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10.5: Browse recent Mail messages in the Finder Apps
Want an easy way to keep on top of your email? In the Finder, press Command-F to bring up a search window. It should default to setting Search to This Mac and Contents. In the criteria row, click the first pop-up menu and select Other, then scroll down to Spotlight Items (you can also press spot... to jump there directly), and click OK. Set the second pop-up menu to include.

Now hit the plus sign to add another row, and set the criteria to Kind is Other, and in the text box, type Mail message. As of now, you will see all of your messages from Mail; if you want, like me, to show recent messages only, hit the plus sign again. On this new row, set the criteria to Created Date is yesterday (or whatever time period you prefer). Now you only see your recent emails.

Save this search as Recent Emails, and voila, you have email right in the Finder. Just hit your Recent Emails folder to check them out. You can press the Space Bar to quick view a message, or, if you want to have fun, you can go into Cover Flow view and scroll through your emails, previewing each one in Cover Flow, then pressing Space Bar to read the interesting ones.

Keep in mind this isn't a total replacement for Mail. You can't write messages, and Mail needs to be open if you want to get new messages. However, Mail doesn't need to be open to view already-downloaded POP email.

[robg adds: As a commenter on the hints queue site points out, you can do the same thing with a Smart Mailbox in Mail, of course -- but then you won't get to use Cover Flow mode to browse messages. Also note that if you subscribe to RSS feeds in Mail, they'll all show up (and I can't see any way to exclude them).]
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10.5: Browse recent Mail messages in the Finder | 11 comments | Create New Account
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10.5: Browse recent Mail messages in the Finder
Authored by: rmanke on Nov 15, '07 10:32:27AM

Great hint, thanks!



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10.5: Browse recent Mail messages in the Finder
Authored by: Sipowicz on Nov 15, '07 01:48:47PM

Brilliant.

I can't see any way to exclude the RSS feeds, either. It's frustrating.



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10.5: Browse recent Mail messages in the Finder
Authored by: marjar on Nov 16, '07 08:42:06PM

What I find handy when reading mail like this, is to drag the QuickLook window to one side, and use CoverFlow and QuickLook automatically, without having to the use the space bar all the time. It helps to have a widescreen monitor...



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Use Smart Folders to search by file KIND in plain language
Authored by: bengarland on Nov 26, '07 09:21:43AM
I submitted this as a hint, but Rob rejected it as a duplicate. Either I'm retarded, or this isn't exactly detailed in any hint related to smart folders or searching within the Finder.

The hint above is the closest that I could find, though I think my method (and reasons for using it) are completely different -- so I'm posting it as a comment here.

This may be an obvious hint, but I was playing around with Smart Folders today and figured out that you can make one of the criteria be ANY file type. You are not limited to the ones that Apple provides built-in (such as PDF, Movies, Images).

You don't even need to know the extension, just the plain language that Mac OS X uses to identify file "Kind".

So if you want to make a folder with only certain file types, select "New Smart Folder" from the Finder's FILE menu. You want to search "This Mac" and "Contents". Now click the "+" button to add some search criteria.

Then select "Kind" is "Other". An input field will appear. This is where you type the "Kind" information that is found in the Finder. For example, to search for all Excel files, just type "Microsoft Excel" (this shows you everything, including Excel support files). To search for all Microsoft related file types, just type "Microsoft". You can do the same for "Photoshop" or "Adobe" etc.

Another trick is to whittle it down, like so:

microsoft excel -add-in -library -template -plug-in

(The end result is that you see only file types of "Microsoft Excel Workbook" and "Microsoft Excel Document". I'm not sure what the difference is between a "Workbook" and a "Document" since they both have the extension .xls.)

Very handy when you are trying to figure out where that long lost Excel file is hiding on your computer!

This is, of course, just an example. You can surely think of many ways to extend this hint to help you find or manage the types of files that you deal with on a daily basis.

[And yes, I know you can do the same thing by searching "Name" "contains" and typing "xls", but searching by "Kind" is more useful when you don't know what the extension is, or want to search in ways that are not possible using only file extensions.]


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Use Smart Folders to search by file KIND in plain language
Authored by: Bakari on Nov 26, '07 01:17:09PM

Excellent hint. Great instructions. thanx



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10.5: Browse recent Mail messages in the Finder
Authored by: lengsel on Dec 04, '07 08:17:46AM

If you don´t mind to find any RSS messages anymore just exclude ~/Library/Mail/RSS from Spotlight in the system preferences.

Flo



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10.5: Browse recent Mail messages in the Finder
Authored by: Mac Berry on Dec 04, '07 08:30:40AM

If, as instructed, I set the created date to yesterday, I only see yesterday's mail, not todays (because the criteria is "is"). Anyone know how to make it show yesterday's and today's mail? I can set specific dates, but don't think that will work tomorrow from a saved search - I'll have to manually update the dates.

Mark



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10.5: Browse recent Mail messages in the Finder
Authored by: robogobo on Dec 04, '07 06:30:13PM

select "created date" "is within" last 2 days.



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10.5: Browse recent Mail messages in the Finder
Authored by: robogobo on Dec 04, '07 06:31:38PM

sorry: "created date" is "within last" __ days.



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10.5: Browse recent Mail messages in the Finder
Authored by: Mac Berry on Dec 05, '07 05:49:40AM

Thanks, got it, though because I can't exclude spam and sent messages from it, I'm not convinced it's got any practical use anyway.

Mark



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10.5: Browse recent Mail messages in the Finder
Authored by: Mac Berry on Dec 04, '07 08:37:47AM

Hmm, I've also just noticed that you can't exclude any folder, so you get to see all your spam, all deleted messages, and all your sent mail too.

I think a smart mailbox in Mail.app would be a much better solution.

Mark



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