Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.



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Master Mail with “Take Control of Apple Mail in Lion”

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If you’re like many Mac users, one of your most commonly used apps is Apple Mail. It has a lot going for it — it’s free with Mac OS X, it’s integrated deeply into the Macintosh experience, and it’s both powerful and attractive. A downside to Mail, however, is that it has never been well-documented. That’s why Joe Kissell has been writing ebooks about Mail since Panther roamed the forests, and he’s back to help us all use Mail more effectively with “Take Control of Apple Mail in Lion.”

There’s comprehensive guidance for everyone in the 147-page “Take Control of Apple Mail in Lion,” whether you need to learn the basics of receiving, composing, and sending email, or if you want to master Mail’s many advanced options, including account setup, employing multiple accounts, formatting, rules, smart mailboxes, and integration with iCloud and Gmail. Either way, you’ll find helpful advice and detailed steps, based on extensive real-world experience. Joe even provides tips for independent add-ons that make Mail smarter and more enjoyable to use.

Since Lion has been out for a while, we’re doing something special with this title. Everyone who purchases it before Apple releases Mountain Lion in July 2012 will automatically receive a free copy of “Take Control of Apple Mail in Mountain Lion,” which is ready for publication shortly after Mountain Lion hits the Mac App Store.

In the meantime, “Take Control of Apple Mail in Lion” will teach you to:

  • Comprehend account options: Understand the difference between POP and IMAP, plus learn about special aspects of iCloud, Exchange, and Gmail accounts. Discover how to integrate all these types of accounts, and more, into your overall Mail setup, as well as learn how you can manage Gmail’s labels in an IMAP environment.

  • Read: Well, not from scratch. But you will learn efficient ways to quickly open, read, process, and file your messages. See how best to use Lion’s three-pane view (or turn it off if you prefer), and how to follow email threads and conversations. You’ll also get tips for handling incoming attachments, flagging messages, avoiding spam, and using Mail’s built-in RSS feed reader.

  • Write and send: Read about different methods for quickly addressing your email, how to take control of the From, To, Cc, and Bcc lines, and how to create multiple signatures. Find out how to address a single message to a group of recipients, and how to decide whether you should use digital signatures or encryption, plus what to do when you want to send a digitally signed or encrypted message. And, get advice about formatting an email message — and why you might not want to, plus learn how to include URLs, add attachments, and include quoted text from other messages.

  • Find your stuff: Keep Mail organized with advice on how to arrange Mail’s sidebar, Favorites bar, and your various mailboxes so you can easily locate messages using a variety of techniques — including search tokens and Boolean expressions. Joe covers simple features, such as making a new mailbox and rearranging your mailboxes, as well as advanced techniques, such as creating rules and smart mailboxes.

  • Use Notes: Mail has a Notes feature for leaving yourself reminders. Learn the strengths and limitations of Notes, and make it work for you.

  • Unravel Mail mysteries: Understand the sometimes-present Outbox, sort out the Dock unread count, learn why smart addresses can be stupid, avoid “unsafe” addresses, manage the Previous Recipients list, wrangle attachments, and determine why certain mailboxes appear in particular categories on Mail’s sidebar.

  • Avoid and fix problems: Get advice on how to back up your email, and find out how to restore it from a backup. Also read the dozen pages of hard-won troubleshooting advice with tips on managing a misbehaving mailbox, fixing sending problems and delays, resolving connection errors, and more.

Check out the Take Control ebooks that expand on the topic in this article:

Master Apple Mail in Lion! Along with the basics of sending and receiving email, you'll find help with special topics like attachment handling, searching, rules and smart mailboxes, integration with Gmail and iCloud, reading RSS feeds, digital signatures and encryption, notes, backups, and much more.


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Comments about Master Mail with “Take Control of Apple Mail in Lion”

Anonymous  2012-06-07 17:17
Just a thought ... an Appendix listing plug-ins and their publisher site addresses would be helpful. Whenever I go looking I am amazed by how many well thought out plug-ins there are for Mail.
Michael E. Cohen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2012-06-07 19:31
No such appendix but many plug-ins and links to where one can get them are discussed in various places in the book, right where they'd be most relevant.
george762  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2012-06-12 08:47
Not sure if this is the best place but in addition to info about Mail in Lion how about a Guide on how to keep everything synced.. Between my wife and I we have 3 computers, 2 iPads, 2 iPhones. It has been very hit and miss trying to organize iCloud, gmail calendars ,iCal and various mail accounts. Hell-p!
Tonya Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2012-06-13 14:29
We had an ebook about syncing for a while, and we did a new edition for Tiger, Leopard, and Snow Leopard. After that, we gave up. As soon as we'd update the ebook, an aspect of it would change: there'd be an important update to a third-party utility, a new version of iTunes, a modification to MobileMe, a new version of iOS, or a new version of Office. At the moment, you can find help in the Take Control series, but spread among various titles, especially "Take Control of iCloud" and "Take Control of Your iPad." There's also "Take Control of Mail on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch."