Messaging with Mail
Swiping to manage messages, full-screen flexibility, and multiple message tabs make Mail effective than ever
Many of Mail’s new features are focussed on make working it more practical to work with in full-screen mode, especially when composing messages.
New messages are still created in a panel that’s displayed in the middle of the screen, but you no longer have to save the message as a draft before you can look at other messages. 27> However, clicking outside of the pane now causes it to slide out of the way to the bottom of the screen. Click on the small bar down there to bring the composition panel back into view. This is more convenient for copying and pasting text or dragging attachments from one message into a new one.
It isn’t just Mail’s main window that can be made to take over the whole screen. 28> Any message window can be switched to full screen from its green button, enabling you to compose a message on one side of the screen and refer to something else – even an other message – on the other in Split View.
You can also have several part-composed messages on the go, without having to save them as drafts. 29> Each time you create a new message (by pressing ç+N or clicking the corresponding button in the toolbar), a new tab is added to the pane. Rather than reach for your mouse or trackpad, you can switch tabs using ß+ç+[ and ß+ç+].
Managing unread messages is easier with gestures that have worked their way across from iOS to OS X. 30> Swipe to the right while the pointer is over a message in a mailbox’s list to mark it as unread, or swipe to the left to trash or archive it. Do this with two fingers on a trackpad, or one finger on a Magic Mouse. 31> If you prefer to archive mail, the latter gesture can be switched from Trash to Archive in Mail > Preferences > Viewing > Swipe Left To.
32> Mail inspects incoming messages for contacts and events to add to your calendar. If someone emails you with information about an event, Mail will search for details (time, date, location, and so on) and suggests that you add it to Calendar. 33> Similarly, it looks for new contact information, filling out phone numbers, emails and addresses for people in your contacts (and suggests when to create a new contact record). In both instances, you’ll see a prompt at the top of the message. Click the blue ‘add…’ word at the right of that row to add or update an item in the related app.
34> One small addition that’s easily overlooked is the strikethrough button in Mail’s Format bar (which is revealed by clicking the ‘A’ button in the toolbar), rather than having to open OS X’s built-in Fonts window. This is helpful for indicating changes or suggestions when collaborating on text.
Multi-Touch gestures make it much easier to quickly clear out unwanted messages.