Navigating the Mail Toolbar in Mac OS X Lion - dummies

Navigating the Mail Toolbar in Mac OS X Lion

By Bob LeVitus

Mail is a program in Mac OS X Lion for sending, receiving, and organizing your e-mail. Before you can master the application, you’ll have to take a look at the nine handy buttons and a search field in the viewer window’s toolbar by default:

  • Get Mail: Checks for new e-mail.

  • Delete: Deletes selected message or messages.

    To select more than one message in the list, hold down the Command key when you click the second and subsequent messages.

  • Junk: Marks the selected message or messages as junk mail. Mail has built-in junk-mail filtering that can be enabled or disabled in Mail Preferences. (Choose Mail→Preferences and then click the Junk Mail icon on the toolbar.) If you receive a piece of spam (junk mail), select it and click this button to help train Mail’s junk-mail filter.

    If a selected message has been marked as junk mail, the button changes to read Not Junk.

    For more info on junk-mail filtering, click the question-mark button in the Junk Mail pane of the Mail Preferences window.

  • Reply: Creates a reply to the sender only.

  • Reply All: Creates a reply to the sender and everyone who was sent the original message.

  • Forward: Creates a copy of this message you can send to someone other than the sender or other recipients.

  • New Message: Creates a new, blank e-mail message.

  • Note: Creates a new, blank note. You can write yourself a note (or copy and paste information into a note) and save it for future reference. By default, it’s placed in the Notes mailbox when you save it, but you can drag it into any mailbox you like.

  • Flag: This drop-down menu lets you mark or unmark one or more messages with one of seven colored flags.

Finally, on the toolbar is a Search field that finds a word or phrase in any item stored in Mail. When you begin typing, a drop-down menu appears, so you can narrow the search to people or subjects matching your search phrase. You can also click the buttons in the Favorites bar to limit your search to specific mailboxes or to search only specific parts of messages.


Searching in Mail should be familiar to you; it works the same way as searching in the Finder. So, for example, if you want to save a search as a Smart Mailbox (Mail’s version of a Smart Folder in the Finder), you click the Save button.