Panther’s Mail: More on removing attachments

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
January 2nd, 2004 • 5:34 am

I have already talked about the fact that the new functionality to remove attachments in Panther’s Mail appears to have been added as a last-minute feature set enhancement and that it’s not properly integrated into the Mail interface.

There is absolutely no reason, for one thing, that explains why the command doesn’t have a keyboard shortcut and isn’t included in the contextual menu that pops up when you control-click on a message or selection of messages.

It gets worse, however. First of all, the “Remove Attachments” command cannot be undone and is in fact not included in the sequence of commands recorded for the Undo command. In other words, if you apply the “Remove Attachments” command to a message or selection of messages, and then select the “Undo” command immediately after that (by pressing cmd-Z), Mail actually undoes the previous command you used, whatever it was. It’s as if the “Remove Attachments” wasn’t a normal part of the Mail interface. It doesn’t make any sense.

Then if you watch carefully what happens when you use the “Remove Attachments” command, you’ll see that what Mail actually does is that it deletes the message altogether and then reinserts a new message that has the same characteristics as the deleted one (same headers, same body text, etc.) minus the attachment file (which is replaced by a line of text mentioning that the message originally came with an attachment named XXX). The problem is that, in the process of doing this (deleting the message and replacing it with a new one), Mail also loses the focus on the message, i.e. after the command has been applied to the selected message, the message is no longer selected.

This is particularly annoying when you select a group of messages from a given sender, apply the “Remove Attachments” to all these selected messages, and then want to move the selected messages (with their attachments removed) to a mailbox folder. After removing the attachments, the messages are no longer selected! You have to select them again, one by one.

I sure hope that this “Remove Attachments” will become really part of the Mail interface in the next update. But I’m not holding my breath.

2 Responses to “Panther’s Mail: More on removing attachments”

  1. Betalogue » Mail 5.0: No longer deselects message after removing attachments says:

    […] In Lion, Apple has finally fixed a long-standing problem with message selection in Mail. The specific symptom was that, when you selected a message containing an attachment and then chose the “Remove Attachments” command in the “Message” menu, Mail would indeed remove the attachment from the selected message, but then it would also deselect the message. […]

  2. Betalogue » Mail 5.1: Removing attachments still an issue says:

    […] because the command was (still is?) essentially a hack, which consists of deleting the existing message and creating a new one without the attachment, for […]

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