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Be alerted to 'read receipts' in Mail messages Apps
After years with Thunderbird, I decided to give Mail a serious look. To avoid boring everyone, I'll just say that I'm quite happy. One thing I noticed, though, is that Mail doesn't seem to be aware of "read receipts" in any way. This comes as a big surprise to me, since my introduction to the idea of read receipts came from the very same (13 years ago when OS X was still called NeXTstep).

Anyway, I wasn't interested in emulating full read receipt support as discussed in a previous hint, but I was curious to see which of my control-freak contacts were requesting them. The following will allow you to more easily see if a read receipt was requested.
  1. Go to Mail's Preferences
  2. Go to the Viewing section
  3. Next to Show header detail:, choose "Custom..."
  4. In the panel that comes up, click the + to add a header
  5. Type (or paste) Disposition-Notification-To
  6. Click OK and close the Preferences window
Now, any message that requests a read receipt will show you the extra header. It's a bit ugly when it happens (compared to the usual headers display). However, the additional header is only displayed for messages that contain it (a small minority in my case), and the ugliness makes it stand out, which is the whole point.
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Be alerted to 'read receipts' in Mail messages
Authored by: atomicham on Mar 08, '06 10:02:19AM

I haven't done this; however, you can add a RULE that checks for "Disposition-Notification-To" and highlights the message in some way. When you are in the RULES panel, select the "Edit Header List..." from the pull-down menu. This allows you to add additional header items to the list of potential rule attributes.

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Be alerted to 'read receipts' in Mail messages
Authored by: Poof on Mar 08, '06 10:11:53AM
that's nice, but since you're new to Apple Mail, maybe you like this trick even better:
  1. Open Mail preferences
  2. Select 'Rules'
  3. Click 'Add Rule'
  4. Click the pulldown that says "From"
  5. Select "Edit Header List" (last entry)
  6. Click the '+' symbol to add a header
  7. Type (or paste :) ) Disposition-Notification-To
  8. Tell the rule to ensure this header contains a 0 (zero), which will be true until the year 2111
  9. Select an action to do, e.g. set the color of the message to red, or make an autoreply :)
  10. save and apply
  11. all done
I have to note that it does seem to forget about the extra header when you later try to modify the condition, but it keeps working (at least on Apple Mail 2.0.5)

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why a date in the Disposition-Notification-To header?
Authored by: moritzh on Mar 08, '06 11:34:01AM

Sorry, I don't understand your #8. Are you suggesting that the rule should check if the Disposition-Notification-To header field contains a zero and if so performs the specified action (colors the message red/...)? I just dug around in my old e-mails to find one with such a header set (luckily I don't get many of these annoying things!), and there is just a line like this:


So just a return address and no date, which makes sense to me, to be honest. Based on that, I would rather set the rule criterion to Disposition-Notification-To Contains @ (which should be valid even after 2110...).

Or do I misunderstand?

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Be alerted to 'read receipts' in Mail messages
Authored by: macmarty on Mar 09, '06 05:15:58AM

Stupid question is there a way, so that I can send those kind of emails "Disposition-Notification-To" from Mail?

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Be alerted to 'read receipts' in Mail messages
Authored by: Skurfer on Mar 09, '06 10:57:45AM

I believe sending messages with this header was covered in the original hint that I linked to.

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For people with Entourage
Authored by: bostmass on Mar 09, '06 06:53:21AM

For those of us who use Entourage, this is how I set up a rule (Tools > Rules > New) for incoming messages with the return receipt header. Open image link below to see my settings:

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