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10.6: Change Mail's 'Copy Address' behavior Apps
Snow Leopard only hintIn versions of Mail prior to OS X 10.6, you could copy an email address from a message by Control-clicking on the address and choosing Copy Address from the contextual menu. As part of my job, I do this a lot -- users will email me, asking to look up their account name, for instance, so I need to paste their email address into a web form.

In 10.6, it seems someone at Apple decided that Copy Address should really mean Copy Name And Address And Add Angle Brackets Around The Address, because that's exactly what happens when you use Copy Address in Snow Leopard's Mail app. Instead of getting Sue_Sample@somesite.com on the clipboard, you get Sue Sample <Sue_Sample@somesite.com>.

Besides now having an incorrect name on the Copy Address contextual menu item (thought admittedly, the alternative is a bit lengthy), this behavior is incredibly irritating if you want only the email address on the clipboard. Thankfully, some engineer somewhere deep within Apple included a hidden preference to change this behavior -- and the fine folks at Mac Daddy World (the Ecamm Network blog site) dug deep and discovered this preference.

To revert to the 10.5-style behavior in Mail, first quit Mail then enter this command in Terminal:
defaults write com.apple.mail AddressesIncludeNameOnPasteboard -bool NO
(For an easier method of implementing this feature, see this hint.) From now on, Copy Address will again do just what it claims to do. Thanks to @macminicolo and @CraHan for pointing me to the fix after I tweeted about this annoyance this morning!
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10.6: Change Mail's 'Copy Address' behavior | 12 comments | Create New Account
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10.6: Change Mail's 'Copy Address' behavior
Authored by: chrisfriend on Dec 03, '09 07:42:52AM

Thank you! Such a simple fix for such an annoying "enhancement". I don't use the feature as often as you do, so I never thought to look for a solution. This perfect.



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10.6: Change Mail's 'Copy Address' behavior
Authored by: fxt on Dec 03, '09 08:01:02AM

thank you.



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10.6: Change Mail's 'Copy Address' behavior
Authored by: pdl on Dec 03, '09 08:20:57AM

Thank you for this hint. I usually want to copy address and name - just the opposite of Tiger's behavior. I used the command, but changed the value to "yes" - it works with Tiger.



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10.6: Change Mail's 'Copy Address' behavior
Authored by: Stormchild on Dec 03, '09 08:30:12AM

FYI, the "Person's Name <email@address.com>" notation is not some quirky new thing made up by Apple for no reason. It's always been the standard way to represent a person's name and email address on the Internet.



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10.6: Change Mail's 'Copy Address' behavior
Authored by: robg on Dec 03, '09 08:38:01AM

I never claimed it wasn't standard; I do claim it's stupid to label something as "Copy Address," and then to not do exactly that. A person's name is no more part of their email address than their hair color is part of their clothing. Related? Sure, both relate to appearance, but they need not be automatically linked.

This setting should really be a visible preference, or perhaps even a second entry on the contextual menu. Copy Address and Copy Full Address, or whatever.

-rob.



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10.6: Change Mail's 'Copy Address' behavior
Authored by: michaelbach on Dec 03, '09 08:34:08AM
From me also a thank you! Just today this behaviour (slightly) annoyed me.

FYI: this setting is available in the Preferences Pane "Secrets" as a checkbox "Include names when copying email addresses". "Secrets" is a GUI for these default settings, many of them, well, secret until published on Mac OS X Hints.
Edited on Dec 03, '09 08:39:15AM by robg


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10.6: Change Mail's 'Copy Address' behavior
Authored by: robg on Dec 03, '09 08:35:52AM

The "easier way" text I include in such hints now includes a link to a hint about Secrets, for those who prefer not to use Terminal.

-rob.



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10.6: Change Mail's 'Copy Address' behavior
Authored by: corvus on Dec 03, '09 08:43:26AM

This setting also controls what input is sent to a "Service" when it is invoked on a selected mail address. So, if you built a Service that just expects the bare email address (uh, like me), then you're in luck. :-)



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10.6: Change Mail's 'Copy Address' behavior
Authored by: tom_b on Dec 03, '09 03:06:31PM

Stupid change on Apple's part, thank you for finding the fix!



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10.6: Change Mail's 'Copy Address' behavior
Authored by: luvnrocs on Feb 02, '10 10:14:26AM

While I haven't tried to copy addresses I recently added an Exchange 2007 account to Mail and noticed that some of the email addresses in the From column are in the "Name<email address> format and when I go to reply to one of these messages that's exactly what goes in the To field. This of course is not a valid email address so I have to go in and delete the Name, just leaving the email address.

There's got to be a way to change this behavior.



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10.6: Change Mail's 'Copy Address' behavior
Authored by: dogpaw on Feb 08, '12 07:06:30AM

Is this hint still OK to use in Lion? Thanks.



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10.6: Change Mail's 'Copy Address' behavior
Authored by: Akimbo on Apr 22, '13 11:46:29AM

A) THANK you!

B) I just used SECRETS to make this change in Mountain Lion and it worked. So I expect Lion will as well.



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