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Use Mail's rules to detect mailing list replies Apps
I had some spare time so I decided to browse some mailing lists I had subscribed to. And keeping track of replies can be hard if you don't browse lists daily. So I created this rule in

If [all] conditions are met :
[To] [Contains]
[Subject] [Contains] Re
[Message content] [Contains] YourName

Then I added some Actions to it. I used a color and a sound, as seen in this screenshot.

  • is the address of a mailinglist (duh ;-)
  • YourName should be the name you have in your addressbook. If you call yourself "Steve Jobs" a reply usually includes the line "Steve Jobs wrote:"
  • Re, we're only interested in replies.
Now you don't have any reason NOT to subscribe to mailing lists. And maybe we could share some other cool rules in this thread?
  • Currently 4.00 / 5
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Use Mail's rules to detect mailing list replies | 6 comments | Create New Account
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Highlight mail to YOU
Authored by: eaganj on Sep 20, '02 09:52:05AM

I've been trying to add rules to coax mail into highlighting in red mail that is addressed solely to me and in orange mail that is addressed to me (explicitly) as well as others.

I haven't quite achieved that goal, but I have something that's kind of close:

Rule name: Explicit Recipient
If any :
Cc contains <my-email-address>
Cc contains <another-of-my-email-addresses>
Set Color of background orange

Rule name: Sole recipient
If all :
To contains <my-email-address>
Set Color of background red

The problem with this approach is that you can't add negations to the rules, so I can't define a rule that checks if To contains <my-email-address> and NO recipient does not contain <my-email-address>. Additionally, that Sole recipient rule can't check that To is equal to <my-email-address> because the matching algorithm is too strict (James Eagan <my-email-address> is not that same as <my-email-address>).

I've tried adding a rule:

Rule name: Stop processing
If all :
Any recipient does not contain <my-email-address>
Stop evaluating rules

between the two rules above, but it seems this rule doesn't behave as I expect it to. Oh well. The two rules above do a close enough job. Here's a <a href="">screenshot</a>.

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Watch out for CC:'d messages
Authored by: tarkin on Sep 20, '02 10:33:26AM

To add something to my own tip above :

Sometimes people send you the mail and cc: the mailing list,
or cc: you AND the mailing list.
Since in 10.2 Apple decided to exclude the "TO: or CC: contains" rule, you need to make seperate rules ( Duplicute above rule and change TO: into CC:) to catch those replies.

Apple : Bring back "TO: or CC:" ;-)

[ Reply to This | # ]
Watch out for CC:'d messages
Authored by: CaptCosmic on Sep 20, '02 03:05:11PM

I just checked my copy of, and it still has the "To or CC" option listed. In fact, all of my mailing list sorting rules use it. I've got 10.2.1 installed, so they might have added back. But I don't remember any problems with my rules before 10.2.1 was released.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Watch out for CC:'d messages
Authored by: wfolta on Sep 20, '02 05:35:38PM

Does "Any Recipient" work for things other than TO and CC? If not, it should suit your purposes.

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Not as complicated as some think
Authored by: wfolta on Sep 20, '02 05:30:52PM

Some people have made it pretty complicated, but they may be missing the fact that you have two dimensions for filtering:

1) The filters.

2) The order of the filters.

SO, I have my junk mail filter at the top of the list, and also "Delete these suckers because they're jerks". These filters obviously stop all following filters from running, since I don't want other filters rescuing these messages from their deserved fates.

Then I color code emails from certain people whose opinion I highly respect. (I.e. the gurus on various email lists.) These filters obviously let control fall through to following rules, since they only color code, not distribute.

Then I have all my email lists, which depend on the list as to how you route them. Some lists (proper lists) have a certain envelope recipient, so you add "Any Recipient" for them. (Because they may be TO or CC'd.) Others have specific REPLY-TO or FROM. These filters stop filtering at this point, so the mail isn't taken out of the proper mailbox.

Then I have a filter for each email account that looks for Any Recipient and specifies my email address for that account. This colorizes the email according to the account, then places it in "Personal Incoming".

Messages that aren't caught by any filter are left in IN.

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A Site to Cover These Topics?
Authored by: DougAdams on Sep 21, '02 06:57:34PM
Why doesn't someone start a web site containing Rules and AppleScripts for (not unlike what some have done for iCal, iPod, and *ahem* iTunes)? I sure could use some enlightening from time to time, and the ideas in this thread are very helpful. Doug Doug's AppleScripts for iTunes Doug's Message Board

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