Mail got itself a full makeover when Apple built OS X Lion, and it has plenty of new features that many of you will really appreciate. As well as being given that all-important full-screen mode along with other apps on your Mac, it also benefited from a brand new layout and Exchange 2010 support. Much like many of Lion’s apps, Mail is now a lot closer to iOS in terms of look and feel, so hopefully it’ll seem familiar to iPod, iPad, and iPhone owners. If this isn’t to your tastes, however, and you find yourself pining for the good old days, you still have the option of reverting back to how Mail looked in Snow Leopard. If you’re anything like us, you’ll want to jump right in and customise your Mail experience as soon as you get your hands on it, however. It’s relatively easy to do, so just follow our nine-part, step-by-step guide and you’ll have your custom set-up working in no time.
Step 1: Welcome to Mail
Mail’s OS X Lion interface looks a lot cleaner and features the poplar conversation sidebar. Note the full-screen button top-right of the window.
Step 2: View your inboxes
Clicking on the Show button in the top-left of Mail’s window will bring another sidebar on the left. This one contains your folders, trash can and mailboxes.
Step 3: Hide or show
Clicking hide will remove the Mailboxes sidebar. It’s worth keeping it in view though, especially if you have more than one mailbox set up.
Step 4: Getting classical
If you liked Snow Leopard’s horizontal setup, that’s still available – enter your preferences (use the shortcut Cmd + ,) and click on the Viewing tab.
Step 5: Check it out
Click the ‘Use classic layout’ checkbox to revert Mail’s look to the classic horizontal layout. Unchecking it will return Mail to Lion’s vertical layout default.
Step 6: The toolbar
Click View in the menubar and then ‘Customize Toolbar…’ This will allow you to control Mail’s toolbar by adding more icons or removing some.
Step 7: Drag it in
To add an icon simply drag it from the icons window into the toolbar. To remove an icon, simply drag it out of the toolbar like you would in the dock.
Step 8: Flag it up
To help you differentiate between emails, OS X Lion introduces a new coloured flagging feature. Click on the flag icon then a colour to add it to an email.
Step 9: Clearing out
If you find yourself confused by too many multi- coloured flags, click on a flagged message, click on the flags icon, then hit ‘Clear Flag’ to remove them.
Click on the image below to zoom in and view the annotations.
This tutorial is the first in our Learn Lion Week series, for more articles just like this visit the Learn Lion Week tag. At the end of the week, we’ll be giving away a prize to one lucky person who gets in touch with a question or problem related to OS X Lion. To get involved, simply tweet your question, plus the hashtag #LearnLionWeek, to @iCreateMagazine or post on our Facebook wall.