Using Claris Emailer 2

This was written when we moved from Eudora Lite 1.5.x to Claris Emailer 2.0.x at work. If you use Emailer, I hope you will find this helpful - whether you're switching from Eudora or not.


Emailer is a sophisticated program with many features not available on Eudora Lite 1.5.x, such as spell checking, filtering (putting incoming messages in specific folders), the ability to handle multiple signatures and multiple email accounts, and the option of automatically deleting read and sent messages after a user-determined time period.

Your Password

As configured, Emailer will ask for your password the first time it checks for mail after startup. If you prefer to have Emailer skip this step, choose Accounts under the Setup menu. Select the Baker account and fill in the space for Email password. (Although this simplifies things, it also means anyone using your computer will be able to read your email.)

It's also a good idea to make sure you've correctly typed your name and email address in Account Setup.

Email Schedule

Emailer is normally set up on a repeating schedule to query the mail server every five minutes for new messages. (That's on a company network - you may choose different settings, especially if you connect to the Internet via modem.) At the same time, it will send any message in the outbound queue. (You can immediately send messages by clicking Send Now.) You can change this setting to 2 minutes, 10 minutes, or some other figure by choosing Schedules under the Setup menu.

Your Signature

Under Setup, select Signatures. Click on the New button to create a signature. I suggest you include your name, email address, title, affiliation, and the URL of your web site. If you choose to, you can create several signatures. To make one a default signature, go to Accounts under the Setup menu, select Baker, and choose Options. The first item is your default signature. You can select any signature you have created - or even allow Emailer to randomly select one.

The Browser

Claris calls the main window listing your messages the browser. The normal browser setting lists all your folders on the left and your messages in the active folder on the right. Default folders include In Box, Out Box, Sent Mail, Deleted Mail, Read Mail, and Logs. Any folders you create will be listed below these.

In Box stores incoming mail. Out Box holds outbound messages until the next scheduled connection to the server. Sent Mail holds a copy of each email you've sent. Deleted Mail holds messages you've deleted -- just in case you need to pull them up again. Read Mail holds messages you've already read (optional, you can also leave them in the In Box). And Logs provides system messages.

The Logs folder is a big improvement over Eudora Lite, which would simply suggest you go off line if it couldn't connect to the server. Emailer instead keeps a log of failed attempts - but keeps trying to connect on your specified schedule.

Mail Management 1

Under Setup, select Preferences.... This gives you many options.

First, under Defaults, select "When opening Claris Emailer:" check connect using Baker. I suggest you also choose confirm when sending a message with not subject, with no text, or when modifying an incoming message (this can happen when you try to reply by editing the incoming message instead of choosing reply).

Incoming messages lets you specify whether logs go to the Logs folder or elsewhere, and how read messages are handled (left in same folder or filed in Read Mail). You can also specify that Emailer leave messages you've replied to in their current folder, in Read Mail, or in a different folder.

Outgoing messages lets you specify whether Emailer prompts you for a response when you click Send Now. It also lets you specify whether it just sends that message or handles all queued mail at the same time. This is also where you determine whether sent messages end up in the Sent Mail folder or elsewhere.

Replies provides several options. The first will quote the entire received message in your reply (not usually a good idea). The second will attribute the message to the original sender, which is common on email lists. The third automatically places the cursor after the quoted material, which is the norm for email (though some prefer placing their comments before the quoted matter). The next option is whether to reply only to the sender or to all listed recipients - this only applies to messages sent to more than one individual.

You can specify the default reply goes only to the sender or too all recipients. If you have multiple email accounts, you can also specify that all replies are processed by your default account or by the account that received the message. (This can be helpful in those instances where two people share a computer.)

Font and color lets you set the display font, text size, and color of quoted text. I suggest you use a monospaced font such as Courier or Monaco, primarily because some people create text-based graphics in their signatures or put tables in their messages that assume all characters have the same width. Size is whatever is comfortable for you.

Quoted text color is a neat feature and a big improvement over Eudora Lite. The norm when quoting from another message it to place ">" symbols at the front of each quoted line. Emailer does this automatically, but it also colors the text, making it more obvious that this is quoted material. The default colors are good, but if you have a black and white monitor, you might choose different shades.

New mail notification has several options. The first is to blink an icon in the menu bar any time you have unread mail. The second is to play a sound. The third option is to run an AppleScript, such as one that will read new messages aloud (please don't pick that one).

Files and folders is where you tell Emailer what to do with read, sent, and deleted mail. I suggest you hold on to all messages for a few days, just in case you need to refer back to them. Emailer will follow the specified action when you quit, permanently deleting files from the Deleted Mail, Sent Mail, and Read Mail folders according to your settings. (This is a huge improvement over Eudora Lite, which just lets them accumulate or deletes them all.)

Mail actions is a powerful feature of Emailer. You can create mail actions which route all incoming messages from a certain address or domain into a specific folder. Not only that, but you can create filters to move all probable junk email into a special folder for later review. (You could set Emailer to automatically delete such messages, but even the best spam filter can end up accidentally misfiling legitimate email in the junk mail folder.)

Your mail actions are specified with Mail Actions under the Setup menu. They can be quite complex. I won't go into any depth, but they are pretty easy to figure out.

Priorities is nothing you need worry about, although you can use it to color code your mail. Mail actions include the option to set priorities for incoming messages.

You can ignore TCP Control if you're on a network.

If you want to force Emailer to check for mail, use command-K (equivalent to command-M on Eudora).

One new feature of Emailer 2.0v3 is a Redirect option, which will forward an email to someone else just as though it had originally been intended for them, although it will note that you redirected it. This is very useful when you get a message that should have gone elsewhere and you want to make sure the new recipient replies to the original sender, not you.

The Address Book

One of the most powerful features of Claris Emailer is the address book (command-4). You can add both individual users and create your own groups. With the recent update to 2.0v3, Claris added hot links between users and groups, so updating an address once can automatically update it anywhere else it appears.

To add an email address, open the address book and click on New Contact. A box opens with several fields. The first is for the contact's first name, the second for the last name, and the third for a description. I find this field particularly useful &emdash; by typing in initials or a nickname, I can easily add this address to an outgoing message.

After filling in the name and description, be sure to type in the email address and the destination (usually Internet, but sometimes AOL or another online service).

To create a group, select New Group in the address book. Name the group, possibly give it a description, and then add names. Adding names already in your address book is as easy as dragging it from the address book into the group.

Unlike Eudora, you don't have to open the address book to use it. In a new email message (command-N), simply type the recipient's first name, last name, or description into the recipient field. Emailer will either complete the name or give you a list of users and groups that match what you've typed. (This is my favorite Emailer feature.)

Mail Actions

Perhaps the most powerful feature of Emailer is the vast array of mail actions possible. Mail actions are performed on incoming email before you read it. For instance, on my Mac, one mail action places all messages from our company domain into a special folder. Another moves probable junk email to a folder called "spam."

Another neat one is creating a mail action which will check each incoming message and, if it's from our domain, add it to the address book if it doesn't already exist.

Check Your Spelling

Perhaps the most desired feature Emailer offers over Eudora Lie 1.5.x is a spell checker. As with other Claris products (ClarisWorks, FileMaker Pro, etc.), type command-= to spell check your message before you send it.

I hope this is enough to get you started with what I consider the finest email program on the market.

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