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A rule to highlight replies to messages sent in Mail Apps
Mail uses a uuid when it generates message-id's. Part of the uuid is determined by the Mac from where you sent the message. When someone replies to your message, most mailers put the message-id of your message in the In-reply-to: and References: headers of messages that are responding to your message. Subsequent replies to that message will keep the message-id in the References: header.

You can use this fact to set filters that highlight messages that are replies to messages you sent, and to highlight messages that are in a thread of discussion where you actively participated. First, in a Terminal window run the uuidgen program to see what a uuid looks like on your Mac:

$ uuidgen
6286E5CE-BBE9-11D8-B143-000A95739F62
$
Notice the part after the last dash, which happens to be 000A95739F62 on my powerbook. It will be different on your Mac.

To highlight replies, establish a filter on the In-reply-to header. In Mail, bring up Preferences and select Rules. Click on Add Rule. Change the Description to "highlight replies." Press the "From" pop-up and select "Edit Header List..." at the bottom of the list. Type "In-reply-to" in the Header field (capitalized exactly as I've shown), click Add Header, then click OK. Press the "From" pop-up again and select "In-reply-to."

In the text field to the right of the "Contains" pop-up, paste the part of the uuid after the last dash. Then select whatever actions you prefer, for example, Set Color Of Background to Orange, or whatever you want. To filter on threads you've participated in, use a similar procedure with the References header.

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A rule to highlight replies to messages sent in Mail | 18 comments | Create New Account
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it's the MAC address
Authored by: incanus on Jun 15, '04 10:39:40AM

It looks like that unique part of the UID is the MAC address of the Ethernet adapter in the machine.



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it's the MAC address
Authored by: fanch on Jun 15, '04 07:07:22PM

In fact, on my iBook, it's the mac address of the firewire adapter minus four digits



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A rule to highlight replies to messages sent in Mail
Authored by: evands on Jun 15, '04 11:59:38AM

Very cool, thanks :)



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A rule to highlight replies to messages sent in Mail
Authored by: foobar104 on Jun 15, '04 01:31:14PM

Pardon me if this is a dumb question, but how is this different from Mail's "organize by thread" feature?



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A rule to highlight replies to messages sent in Mail
Authored by: ua on Jun 15, '04 02:24:33PM

This hint will highlight messages or threads that you participated in.



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A rule to highlight replies to messages sent in Mail
Authored by: azguy on Jun 15, '04 01:35:02PM

Neat hint, indeed.

Follow-up to hint:

This hint is *hardware* dependent. If you regularly send mail from multiple computers, (me... Powerbook, Desktop, Palm T|C), you can add fields as necessary:

Match "any" of:

In-reply-to Contains MAC 1
In-reply-to Contains MAC 2
In-reply-to Contains MAC 3



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Option already available?
Authored by: alexmathew on Jun 15, '04 04:18:15PM

In my Mail (10.2.8) I have an option in Preferences>Viewing
to highlight thread of selected message. How is this different?
Viewing messages in a thread
A "message thread" is the chain of replies in a series of messages. Mail can help you quickly identify all of the messages in a thread without having to sort or change your current view of your mailboxes.
Topic located in: Mail Help



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Option already available?
Authored by: azguy on Jun 15, '04 04:22:09PM

Again... this doesn't merely group or colorcode messages with the same subject.

This highlights (or acts upon however you choose) messages that are in response to messages that **you personally** are involved in.

True... for most people this is equivalent to the thread-grouping feature.

However, if you use Mail for a LISTSERV, where several threads may be coming in that you aren't a part of, this hint helps to differentiate.



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A rule to highlight replies to messages sent in Mail
Authored by: bbulmer on Jun 16, '04 08:47:22AM

Didn't work for me at all. I'm sure I created the rule correctly.
This is using mail 1.3.8(v618) latest.
I've tried a few different formats of the "In-reply-to" as well.
Any more ideas, or something I might be missing?



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A rule to highlight replies to messages sent in Mail
Authored by: cau on Jun 16, '04 02:21:50PM

Once a new rule is in place, it will only be applied to new messages. To apply it to older messages, select them and use "Apply Rules" from the "Message" pop-up menu.



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Question about UUID's
Authored by: rkchang on Jun 16, '04 10:49:16AM

I have to admit that I'm not knowledgeable at all about UUID's, but I was wondering that if UUID's can be found in headers, and they can be used to identify the sender, has this been used in identifying spammers?

---
"I have seen the evils of procrastination, and I vow to change my ways tomorrow."



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Question about UUID's
Authored by: Anonymous on Jun 18, '04 06:06:41AM

UUID use is specific to Mail, other operating systems and mail programs use different methods for generating message IDs.
There is no guarantee that a message ID is unique (although there should be, and could've been).

I'm also pretty sure that spammers would fake message ID headers. Also, once you have someone's mac address, what are you going to do with it?



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Data-Leak
Authored by: k2r on Jun 16, '04 02:18:18PM

I'm not sure if I like Mail.app posting my MAC-Adress to everybody....

k2r



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Data-Leak - or not
Authored by: SeanAhern on Jun 16, '04 04:25:54PM

Why not? It's not like you can use it to attack/access your machine. It's merely a hardware identifier.



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Data-Leak
Authored by: hamarkus on Jun 16, '04 05:03:58PM

I agree, on a positive side, this could be used to track spammers back to a physical maschine, but I guess only law enforcement agencies would be able to extract information about a buyer from computer manufacturers.

However, I was not able to find any MAC addresses in my MessageUidsAlreadyDownloaded file. Or is this the number in Header field: 'message-ID'?



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Data-Leak? Don't be paranoid
Authored by: eno on Jun 17, '04 06:27:17AM

Don't be paranoid. For one thing, you can change your MAC address whenever you like (see "man ifconfig"), and for another, your MAC address is necessarily public (to machines on your network) anyway, otherwise they wouldn't know how to reach each other (see "man arp").

As far as "sensitive" information goes, your MAC address is much less sensitive than your IP address, which in turn is less sensitive than your phone number. Take a chill pill.



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A rule to highlight replies to messages sent in Mail
Authored by: rpitcairn on Jun 18, '04 01:32:06PM

I got the "in-reply-to" to work but not the "reference" header. The instructions were not clear about setting that part up. I tried making a "Reference" header but does not seem to be what is needed.
Anyone get this part working?



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An Apple Mail rule to highlight junk mail that appears to come from me
Authored by: carsten on Jun 20, '04 01:30:12PM

I have been getting a lot of junk mail that appears to come from me, where the spam's "From" and "Reply-To" headers contain my email address. Mail.app's junk mail filter does not always catch these.

To help Mail.app weed these junkmails out, add two new rules:

Description: "Junk mail that appears to come from me #1"
If [all] of the following conditions are met:
[From] [Contains] "myemail@address.here"
[Message-ID] [Does not contain] "my_uuid_here"
Perform the following actions:
[Set Color] [of background] [red]

Description: "Junk mail that appears to come from me #2"
If [all] of the following conditions are met:
[Reply-To] [Contains] "myemail@address.here"
[Message-ID] [Does not contain] "my_uuid_here"
Perform the following actions:
[Set Color] [of background] [red]

Repeat the above two rules for each email address you use in Apple Mail.

Note:
[popup menu]
"text entry"



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