Mail 4.x: ‘Copy Address’ behaviour is now ‘as intended,’ says Apple

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Mail
September 30th, 2009 • 2:26 pm

Three days ago, I wrote about a change in Snow Leopard that I considered a bug, which is that, when you right-click on the “From:” field of an e-mail message you have received and select the “Copy Address” command, Mail now copies the entire contents of the “From:” field and not just the e-mail address itself.

It’s rather annoying, because that means that there is no easy way to copy just the e-mail address, which is what you’d want to do, for example, if you wanted to manually add the e-mail address to an Address Book card. Actually, there is no way at all to copy just the e-mail address, since, as soon as you hover over the “From:” field with your mouse button, the whole field becomes highlighted as a single blue widget and you cannot click within it to select part of it. (And that is with the “Use Smart Addresses” option off in Mail’s preferences. With the option on, you cannot even see the e-mail address.)

In addition, the command’s label reads “Copy Address” and not “Copy Sender.” Since when is someone’s name part of his/her “address”?

As per usual, when I posed this blog item, I also submitted a bug report to Apple. Unfortunately, I have to report that, three days later, this morning, I received the following response:

Engineering has determined that this issue behaves as intended based on the following information:

This is the correct behavior in Snow Leopard 10.6.

We consider this issue closed.  If you have any questions or concern regarding this issue, please update your report directly (

So that is that. As far as I can tell, the only way that now remains to select and copy the e-mail address only is to switch to the “Raw Source” message view via the “View” menu and then manually select the address.

Good grief. I guess that, with Apple’s engineers, it’s their way or the highway. Am I really so wrong to want to manage my Address Book entries without resorting to the flawed “Add to Address Book” menu command? I guess so.

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