be smaller. I can CC this message to someone else if I like, and it will autofill any addresses that I have in my contacts. And if I want to add a Bcc field, which is described as Blind Carbon Copy, or Courtesy Copy, I can add a recipient there as well.
If you're not familiar what Bc is for, it means that you can send a message to somebody but the people who received that message will not be aware that you've sent the message to the person in the Bcc field. It's a little sneaky but sometimes you need to use it. You can also choose the account to send it from. So in this case, I would be sending it from my iCloud account, but I could also choose my Gmail account. And if a recipient has more than one address, you can choose which address you want to send it to. If you've chosen to send your mail in Rich Text Format, which is the default setting, you can click on the Format button and you can reformat your message if you like.
So, I can take this text. I could choose a different font, change the size, bold, underlined, and change the alignment, for example. When you're ready to send the message, simply click on the little paper airplane icon. Mail activity shows you how it's going, and you'll hear that little whoosh when it has been sent. Now, I'm ready to receive some email. I just need Ian to send me a message. I can do that by clicking on the Get Messages button. I'll look at my unified inbox, and here's Ian's message.
This isn't just for spammers. Now Mail will also automatically look for your email. So you don't necessarily have to click that button every time you want to get your email. Mail will, on a schedule, go out and grab your messages. If you tend to email the same people over and over again, it's a good idea to add them to your address book. One easy way to do that is to select a message that you receive and choose Message > Add Sender to Contacts. And so now, Ian is part of my contacts.
Again, if I wish to reply, I just click on Reply, New Message, and Send. You now have the basics of Mail's layout and sending and receiving messages. Before we go, let's take a quick look at junk mail rules and VIPs. By default, messages that mail believes are junk are marked in brown. Now currently, I don't think I have any brown messages but I can certainly turn one brown. So we'll say the iBookstore, as much as I'd like their offer, I'm going to say that's junk, and the way I say that's junk is to click on the downward pointing thumb.
You see that the text turns brown and when I select it, there is a very obvious indication that this is junk mail. Now junk mail filtering works best if you train it. So if you get a message that's marked as junk and it's not, you simply click on Not Junk. Mail learns that it's not, and then when it sees a similar message in the future, it won't mark it as junk. However, if you receive a message that is junk, again, thumbs down, marked as junk. By default, junk mail messages remain in your inbox, again, marked in brown.
Once you're confident that mail is correctly separating the wheat from the chaff, you open Preferences, click on Junk Mail, and then change the option in When junk mail arrives. Currently, it's set up to leave it in my inbox, and that's the option you'll see when you first start using Mail. But once it learns about junk, you want to move it to the junk mail mailbox, and you do that by selecting Move it to the junk mailbox. You can also create something which is a basic white list.
So for example, if a sender of messages is in my contacts, so it's somebody you know, they won't be marked as junk mail, or if they appear in a list of your previous recipients, they are not junk, and if it's addressed using your full name, then it's not marked as junk. But you can disable these options if you want. While we're in Preferences, let's click on the Rules entry. This is where you create filters that help you automatically deal with your mail. To create a rule, let's add one by clicking on Add Rule.
We'll call it From Facebook. If it's From, Contains, Facebook, we're going to have it move it to another mailbox, but I need to create a mailbox first, so move that out of the way. Click on +, New Mailbox, Facebook, click OK. Now, we'll move the message to Facebook. So from this point forward, if I receive anything where the From field contains Facebook, that message will be moved to another folder called Facebook. And I'll click on OK.
It will ask if I'd liked to apply that rule. Indeed, I do want it to happen. I'll close this window. I'll look at my Facebook folder, and sure enough, here are the two messages I've received from Facebook. In the future, any other messages that come from Facebook will appear in here as well. So this isn't just for filtering out companies like Facebook or Amazon, but you can use it for friends or family. So any message I received that includes Breen, for example, in the From field could be filtered into a Breen folder and I'd understand that that was from a member of my family.
Now one of the advantages of this is that it will move messages from your inbox and place it in these folders. You can also filter messages by creating Smart Mailboxes, and these are mailboxes that look for certain conditions, and then file messages when those conditions are met. So we go to Mailbox and then choose New Smart Mailbox. Just like in the Finder when we created a Smart folder, this works very much the same way. So I'm going to call this iTunes.
In this case I'll say Subject, Contains, iTunes, and click on OK. Now I have a new iTunes mailbox. This is a Smart Mailbox and it includes any messages that include the word iTunes in the subject heading. The difference between this and a rule is that rules will take messages and move them out of the inbox. A Smart Mailbox will not do that. This message remains in the inbox. I just happen to see another copy of it here in this iTunes mailbox.
Finally, let's take a look at one more way to filter your mail. Mountain Lion has introduced something called the VIP feature. What this means is that you can designate certain contacts as VIPs. When you do, their messages appear in a special VIPs mailbox. So to add somebody as a VIP, find a message from them. So here's one from Ian. Now, as I move my cursor over his name, you see a little star that appears to the left. If I click on that star to highlight it, suddenly a VIPs mailbox is created.
I will select it, and I will see any messages from those people that I have designated as VIPs. And how can I tell who those are? All I have to do is click the triangle next to it, and I see the recipients that I designated as VIPs. If Ian were to do something to irk me, in a serious way, I could right-click on his name and I could choose Remove from VIPs. Now in truth, Ian really is a very important person, but for the time being, I'm saying that he's not. Of course I can always add him again just by clicking on that little star, and he's back in my good graces.
If you designate someone as a VIP and sync contacts via iCloud, that person will be marked as a VIP on all your iCloud compatible devices, provided that you use Apple's Mail client on those devices. So that would be your iPad, your iPhone, your iPod Touch, and your Macs. Again, these are the basics. There's more to Mail, but what I've shown you will give you more than a good start to sending, receiving, and filtering email.
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