Using AND & OR in Mail's mail rules, similar to how one uses them in Outlook Express

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by infobleep, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. infobleep macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2008
    Hi there

    Is it possible to use both AND and OR rules with Mail's [] mail rules?

    For example in Outlook Express I have a rule which says should:
    the message body contain ANY of the following words:
    AND the account is <insert account name here>
    THEN move to <insert folder name here>

    However on Mail there seems to only be the option for ANY or ALL and if I apply ANY then it will also move all mail from any account which has the words one, two, three or four, not just from the account I supplied. In additional all other e-mails from the account supplied will be moved as well, even if they don't contain those words.


  2. elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
    I think you'd need to create 4 rules. There is a duplicate rule button, so this should be fairly fast.
  3. infobleep thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2008
    Hi elppa

    Thanks for your reply. So if I have over 200 different FROM e-mail address, does each one require a separate mail rule if I wish to link them to a stated account?

    For example in Outlook Express I have a over 200 e-mail addresses listed under a FROM rule and state that should ANY one of those come up then they should be moved but only if they are received into a stated account. This way a FROM e-mail address can be associated with more than one account at the same time. I also use a similar process for TO and cc.

    In Mail to do this, would each address have to be a separate rule? In other words 200 separate rules because I can't combined ANY with AND. That would be a nightmare with possibly about 1000 rules needing to be created over all. Where as currently I only have just under 50 rules in Outlook Express. Far simpler and more manageable.

    I've looked at Thunderbird which I've also got installed but get the impression it too only allows ALL or ANY. I've not looked at Windows live because I had hoped to read my e-mails on my Mac not in Windows. Besides most people, including friends, say Mail is good and all you need on a Mac. Right now I'm thinking all I need is Outlook Express 6. I've yet to find another mail program I like better. I've read stories that Windows Live isn't as good. If only that were possible on a Mac to use Outlook Express 6 and if only Microsoft were still supporting it. I'm sure many more advanced features exist in Mail but if I can't resolve simple issues, that Microsoft dealt with years ago, I can't access them.

    All I seem to be doing at the moment is moaning about Macs and what they can't do. Hopefully I will eventually get to enjoy what they can do and do well.



    Hi there

    I have found the answer to my issue. It isn't possible to combine ANd and OR.

    The following Web Site:
    Says this:"
    There is no complex nested boolean logic to use within rules, so you need to make a few of them to cover your cases. You are limited to checking if All criteria or Any criteria are true, which translates to an AND or an OR on the criteria you enter. You cannot make a statement like, if 1 AND 2 are true, OR 3 is true, then do the following actions."

    I am really surprised that Mail is so basic in this respect. I thought Apple produce were suppose to be really good.

    I will now seriously have to consider which mail programme I am going to use and whether I am going to have to switch back to my PC and admit defeat with my Mac.

    I don't really want to create 1000+ rules, managing them would be a nightmare. Having to go through the list to change a rule or add one. Making sure they are applied in the right order too. It would be near impossible.


  4. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    It's well known that Mail falls short in many different areas, but the fact is it suits *most* people perfectly well. Just because you have more intensive needs than average Joe isn't a reflection on Mail at all.
  5. infobleep thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2008
    Hi there

    miles01110 thanks for your comments. It may be well known to people who use Mail that it falls short in many areas. Unfortunately I didn't know this and didn't research Mail thoroughly before I tried to move to it. Knowing it was by Apple I didn't even think to bother. Perhaps I place too much trust in Apple and their products. However whilst researching my problem I didn't find anything which suggested that Mail fell short in many areas, although I'm sure such research will exist somewhere. Mail may suit most people but I have to based what I consider to be good on what I need to use a program for. I see that entourage applies mail rules in much the same way as Mail so it maybe be that Outlook Express and hopefully Windows Live are unique in what they offer.

    Had I started out with Mail 10+ years ago I would have set up my system within the confines of Mail but I didn't. Therefore I have to find a mail program which fits the way all my previous emails are stored.

    If Mail was a Microsoft product I would have much lower expectations for it and be far less surprised if it didn't offer what I considered to be a basic functionality. There are many good things about Apple overall. It's just this ones annoying as I was hoping to be able to store all my emails with my Mac system and use Snow Leopard far more than Windows. I probably won't be able to now.

    Still at least, if the mail rules work as I require in Windows Live, I will be running a virtual Windows 7 within Snow Leopard.


  6. infobleep thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2008
    Mail Act-On ( That was all I needed. It is an add-on for Mail which allows you to create enhanced rules. With that I can create an OR Mail Act-On rule and then create an AND rule in Mail which then invokes the OR Mail Act-On rule.

    I have now set up all my message rules and although set up slightly differently, they effectively work as they did in Outlook Express.

    I had a look at Opera but that failed to import all the messages accurately and didn't keep the message unread statuses.

    I am now happily downloading my e-mails in Mail. One thing less to have to use Windows for. I must say it's really fast at downloading my e-mails. Much faster than my older PC. I wondered at first if it was actually downloading anything, it was so quick. Of course it was.

    To be fair to Mail, having previously criticised it, it is great that they allow add-ons to be created for it.



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