Getting Started with Mac OS X Lion: Mac Mail

August 18, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Mac OS X Lion features a variety of upgrades and improvements on previous versions, and among these is a long overdue overhaul of Mac Mail, the popular native email application.

Among the new features in Mail is the ability to view the app in full screen mode, and preview of messages and a revised threaded view (Conversations) which shows messages that are a part of the same ongoing discussion.

Better still, the new Mac Mail features an enhanced search function which makes it easier to find emails by subject, message content and address. All in all the new Mail app is a pleasure to use, and as you will see it is still really easy to get to grips with.

Let’s take a look at some of the new features and how they can be used.

Get Started with Mac OS X Lion: Mail

Using Mac Mail Search

In an ideal world you would have time to manage your inbox effectively, but sadly this isn’t the case – certainly not at the moment. What you need is a workaround for when things are a little tough and finding specific email messages is proving difficult.

Fortunately this comes in the shape of the new Mac Mail search facility, much improved on previous versions as you no longer have to get your spelling perfectly correct. Simply use the search box in the top right-hand corner of the window and enter your search term – Mac Mail will then use the information to return messages where the subject lines, keywords and names of those involved in the discussion are included.

This certainly beats the old way of searching, and even if too many messages are returned you can use the standard Sort by… drop down menu to quickly put them into a different order.

Viewing Emails in Fill Screen Mode

One of the main new features in Mac OS X Lion is full screen mode, and this can be enjoyed to great effect in Mac Mail.

With its nice new clean design and layout, Mac Mail is already made much easier to use, but in full screen mode the software takes on a life of its own. With a three column view you will see that the app is split into three portions, allowing you to easily view accounts, folders, the inbox and several messages all at the same time.

This might not seem like much, but by having all of this information visible rather than having to search for and open it, you can save quite a bit of time. What’s more, it all looks pretty dazzling too!

Threaded Conversations

A series of emails on the same subject between two or more people is termed a conversation, and the new method of viewing threaded discussions in Mac OS X Lion provides a full overview of any ongoing email chat. Simply select such a discussion in the inbox view and all of the related emails will be displayed in the message view in chronological order.

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