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Apple Mail Searching Multiple Choice, Multiple Steps

Last updated 2011-12-22 - Send Feedback
Related: Apple macOS


Apple Mail forces multiple choice (confusing),
and forces making two separate choices

Status: as frustratingly ineffeicient as ever. Mail continues not to find things it should find, even after rebuilding mailboxes. I am forced to make “Smart Mailboxes” to narrow the search, some of which do not work correctly either.

In Snow Leopard, it was straightforward to search email: enter something, then click on From or To or Entire Message, etc. Those are the searches I used 95% of the time. The From/To/Entire buttons were always there, always in the same place— easy.

That friendly, simple and fast approach has now been obliterated in Lion.

In Mac OS X Lion Mail, one is confronted with multiple choice and multiple steps instead.

So even if you know you want To, you’re forced into a multiple choice question (visually confusing and intellectually inappropriate when one knows the desired choice but cannot find it!), and then a second step is forced upon you to choose From or To or Entire Message.

Furthemore, I used to be able to search by domain as in "diglloyd.com", and find everything send from that domain. Now the new interface no longer allows that direct approach, insisting on resolving to a particular (single) email. So I have to search for 3 or 4 or 10 different emails, which is really tedious.

Workaround: type “from:” in front of the desired search string as in “from:diglloyd”.

But how many users will ever realize that can be done? And for me, it’s extra typing for a feature that used to be a simply button click. Any time a choice is not self-evident, it gets harder to use.

Apple Mail still insists on erasing the entered search text if one clicks on a different mailbox, which I do constantly. It’s an infuriating feature that could have been fixed instead of breaking solid existing functionality.

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