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3.5   Importing Mail

Importing mail into EagleFiler speeds up your mail program and backups, creates an efficient and secure archive of your mail, and lets you organize and search mail messages alongside related files. The recommended way to import mail varies depending on which mail program you’re using. Please find the section below that corresponds to your mail program.

As described in the Basics section, you should not modify or delete the mail while EagleFiler is in the midst of importing it.

Viewing Messages

EagleFiler has native support for viewing e-mail messages. There are two options in the The View Menu for controlling how messages are displayed: Message ‣ Plain Text and Message ‣ Raw Source. The plain text font and size can be set in the Preferences. You can use the Quick Look command in the The Record Menu to preview attached images. The Reply to Message command lets you resume a conversation by opening a new message in your e-mail program. You can also double-click a message to open it in your e-mail program (e.g. to forward it or to access the attachments). EagleFiler opens messages using Mac OS X’s default viewer for .eml files, which is normally Apple Mail. To change the default viewer, use the Open With command.

What’s Imported

EagleFiler imports the entire raw source of the message, including the attachments and headers. In other words, all the information is preserved; if desired, the messages can be imported back into the mail program with full fidelity. (Exceptions: see the Importing Mail From Eudora and Importing Mail From PowerMail sections.)

Mailbox (mbox) vs. Individual Message (.eml) Files

EagleFiler prefers to store messages in mailbox (“mbox”) files. A mailbox is a single file that contains lots of e-mail messages. This is both for efficiency (one file rather than thousands for a mailbox containing thousands of messages) and for compatibility with other software that can read the standard mbox format. When you capture multiple e-mails at once, EagleFiler stores them in a mailbox file automatically. You cannot drag message in mailbox files around to different mailboxes, though you can drag them to tags and organize them that way.

EagleFiler can also store messages as individual .eml message files, one per message. This is less efficient (for EagleFiler, Spotlight, Time Machine, etc.) but is more flexible because you can drag and drop the messages to different folers to rearrange them. Message files can also be mixed in the same folder with other files of different types, e.g. PDF or Word documents that are related to those messages.

You can extract individual messages out of a mailbox file by dragging and dropping them to a folder. You can combine multiple message files into a mailbox using the Merge Message Files command.

Workflow for Importing Mail

Here are some tips for importing e-mails into EagleFiler:

Deleting Messages in Mailboxes

Each mailbox file stores multiple messages, and for speed and data integrity reasons, EagleFiler does not modify mailbox files. Instead, when you delete a message EagleFiler hides it from view (unless you have Show ‣ Deleted Messages checked). Most e-mail messages are small enough that there’s little benefit to physically removing the data for deleted messages. If you need to reclaim the disk space used by deleted messages, you can do this by deleting the mailbox file. First, drag the non-deleted messages to a folder so that EagleFiler extracts them as individual .eml files. Then delete the mailbox. You can optionally use the Merge Message Files command to recombine the .eml files into a new mailbox.

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