Power Searching in Mail.app

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by AllenKenya, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. AllenKenya macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2010
    For years, I used Eudora (Mac) because it was fast and fit the way I needed and wanted to work. Overall, I still think it's the best e-mail program but I switched to Mail for some very specific reasons: I needed to be able to specify specific POP ports for specific e-mail accounts, I wanted to use the Mac OS centralized address book (Eudora's interface with Address Book was kludgy), I had apparently reached the limit on folders within Eudora as it would crash when I tried to add a new folder and restoring to previous preferences would allow me to use Eudora didn't fix the problem with adding a folder, and I wanted to see html e-mails (Mail still doesn't create html e-mails well).

    Overall, I'm OK with Mail (v. 4.2, Mac OS 10.6.2, MacBook Pro late 2006 Core 2 Duo, 3gb RAM). The thing that I miss the most is Eudora's very robust searching capabilities. There may well be something I've missed with Mail as it seems that the kind of searches that I want to do should be possible in Mail. Here are some examples of the kinds of things I want:

    1. Search on multiple criteria. For instance, find all e-mails where "From" contains xxxxx and "Date" is after xx/xx/xx and "Body" contains xxxxxxxx.

    2. Boolean searches. For instance, find all e-mails where "From" contains xxxxx or "From" contains yyyyy.

    3. Search within the results of a search. For instance, first find all e-mails where "From" contains xxxxx or "From" contains yyyyy, then within those e-mails, find e-mails where "Body" contains zzzzz.

    4. Full boolean and/or grep searching (this would go beyond Eudora's capabilities).

    Is there a resource, preferably online, for power searching in Mail? If so, where? While doing this kind of searching as native part of Mail would be preferable, I would be satisfied with a plug-in or even a third-party utility that interfaces well with Mail.
  2. mbestel macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2010
    Smart mailbox


    I am pretty sure that you can do most of what you want with a series of smart mailboxes.

    From the Mailbox menu, select New Smart Mailbox and build up a query. Once that is done, a new mailbox icon will appear that dynamically applies your search criteria to the inbox and whatever else is specified.

    Hope this helps.


  3. AllenKenya thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2010
    Re: Power Searching in Mail.app

    Thanks, Mark. That would work especially well to search the results of a search. However, it seems rather kludgy to create a new smart mailbox every time I want to do a search more complicated than a single factor search. Most of the time I'm searching for a specific e-mail and it's a unique search that won't be repeated. (Of course, I suppose a lot of people would say that boolean or grep searches are rather kludgy.)
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Info is a little sketchy on their site, but PostBox is said to have fairly advanced search functions. I doubt they go so far as grep, though.

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