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A fix for Mail.app attachment dragging problems Apps
Last night, I received an email with an atttached GIF that defied all attempts at dragging to the Finder. I tried targeting the desktop, an OS 9 disk, a network volume, and all the various folders on my OS X drive. All failed; I could drag the icon out of Mail, but when I dropped it on the destination, it simply bounced back.

After nearly giving up, I remembered the Mailbox -> Rebuild Mailbox menu item. With the troublesome mailbox selected, I told Mail to rebuild the mailbox. After the rebuild finished, I was able to drag the attachment to the desktop without any problems.

So if you've got a finicky attachment, try rebuilding the mailbox which contains the message...
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A fix for Mail.app attachment dragging problems | 7 comments | Create New Account
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any way to remove attachments
Authored by: joestalin on May 17, '02 03:00:28PM

Anybody know how to remove an attachment from a message? Often I want to save the message but not the attachment. Haven't figured out how to do that.



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It's a feature...
Authored by: robg on May 18, '02 12:34:32AM

This comes up a lot on the X4U mailing list, where one of the Apple Mail team members ("Cricket") regularly participates. You cannot remove attachments from a message. This helps with portability and is a design decision, not a bug. It may be addressed in a future update, but not in Jaguar (according to Cricket, at any rate).

-rob.



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Why?
Authored by: SeanAhern on May 18, '02 01:46:56PM

I guess I don't understand why this would be a feature. What on earth does deleting an attachment have to do with portability? If it's a question of how the mail is formatted, the right answer is to reformat the mail so it appears as though the attachment was never there.

I just don't understand.



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I understand
Authored by: ijosh on May 19, '02 02:47:53PM

Here's how to remove attachments from Mail:
1. Select the message with the offensive attachment
2. Choose Redirect from the Message menu (cmd+sht+e)
3. Enter your email in the "To" field and hit send
4. After receiving your text only mail, delete the old message



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Aha!
Authored by: joestalin on May 19, '02 04:21:08PM

That's a clever workaround. Thanks. I admit I'm also mystified as to how non-deletability is a feature, but I can live with this for the time being.



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Aha! (Altering e-mail is problematic.)
Authored by: marcinjeske on May 20, '02 02:57:50AM

You ask how the inability to delete parts of an e-mail message is a design feature and not a bug. Portability is definitely one of the key reasons.

Many people do still follow the traditional model of connecting to a mail server, downloading all their new mail to their computer, and managing it locally. Being able to edit existing e-mail messages wouldn't really be a problem for them.

However, for the use of the more advanced features of the IMAP and POP protocols, which allow multiple e-mail clients to connect and access a shared store of messages on the server, the lack of this feature would be a major headache. Right now, each message on a mail server gets a globally unique identifier. Therefore, when IMAP clients synchronize with servers, they just need to provide such an identifier to retrieve a message. Now, if one of those clients were to delete a part of an e-mail message, how would you reconcile that with the rest of the system. The IMAP mail server wouldn't let the client update the message on the server... that's not how the protocol works.

Even if it did, should other clients which access the server retain the old copy or the new copy of the message? What about if multiple people (or multiple autonomous bots) access the same messages? They may not agree with your editorial policy, and it may disrupt their use of the messages. What about if multiple clients all change the message while disconnected? There will be several different versions of the message, and no way to resolve which one is which or which one should be the official one.

What about if you need to prove you sent or received a specific message... right now, it's existence on a server (assuming you don't run it and haven't currupted the admins) is pretty good evidence that it was sent. If you can make changes to it... well.

What I think you really want is to avoid caching it locally. That means it will not get downloaded to you computer. In Mail.app, you can set up message caching option by account in the Account Options pane. Simple instruct Mail.app to not cache attachments.

Perhaps Apple could address your concern in the future with a "Un-Cache" command of some sort.

If you truly want to remove an attachment from existence, your only option is to delete the message which it is a part of. The above advice of redirecting the message is a good way of retaining the text of the message.



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Doesn't work for me.
Authored by: prk on Jan 31, '03 08:31:29PM

I get email from a co-worker that does not even show as an attachment. No matter what I try in Mail.app, I can not get the .jpg or .gif images out of the email. So, I just load up Mutt and save the attachments to disk. I look at the source of the email and they are attachments, but Mail.app does not see the as attachments. They are just inline graphics I guess.



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