why does ctrl-h in Mail make messages disappear?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by mdakin, Jul 23, 2004.

  1. mdakin macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2004
    Massachusetts, USA

    Today I accidentally stumbled across something in Apple's "Mail" program. I found that if I had a message highlighted in Mail's message list and I pressed the "ctrl" key and the "h" key at the same time, the message would disappear. I did this because I was trying to "Hide" the Mail app and accidentallly hit the wrong key ("ctrl" rather than the "open-apple key".) I've been able to reproduce this behavior 100%. To see it just follow these steps:

    1. In the upper part of the standard "Mail" window, click on a message to highlight it. Highlight a useless message or a test message you've sent yourself.
    2. Press "ctrl" and "h" at the same time.

    At this point the message will be removed from the list!!

    Does anyone know what is happening here?? I've done some searches and I can't find anything.

    Thanks for any help!!

  2. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    It's an undocumented shortcut for delete - control-h is equivalent to "delete" in many old editors/command line tools.

    You can undo it with command-Z.

    Your deleted mail will appear in the Trash (Mail's Trash) - and, interestingly, stays there even when you undelete it - apparently, undelete copies it back insteadof moving it back.
  3. mdakin thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2004
    Massachusetts, USA
    Thanks for the quick, informative response!!

  4. supremedesigner macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2005
    Gainesville, Fl
    Thanks! Never knew that. Glad I stumbled into this almost decade old thread :) It's still there on Lion. Wondered why it was never removed?
  5. throAU macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2012
    Perth, Western Australia
    Because OS X is unix, and the unix keycode for delete is (the same as) ^H

    If they were to get rid of it, they would break compatibility with unix.
  6. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    Since you've gotten your answer, I just wanted to comment how awesome it was to see someone refer to the "open-apple key". I don't even know for sure you were referring to it that way because of the days of the open-Apple and closed-Apple keys, but it made me smile.


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