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Delete Mail messages with Control-H keyboard shortcut Apps
The other day on Twitter, Macworld senior editor Dan Frakes mentioned that he had accidentally discovered an undocumented keyboard shortcut to delete messages in Mail. My guess is that he just leaned on his keyboard, but he figured out, after deleting a number of messages, that this shortcut is Control-H.

This makes sense, as this is the Unix keybinding for the Backspace or Delete key (see this Wikipedia article), and OS X uses these shortcuts, at least in Cocoa applications; you can use the Control-H shortcut to delete text in those applications that use the Cocoa text input framework. But its use to delete messages in Mail is interesting. If anyone discovers other apps where this works, post them in the comments.
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Delete Mail messages with Control-H keyboard shortcut
Authored by: Superboy on Mar 21, '12 09:10:59AM

There are a few more UNIX keyboard shortcuts you can use in pretty much any app that uses the Cocoa text framework.

Ctrl + A takes you to the start of the line.
Ctrl + E takes you to the end.
Ctrl + K deletes the rest of the line after the insertion point.
Ctrl + O is line feed without moving the insertion point.
Ctrl + D is forward delete.
Ctrl + V is go to end of page.
Ctrl + N is next line.

Ctrl + T seems to do something weird with shifting text one place to the left character by character.

I'm sure there are other other useful ones I've missed!



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Delete Mail messages with Control-H keyboard shortcut
Authored by: capacity on Mar 21, '12 12:14:29PM

Regarding Control-t's "weird" behavior, it transposes the letters before and after the insertion point. Here's a link to a list of more unix/emacs bindings: http://stackoverflow.com/a/434046



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Delete Mail messages with Control-H keyboard shortcut
Authored by: Old Toad on Mar 21, '12 10:00:14AM

I find the Option-Delete key combination easier to use to delete emails than the Control-H. It's easier to find and hit the Delete key than the H key.



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Delete Mail messages with Control-H keyboard shortcut
Authored by: jaydisc on Mar 21, '12 04:31:28PM

Option-Delete bypasses the trash FYI - it's just instant, permanent delete.



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Delete Mail messages with Control-H keyboard shortcut
Authored by: wallybear on Mar 21, '12 02:56:20PM

Cannot understand this hint.
Ctrl-H and the Delete key share the same ascii code, so there's nothing strange if they do the same action.
In Mail the Delete key moves the selected message to Trash, and option-Delete doesn't move it but erases it instantly.



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Delete Mail messages with Control-H keyboard shortcut
Authored by: Udo on Mar 26, '12 10:54:34AM

Well, I can't prove this is true, but since about 6 month ago I am "losing" the occasional e-mail from the inbox. I suspect there is some key combination I inadvertently trigger. Some I find in the Trash. Others even Spotlight can't find.

I am using Macs since the 64K Mac came out, and Mail ever since it was released. But this problem is new.

---
Have a nice day
Udo



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Delete Mail messages with Control-H keyboard shortcut
Authored by: errolbert on May 22, '12 08:30:40AM

Curiously I discovered this control+h behavior by accident as well (and I knew control+h was delete in the terminal...).

I have a shortcut for The Hit List set as shift+command+h and was trying it on my home computer and it didn't work (I hadn't set it) and so was trying other combinations when I hit control+open+h and permanently (and instantly) deleted several emails that had just arrived in my inbox. I didn't realize I had deleted several over the course of my various combinations...

I think the option+delete command should ask for confirmation, at least the first time you've used it in a while.



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