Daily dose of all things OS X

by coelomic

I am a regular reader of Hawk Wings, the web site dedicated to helping you get the best out of Mail.app. I did wonder how long the author would be able to keep writing about a single app, but I was deeply mistaken. It has consistently produced one of the best reviews, tips and tutorials that help you get the best out of Mail, not to mention plugins!!

Let me draw your attention to James Eagan, the creator of the Missing Attachments plugin, who has written a tutorial on how to make a Mail.app plugin. It is a worthy read. ( via Hawk wings )

Another excellent plugin for Mail is from Gregory F. Welch does the job of following up your email with an addendum but saves you the trouble of having to move around addresses into the Cc and To fields. You can find it here.

Here is an excellent article that gives you a good tutorial on how to find that elusive email using Smart Folders. Trust me the method described works great as it introduces a greater granularity in the search proess as you can set multible criteria for the search, something that is not possible with the standard integrated spotlight search in Mail.

Talk about spotlight. I came across these two great apps that are mindblowing to say the least.

First off is Spotmeta.

Spotlight and SpotMeta

Spotlight is more than just a simple text search of file names and content. It carefully analyses the information it indexes and stores many separate items of metadata, called keys,such as the author of the document or the subject of an email message. If you use the advanced interface (Command-F in the Finder) instead of the Spotlight icon in the menu bar, you can search on any key independently, as well as searching the text of files. Unfortunately, Spotlight only indexes keys it knows about. For each kind of file, an "importer" must be installed to extract the metadata keys from the file and give them to SpotMeta. For example, the importer for an image will extract the size of the image, while the importer for a Word document will extract the document title and author.

This means the keys Spotlight indexes for each type of file are defined by the software that deals with that file type.You can't add your own.On the other hand, the Tiger file system allows you to attach whatever metadata you like to a file, without disturbing the file's contents. Yet Spotlight ignores all this, and there is no easy-to-use way of modifying the "extended attributes".

SpotMeta adds the missing features. An easy to use extension to the Finder lets you store your own metadata keys in the extended attributes of any file type you want, while a special extension to the importer system merges your custom metadata with that provided by the existing importer for the file type. Great isn't it.

MoRU is another app that complements spotlight. Check it out here.

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