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10.4: Use keyboard navigation in Mail's message pane Apps
Tiger only hintI know everyone hates the look of the new Mail.app, but in at least one small way functionality has improved. Apple has (finally) enabled keyboard navigation of the mailbox/folder panel. Up/down arrows move up and down through the list and the Tab key gets you in and out of that pane.

[robg adds: Not everyone hates the look of new Mail -- I actually quite like it. So I'd probably say the new look is controversial, but not universally hated (I sense a new poll coming!). The addition of arrow key movement through the message list, though, is probably universally appreciated.]
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10.4: Use keyboard navigation in Mail's message pane | 23 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: Use keyboard navigation in Mail's message pane
Authored by: mpress25 on May 11, '05 11:38:34AM

I'm with Rob. Tried the freeware programs to go back to the old mail icons and it felt antiquated. Much like looking back from Panther to Jaguar.



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10.4: Use keyboard navigation in Mail's message pane
Authored by: bedoughty on May 11, '05 11:50:00AM

LOVE the new mail look! Sometimes I wonder if people are just afraid of change..

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this isn't who it would be
if it wasn't who it is
T.Anastasio



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10.4: Use keyboard navigation in Mail's message pane
Authored by: 5chm31din6 on May 11, '05 12:09:47PM

Yeah, not "everyone" hates the new look. Apple implemented some good UI practices with this latest version. What is frustrating are the inconsistencies between the various apps: The Dashboard dock doesn't look like the Finder dock. Mail.app doesn't look like iTunes (which it could), which doesn't look like...etc.

Personally and professionally (UI), I thought the old Mail drawer was an abomination and the new one is much, much improved. The toolbar icons some have made a fuss about are better because the "blue pill" behind the icons shows the user exactly where the clickable areas are -- no guessing.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :)

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Power corrupts. PowerPoint corrupts absolutely.



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10.4: Use keyboard navigation in Mail's message pane
Authored by: mike3k on May 11, '05 01:01:47PM

I like the new look. The new appearance is a nice 'compromise' between the aqua & brushed metal looks. I'd rather see one appearance than two very different appearances.

I love the new functionality. One thing that always annoyed me in Mail is there was no way to just hit a key to move through unread mails and skip to the next mailbox automatically, like you can in Thunderbird or Entourage. With Tiger mail, I now have a smart mailbox with unread mail and I'm usually in the unread mail smart mailbox instead of jumping between lots of different mailboxes.



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10.4: Use keyboard navigation in Mail's message pane
Authored by: scudy on May 11, '05 01:12:11PM

I also agree with Rob... Mail looks so much better now, especially the mailbox positioning is excellent. I really don't mind the buttons at all.

btw, I take the opportunity to introduce myself... after lurking around for months, decided to come out in the light! Greetings from Athens, Greece that is, not Georgia. :-)

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When angry, count to four... when VERY angry, swear!!



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10.4: Use keyboard navigation in Mail's message pane
Authored by: diamondsw on May 11, '05 01:59:24PM

I was all set to hate the new look, but once the damn "bubbles" are removed from around the toolbar icons (what were they THINKING?) and the strange left indent is removed (I know, it lines up the toolbar buttons with the message pane - it still looks weird), I found I really liked it. Very clean and sleek.

I agree with other posters - the new "merged" aqua/toolbar look is very nice. It looks outstanding in Safari (just get out Interface Builder and change the main window type). It really makes me wonder if Brushed Metal really has a place anywhere other than in iApps.



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10.4: Use keyboard navigation in Mail's message pane
Authored by: jonbauman on May 11, '05 02:06:39PM

There are only two things I really dislike about Tiger mail:

  1. You can't have the mailboxes display on the right side of the message viewer anymore.
  2. You can't select your search criteria before actually entering search terms. In panther, you could do this, and it would fill in the criteria based on the currently selected message.
  3. They seem to have broken the forward command in AppleScript so my script to forward phishing scams to the appropriate authorities doesn't work any more.

Wait, that's three things.

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jon

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10.4: Use keyboard navigation in Mail's message pane
Authored by: alajuela on May 11, '05 02:23:16PM

I also like the new look, and have even gotten used to having my folders on the left. Still wish we had:

1. the status line indicator;

2. message navigation from the toolbar. Unless I have missed it, I still cannot simply move backward or forward through my open messages. Preview substitutes adequately for this, but sometimes, I want the entire message open, and I just want to move to the next message without opening or closing something else.



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10.4: Use keyboard navigation in Mail's message pane
Authored by: zpjet on May 12, '05 04:40:12PM

yes i dooooo miss the status line... where else to find the number and size of my mailboxes?



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gripes
Authored by: Anonymous on May 11, '05 02:49:56PM
I could care less about Mail's new look. Having written that, I will admit it definitely looks different than I had expected.

Here's what really bugs me:

  1. There is no visual indicator that lets me know when Mail is getting new messages. Sure, there is the Activity Window, but why require a totally separate and detached window for a simple progress indicator?
  2. I still cannot use Home/End to jump to the top/bottom of my messages.
  3. None of my GMail accounts can be set to check for new mail automatically. For some reason, the logins fail on a regular basis and I have to re-enter my passwords. Not sure who's to blame on this one.


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gripes
Authored by: robg on May 11, '05 04:08:40PM

1) The progress indicator is now next to each mailbox name. But Mail seems to check much faster than it did before, so it might be hard to spot.

2) I can use the home/end keys to jump around messages. They nearly work as expected: End jumps to the end, but Home jumps up to the start of the email, not the top of the header area. This is using the Preview pane area, not a separate message window.

3) Not sure about GMail.

-rob.



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gripes
Authored by: Anonymous on May 11, '05 07:28:09PM
Thanks for the reply.
  1. Ahhh, I've got it figured out now. The Inbox must be expanded in order to see the status "pinwheels." Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. Too bad they don't have an indicator for the Inbox so you can keep the accounts collapsed.
  2. Sorry, I should have been more clear. What I actually was referring to was the Inbox itself, with the list of all my messages, not a specific or individual message that is being read. After some investigation, I think I figured out why I can't do what I want. It's how Mail has the keys set up: Up/Down affects the Inbox so you can move up and down your list of emails. Page Up/Down and Home/End affects the currently selected message so you can move up and down within the message. I don't use the preview window, so this wasn't intuitive for me. Still wish I could figure out away to jump around in the Inbox message list.


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gripes
Authored by: scudy on May 11, '05 06:33:50PM

Gmail works fine here, have you followed their instructions carefully?
Port 995, Use SSL, Authentication: password

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When angry, count to four... when VERY angry, swear!! -Mark Twain



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gripes
Authored by: Anonymous on May 11, '05 07:15:06PM

Thanks for the reply.

Yeah, I've got it set up properly; I can manually "Get All New Mail" just fine. I only seem to run into problems when I have the GMail accounts set to "Include when automatically checking for new mail." Outside of that, my IMAP and POP accounts work fine, both auto and manual.



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gripes
Authored by: Han Solo on May 11, '05 09:51:44PM
FWIW, I have the same problems with GMail not connecting correctly when automatically checking all accounts -- so you aren't alone. Sometimes I get prompted for a password when it checks for new mail, sometimes it just goes off-line... sometimes it works fine! I cannot find any pattern.

And, yes, I did read the instructions and I am fairly confident that the account has been set up correctly. In fact, the problem remains despite having re-established the setup from scratch. More than once.

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gripes
Authored by: Anonymous on May 12, '05 12:06:49AM

Glad I'm not alone... sort of.

If I figure out what's going on, I'll send you an email through your profile. I'd appreciate you doing the same for me.

Thanks



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10.4: Use keyboard navigation in Mail's message pane
Authored by: Apogaion on May 11, '05 03:34:19PM

I also like the new Mail layout, but I really dislike the buttons for two reasons.

  • 1. I think that the pill backgrounds are way ugly
  • 2. The new buttons do not represent their actions as well as those in Panther's Mail.app.

I consider the second point to be a significant problem. I've had Tiger installed for over a week now, and I still have to look closely at the buttons and think for a while to figure out which one I want to press. The worst offender I think is the button to check for new mail. In the Tiger version, it has a single letter in an envelope; this says to me send, not receive. In Panther, the check for mail button very obviously represented its purpose.



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10.4: Use keyboard navigation in Mail's message pane
Authored by: moist on May 11, '05 05:00:35PM

Keyboard navigation still seems to be very weak. Page up/down doesn't seem to work in the subject list pane. With the subject pane active, page up/down adjusts the message pane.

There doesn't appear to be a way to move quickly through a long list, it only supports moving over one item at a time; this was available in Panther. Is there no way to jump to the next unread message?

Tabbing among panes provides no visual feedback that I see that lets me know what pane I'm in so it's pretty much worthless to me.

Put it back in the oven.



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10.4: Use keyboard navigation in Mail's message pane
Authored by: rpcr on May 11, '05 05:08:53PM

When the message list pane (the upper pane) has focus, use ctrl-page-up and ctrl-page-down to scroll the message list pane (the upper pane). When the message list pane (the upper pane) has focus, unmodified page-up and page-down scroll the message content pane (the lower pane).

If the message content pane (the lower pane) has focus, crtl-page-up/down do not scroll the message list pane (the upper pane). I consider this a bug.



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10.4: Use keyboard navigation in Mail's message pane
Authored by: weitzman on May 11, '05 08:46:59PM

When the subject list has focus, I cannot page down or up in that same pane. Am I missing something? I tried all modifier keys and page down



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10.4: Use keyboard navigation in Mail's message pane
Authored by: moist on May 11, '05 09:46:53PM

rpcr: Thanks for pointing that out. That helps.

weitzman: Are you using a keyboard than requires the fn key to make the up/down arrow function as a pager? My Powerbook has such a keyboard: I use fn-ctrl-up arrow to follow rpcr's tip.



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My dislikes of Tiger Mail
Authored by: timcrawf on May 13, '05 07:07:55AM

My reasons to not like the new Mail.App
1) Panther Mail has a standard mbox format, remember Standards
2) No Status/Info pane
3) Tiger Mail is ugly
4) Did not fix problems from Panther Mail
5) Not able to put the mailbox list on the right side.
6) I'm sure there are other reasons.



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10.4: Use keyboard navigation in Mail's message pane
Authored by: juusan on May 15, '05 03:28:54PM

awesome! would you happen to know of a way to change mail's key commands for certain functions (such as sending mail)?

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regime change begins at home.



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