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Add unique names to .Mac email aliases Apps
I have a .Mac e-mail address, and I like the aliases feature, but I'm annoyed that they all use the same sender's name (there's no way to specify a different name for each alias). I don't want my personal e-mails to have my business name or vise-versa.

It turns out that there's a relatively easy fix available.

Open your Mail prefs file (quit Mail first), located in ~/Library -> Preferences -> com.apple.mail.plist, with Property List Editor (easiest, though any text editor will work). Navigate into Root: Mail Accounts, and then find the number that corresponds to your .Mac account (check the Account Name in each numbered section to find it -- my .Mac account was '1'). When you open the number for the .Mac account, you will see the EmailAliases key. Open that, and you'll see numbers again, with each one coresponding to a different email alias. You will see a blank entry for name in each alias; just fill that in with what you want for each alias.

Save the file and quit the editor when you're done editing. Launch Mail, and you'll find your aliases now have names associated with them in the Account pop-up menu. I haven't tried it, but I don't see why you couldn't add more aliases this way ... and I also don't see why it wouldn't work with other types of accounts.
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Add unique names to .Mac email aliases | 25 comments | Create New Account
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doesn't work with other account types
Authored by: moritzh on Dec 19, '05 08:51:14AM
and I also don't see why it wouldn't work with other types of accounts
I have long wished for this to work with IMAP accounts as well, but it doesn't. I haven't actually verified this just know, but a few months ago it didn't work.) For IMAP accounts, you can specify several e-mail addresses ('aliases'), either directly in the GUI by putting the addresses in the e-mail field, separated by commas; or in the plist by using an array for the key EmailAddresses. However, for the key FullUserName (which corresponds to the name field in .Mac), you can only use one string common to all e-mail addresses. Turning this simple string into an array does not work, unfortunately. I wish it would!

[ Reply to This | # ]
it does work
Authored by: moritzh on Dec 19, '05 10:05:33AM
OK, it does indeed work, as I found out with the help of XSmurf. See his code snippet in a comment below!

[ Reply to This | # ]
Add unique names to .Mac email aliases
Authored by: xSmurf on Dec 19, '05 09:01:37AM
Ok this works for non .Mac addresses to, but it's a bit different. First remove any other comma separated emails that you may have set to for your account (except for the main address) in the Mail preferences (it can be done manually to, obviously). Now it's time for editing. In the plist add a new child to your account, call it EmailAliases and make it of the Array type. Then create another child, make it of the Dictionary type (it will automagically get "0" as its name). Create two children for the last item. Call the first one Alias and the second Name. Fill them up and *tada*! You can add as many children to EmailAliases as you want.

---
SnitchCTL : http://snitchctl.smurfturf.net/

PM G4 DP 800 / 1.25gb / 120Gb+80Gb / CD/DVD±RW/RAM/DL
- The only APP Smurf

[ Reply to This | # ]

Add unique names to .Mac email aliases
Authored by: xSmurf on Dec 19, '05 09:04:12AM

I forgot to mention you *do not* need to remove your full name from the preferences... also I didn't see the previous post, was editing when it got posted...

If anyone is interested I could post a snippet of the xml plist... let me know!

---
SnitchCTL : http://snitchctl.smurfturf.net/

PM G4 DP 800 / 1.25gb / 120Gb+80Gb / CD/DVD±RW/RAM/DL
- The only APP Smurf



[ Reply to This | # ]
Add unique names to .Mac email aliases
Authored by: xSmurf on Dec 19, '05 09:15:10AM

Ho yeah, one last thing (sorry for the comment spree)...
The only difference with a .Mac account is that it automagically retreives the aliases.
<rant>
Apple, why is it that every other email client supports mail identities and not Mail.app? Well it's not like it doesn't support, you guys just seemed too lazy to implement it. Or you figured it would be a selling point for .Mac... I'll tell you what, this almost made me move to Thunderbird (and the fact that I have to accept my self signed certificate every single time I open Mail.app, this goes for Safari to!). C'mon Apple, I know you can do better!
</rant>

---
SnitchCTL : http://snitchctl.smurfturf.net/

PM G4 DP 800 / 1.25gb / 120Gb+80Gb / CD/DVD±RW/RAM/DL
- The only APP Smurf



[ Reply to This | # ]
[off topic] self-signed cert
Authored by: moritzh on Dec 19, '05 09:41:45AM
If you import your self-signed cert into the X509 anchors keychain, won't that stop Mail.app from asking you every time? I used to run a setup with a local IMAP server as described on this site, but I don't anymore. I remember that I initially got this error as well, but somehow could get rid of it. I think using the correct procedure to create the self-signed certificate and then importing it into the X509 anchors did it. Note that now the keychain comes with a nice Certificate Assistant (directly in the Keychain menu). Unfortunately, some of the external links in the discussions have gone away, but it might be worth it to read the comments again!

[ Reply to This | # ]
[off topic] self-signed cert
Authored by: xSmurf on Dec 19, '05 09:20:24PM

Yup I tried that. I had a lot of problems with certs. The 509 Anchor keychain wouldn't take my Thawte certs! I ended up rebuilding it from the install files.
I tried dragging the cert icon to extract the cert from the dialog. Added to th 509A keychain. It's there alright, but no go :/ I tried exporting from Firefox (as it's what I did for the thawte certs) to no avail.

Extra: While thinking about it I checked here once again and this time found :
http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20050503172154759
There was some info about root certifiate in the comments, so I grabbed mine and added it to 509A... Voilà! it worked :D Sweet thanks for making me look at it one more time, with this and the recent Pick of the week about viewing all mailbox counts in the Dock I'm all set.

Extra Extra: Ho wow I just noticed while trying it once again that if you hold command while dragging the cert to extract it, it makes an ascii file (txt) instead of a binary file (crt) neat for debugging!

---
SnitchCTL : http://snitchctl.smurfturf.net/

PM G4 DP 800 / 1.25gb / 120Gb+80Gb / CD/DVD±RW/RAM/DL
- The only APP Smurf



[ Reply to This | # ]
having trouble reproducing this (account type Exchange)
Authored by: moritzh on Dec 19, '05 09:29:26AM

That sounds like good news, except that I hev trouble reproducing your results. It doesn't work for me at the moment. Mail.app is confused, the account selection drop down menu in open messages has disappeared and I cannnot create new messages (I do have a backup, of course). Could you post a snipped from your XML (plist), please? Thanks a lot! Either I'm doing something wrong, or it is because my account type is Exchange rather than IMAP.



[ Reply to This | # ]
having trouble reproducing this (account type Exchange)
Authored by: xSmurf on Dec 19, '05 09:39:19AM
Sure thing, here it is... I stripped some useless stuff, but the important remains.

<key>MailAccounts</key>
<array>
	<dict>
		<key>AccountName</key>
		<string>User@example.com</string>
		<key>AccountPath</key>
		<string>~/Library/Mail/IMAP-user@example.com</string>
		<key>AccountType</key>
		<string>IMAPAccount</string>
		<key>EmailAddresses</key>
		<array>
			<string>user@example.com</string>
		</array>
		<key>EmailAliases</key>
		<array>
			<dict>
				<key>alias</key>
				<string>alias1@example.com</string>
				<key>name</key>
				<string>Name 1</string>
			</dict>
			<dict>
				<key>alias</key>
				<string>alias2@example.com</string>
				<key>name</key>
				<string>Name 2</string>
			</dict>
		</array>
		<key>FullUserName</key>
		<string>Official Name</string>
	</dict>
</array>
Works great here, mail even matches my aliases with their proper Thawte certificates!

---
SnitchCTL : http://snitchctl.smurfturf.net/

PM G4 DP 800 / 1.25gb / 120Gb+80Gb / CD/DVD±RW/RAM/DL
- The only APP Smurf

[ Reply to This | # ]

it works (with account type Exchange, too)!
Authored by: moritzh on Dec 19, '05 10:01:29AM
OK, thanks for the snippet, so much easier to read! :) I made a mistake before (I put the code in the EmailAddresses field instead of the EmailAliases field), plus I discovered that it must be name (not Name) and alias (not Alias). Now it works for my Exchange account!

[ Reply to This | # ]
What I want
Authored by: SOX on Dec 19, '05 09:41:35AM

What I want is a way to have an mail.app email account that is send-only and does not try to collect e-mail.

Most of my e-mail accounts for different URLs I own have forwarding set up to sent the e-mails to my personal ISP. This way I don't have to have POP access to all those domin names. This works great for getting my e-mail. But when I send e-mail I often want to send it with different reply-to addresses according to which Domina names the message is supposed to be in regard to.

I can;t figure out how to create reply-to addresses (in the pull-down and not hand enetered) without creating an account. But if I create an account mail.app insists I give it an incoming mail POP address which I don't have. If I place a fake one there it simply stalls the mail.app program when I collect mail. And If I place a real one there it downloads from the same POP address multiple times.



[ Reply to This | # ]
What you should try
Authored by: moritzh on Dec 19, '05 10:16:15AM

Here is what I do:
- Create a new account with the desired "real name" and e-mail address that I want to use for sending e-mails.
- Use type POP for the account. In the incoming mail server field, enter bogus information. I use a somewhat meaningful name that deliberately contains illegal characters to remind me of the purpose of the account. E.g. as host name I use "[dummy]myISP.ch" and as user name I use my real user name "moritzh", then the folder created by Mail.app in LIbrary/Mail will be named "moritzh@[dummy]myISP.ch".
- In the advanced section, use the following:
Put a check mark in front of "Enable this account".
Remove the check mark in front of "Include when automatically checking for new mail".
That way the account is never queried automatically, and I don't do it manually for that account, so I don't get any errors about the bogus host name. I can use the e-mail address for sending e-mails, and the sent e-mails are evenly neatly ordered in a separate folder because it's a separate account within Mail.app.
You are talking about "Reply-To:". YOu could of course also use that (send from your normal address but set the "Reply-To:" header to the address you want to get replies to), but I think it's way better to also use the address for sending.



[ Reply to This | # ]
An even easier way
Authored by: mike3k on Dec 19, '05 11:09:52AM

When you create an email account, enter a list of addresses separated by commas as the return address, for example:

myname@domain1.com,anothername@domain1.com,myname@domain2.com

All of those addresses will appear in the return address menu even though you only created a single account.



[ Reply to This | # ]
An even easier way
Authored by: SOX on Dec 19, '05 11:34:48AM

THe issue is separating the outbound and inbound function.
When I move around I have different ISPs. Sometimes I can't even use one of the ISPs because for example, it's web-mail only (not POP) or the building I'm in blocks downloads on port 110. I'd still like to be able to compose an e-mail with an given reply-to address regardless of the accessibility of inbound mail.



[ Reply to This | # ]
An even easier way
Authored by: xSmurf on Dec 19, '05 05:14:39PM

Maybe you could use ssh to tunnel port 110?
I do that a lot, my school blocks everything except 80 8080 and 443. I already use 80 and 8080 (well I'd used 443 but it's not as important) so I run ssh on port 443. This also has the advantage that 443 (SSL) is normally encrypted and so is SSH making it a bit more difficult for the sysadmins to figure me out... been running like this for the past semester with no problems. But maybe you wanna check with your IT guy first (else you decided to put a prank on him and replace his coffee sugar with salt last 1st of April ;o)

Check around, there are a gazilion hints for tunneling.

---
SnitchCTL : http://snitchctl.smurfturf.net/

PM G4 DP 800 / 1.25gb / 120Gb+80Gb / CD/DVD±RW/RAM/DL
- The only APP Smurf



[ Reply to This | # ]
incoming/outgoing account distinction
Authored by: sjk on Dec 19, '05 08:49:09PM

Re: THe issue is separating the outbound and inbound function.

I wish more mail apps supported distinct outgoing (SMTP) and incoming (IMAP, POP) accounts. In Mulberry, any mail address you use is associated with an identity and each identity uses a SMTP account, normally an inherited default.

Incoming IMAP or POP accounts really aren't necessary if all you want is outgoing (SMTP) functionality, but unfortunately most mail apps don't separate them like Mulberry so you end creating "dummy" accounts as a sloppy workaround for those oversimplistic implementations.



[ Reply to This | # ]
An even easier way
Authored by: davidduff on Jun 07, '06 10:15:56AM

mike3k's point is a good one. i went a while using mail.app before i eventually stumbled across this.

mail has some subtle features and generally does not map cleanly to how other common mail programs work. it can be deceptive because on the surface, it appears very simple, but there's actually a good bit of complexity behind the scenes.

what's cool:

if you have multiple accounts which forward into a single account, you can just have one account setup with multiple mail addresses attached to it and you can still send mail from those addresses (w/o needing to set up "send-only" accounts) -- this was the thrust of mike3k's post.

what's a bit less cool:

it's not easy to get mail to use different smtp servers to send a message -- i.e. if you need to use a different server under different conditions. so you need to work hard to find a server that you can use from everywhere (i.e. one that supports ssl and authentication).

(afaik) even if you authenticate, you can't send mail from your .mac account unless you use <user>@mac.com as the from address, which pretty much eliminates it as a candidate for the aforementioned smtp server. this is an annoying limitation and a stupid one, as far as i am concerned.

the signature management stuff got more powerful with the tiger release, however it now appears that you can set a default signature to use for a sending account. nice, but what if you have multiple addresses attached to an account as described above? there would appear to be no way of setting signature based on the from address (which seems to be what you would want to do most of the time). or am i missing something there?



[ Reply to This | # ]
Add unique names to .Mac email aliases
Authored by: thehumanfactor on Dec 19, '05 02:02:14PM

I have read all of the posts on adding a unique name to . Mac email aliases. This sounds very interesting but I am unclear on how this would be used in real life. Can anyone explain when I would use this and what benefit I would get from it. thanks, Glenn



[ Reply to This | # ]
Add unique names to .Mac email aliases
Authored by: adrianm on Dec 20, '05 11:43:51PM
Well, let's say your main .mac address is "bob.smith@mac.com" and you set up an alias in .mac webmail of "lonelybob@mac.com".

Normally, you'd want "Bob Smith" to be your name sent out with all your mail, but possibly not when you send mail as lonelybob (you don't want people knowing your real name - this lack of openness might explain why you're lonely too :-)).

Having a different name for the alias would allow you to send an email from lonelybob@mac.com with a name of "Lonely Bob".

[ Reply to This | # ]

Add unique names to .Mac email aliases
Authored by: Deut3221 on Dec 20, '05 11:18:38AM

This was a great hint. Thanks!!!
-steve



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.5: Add unique names to .Mac email aliases?
Authored by: jonfullmer on Nov 30, '07 10:07:05AM

I've struggled with this as well. In the past, I've created multiple accounts, but, as you all know, this creates the undesirable side effect of Mail.app wanting to "check mail" (when the account doesn't actually exist).

I came across these instructions and was very excited by the possibilities. The comma-separated trick does work, but, like others on this, I'd love to be able to use a unique "Full Name" with each alias.

I tried to create the EmailAliases entries in the com.apple.mail.plist file, following the above-mentioned instructions. It doesn't work. It could be that I'm using 10.5. It could be that I'm using a POP account, I guess.

Has anyone figured out anything else? Any help would be appreciated.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Add unique names to .Mac email aliases
Authored by: duhalde on Aug 01, '11 01:35:28AM

Has anyone found a way to do this in the new mail 5.0 that ships with Lion?
I have gone through the whole plists file but neither mail accounts, aliases, names or my individual emails are mentioned. :-(
I will try to insert the sections from the tip and see if it bites, and then let you guys know, but everybody is hereby urged to look into it and let everyone know how they did it.

/David



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.5 Mail
Authored by: nikguitar on Aug 03, '11 01:13:48PM

I'm trying to trick Lion mail with this hint with no success. Anyone can help?
Thanks



[ Reply to This | # ]
Add unique names to .Mac email aliases
Authored by: RewAU on Aug 16, '11 08:03:56PM

It appears that this has moved in the Lion Mail.app;

I think you'll find what you're looking for in ~/Library/Mail/V2/MailData/Accounts.plist



[ Reply to This | # ]
Add unique names to .Mac email aliases
Authored by: mgtech on Sep 16, '11 06:32:25AM

Yes, that's where it is located. The method works and I could add the aliases to my exchange account. (OSX 10.7.1)

The only problem is that Echange 2010 doesn't seem to allow sending from aliases? My mails appear to be sent from the right alias in Mail 5.0, but when I receive them on my gmail account (for testing purposes) the main domain name is still shown in the header.

i.e. I want to send as myself@aliasdomain.com (Alias linked to my main exchange account.),
but the mails still arrive as myself@mainexchangedomain.com.

Anybody got a work-arround for this? Would it help setting it to IMAP and not Exchange-Server?

Cheers



[ Reply to This | # ]