Panther’s Mail: More on attachments management

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
November 5th, 2003 • 4:30 am

I should correct what I said in yesterday’s post to a certain extent. As a reader pointed out, there is a command for deleting attachments embedded inside an email message. The trouble is that this command is not where it should be, i.e. with the other attachment-related commands, in the contextual menu that appears when you control-click on an attachment.

Instead, it’s located in the “Message” menu and called “Remove Attachments”. The command is only active when one or several messages containing attachments are selected. It then strips the selected messages of their attachments. Cool. That’s all I needed. But the command should really be available through the contextual menus as well. (You should have the option to remove attachments selectively, one by one, and not have to choose between the whole lot and none at all.)

My initial reaction was based on the fact that the very first message that I tried the “Remove Attachments” command on didn’t work. It was a message from a “postmaster” address returning a message of mine (which had an attachment) because the message couldn’t be delivered. Removing the attachment didn’t work for this particular message (and still doesn’t). But it has worked for all others — so far.

The visual feedback when removing attachments is not exactly intuitive either. Instead of just removing the attachment symbol (the paperclip) in the message line in list view, Mail actually removes the entire message, and then replaces it with an identical message without the attachment. It’s a bit scary and disorienting. It could definitely be improved.

But the essential thing is that the functionality is (finally) here! Now I can archive all messages without their attachments when I already have the files stored elsewhere on my hard drive. This will help reduce the size of my mailbox archive considerably.

(Until now I had to resort to clumsy workarounds such as redirecting messages to myself without their attachments and with a text blurb indicating which attachments were attached to them and then deleting the originals and keeping the redirected ones. It was painful.)

When you remove attachments, Mail also adds a text blurb to the effect that “a file named XXXX has been removed”. Good.

One Response to “Panther’s Mail: More on attachments management”

  1. Betalogue » Lion’s Mail: Removing attachments still an issue says:

    […] their e-mails? Ever since Apple added the “Remove Attachments” command to Mail’s interface, back in 2003, it has been plagued with […]

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