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10.5: How to create custom Mail stationery Apps
I noticed while looking through new hints that people have noted that some stationery options have display variations. Although the easy way noted in that hint only allows for a few adjustments (such as a color here or there), the stationery can easily be changed if you know how to to develop web pages.

All mail stationery files are self-enclosed web pages, much like a package file. Here's how to create your own.
  1. Create your desired stationery using your favorite web development tool.
  2. Locate the section of your stationery you would like to be able to adjust when in Mail.app, and enclose it with a span tag, with the following options:
    <span contenteditable="true" apple-content-name="body" style="display;block;"
  3. Move all items needed for the page (html files and images) into a new folder called Resources.
  4. Using your favorite plist editor, create a new plist called Description.plist in that same Resources folder. Add a string called HTML File and set the value to content.html. Add the following additional strings: Display Name, Folder Name, Thumbnail Image, and stationery ID. The values for everything thing but stationery ID should be self-explanatory. In the stationery ID string, enter a value based on this "72A27F00-FF50-43E8-A304-B2F85Ere89tfb" but it should not be exactly the same this is only an example.
  5. Add an Array called Images, and in it, place string entries titled 0 through nn, where nn is the total number of images in your HTML file minus one. For the value of each string, list the file name of your image; the order doesnt matter.
  6. If you are using a background image, create an additional array titled Background Images and list your background images the same way you did in the last step. Background images must also be listed in the Images array from the prior step.
  7. Save your plist file.
  8. Create a new folder and place your Resources folder inside of it. Name your new folder mytemplate.mailstationery, where mytemplate is the name of your stationery.
  9. Double-click your stationery file, and you will be asked if you would like to install the stationery
Reference files can be found on your machine at /Library/Application Support/Apple/Mail/Stationery/Apple/Contents/Resources. Using the same methods described above, you can fully customize all the Apple Stationery files pre-installed with Mail.app, if you wish.

[robg adds: For the stationery ID entry, you can use uuidgen in Terminal to create a guaranteed unique identifier string.]
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10.5: How to create custom Mail stationery | 7 comments | Create New Account
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10.5: How to create custom Mail stationery
Authored by: jsalbre on Nov 06, '07 11:47:30AM
The hyphenated number (72A27F00-FF50-43E8-A304-B2F85Ere89tfb) in step 4 is a Universally Unique IDentifier (UUID,) in the 8-4-4-4-12 format. I highly recommend against using that one in your own stationary as it may cause problems.

OS X includes a built in UUID generator to make your own. Just open up terminal and type uuidgen then copy and paste the result into the stationary ID field.

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10.5: How to create custom Mail stationery
Authored by: jsalbre on Nov 06, '07 11:48:52AM

Ack, color me stupid, I just noticed that Rob already pointed that out. :)



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10.5: How to create custom Mail stationery
Authored by: kaih on Nov 06, '07 02:55:17PM

In addition, the uuid given as an example is not valid - it's not a string of hex characters, it's been edited manually.

---
k:.



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10.5: How to create custom Mail stationery
Authored by: kaih on Nov 06, '07 02:53:18PM
Do it properly - whilst this hint covers the basics, it is not 100% spot on.
Apple have the entire .mailstationery bundle format documented, with examples, at developer.apple.com

http://developer.apple.com/documentation/AppleApplications/Conceptual/MailArticles/

You don't have to use a span, for instance, to enclose the editable sections, you can use a div instead.

You can automatically insert the user's name out of Address Book, the date and their email address (however I could only get the name to work)

As mentioned in a parent comment, you use uuidgen (in the terminal) to make your own uuids - the whole idea of a uuid is that they're universally unique.

You can use image placeholders, that you can drag and drop images to to replace them in your email.

Be aware that a lot of mail clients (ie, not Mail.app) may have problems displaying some or all of the embedded images in a mail message, so if you're doing this for anything important, make sure you test it in multiple mail clients.

---
k:.

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10.5: How to create custom Mail stationery
Authored by: jakob.joergensen on Nov 25, '07 09:23:33PM
This link shows a non-mac'er, but now-mac'er, how to do it as well. Only photoshop skills are needed.

http://www.jdempsey.com/how-to-create-customized-osx-mail-stationery-in-leopard/

Jakbo

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10.5: How to create custom Mail stationery
Authored by: morespace54 on Nov 26, '07 08:27:13AM

As mentioned in this blog, you could also simply do your HTML file (with an HTMl editor and/or Photoshop), preview-it in Safari, then select "Mail content of This Page" (CMD-I), remove the extra header in Mail and save-it as a Stationary.



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10.5: How to create mask files?
Authored by: thorsten.b on Aug 26, '08 11:11:34PM

Thanks for this hint.

Could you give me some help on creating the mask files? What is a alpha channel, and how do I create tha mask.png in GraphicConverter or Preview?

I think, I did it right, but the drop zone of the stationery I created is somehow too small. I can change that size and position playing with the mask file (using mask files of other stationeries). How could I make one with the correct size and position?
(The background image is 644x272, the placeholder 522x272, thus the mask should be a black square of 522x272 centered on a 644x272 alpha.png).


thanks for any help,
t.



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