Blog Post

Apple Mail & The Three Pane Magic

Just when I was about to give up on Apple Mail, and its stubborn two pane interface, some kind souls have hacked together a way to bring three pane goodness, which is more like there goes pain goodness, to Apple Mail.

I was almost jealous of those who have Microsoft’s Outlook. (Someone should put together a program like that for us Mac people. Entourage, is good, just not great.)

Anyway the new three pane plugin has made me not think Outlook, especially now that I have mastered the Mail Tags and Mail Act-On plugins.

If you are one of those who get tons of email, it is time to download this plugin. Like Rui “Mac Zen Master” Carmo, I feeling levitation in my mood and productivity. It is a good enough reason to buy a widescreen MacBook.

7 Responses to “Apple Mail & The Three Pane Magic”

  1. as Patrick Hunt notes, it isn’t two-pane vs. three-pane. It’s where you place the third pane. Outlook (and Entourage) give the user a choice of displaying the email content on the right or at the bottom. Mail has only one option for placing the third pane—at the bottom. Putting the mail on the right is more efficient for a widescreen display.

  2. Yeah, same here. I have used Apple Mail for most of OS X’s existence (and boy, the earliest versions were painful!). But it’s had the three-pane view for as long as I can remember. I thought there was an option under View menu or preferences pane to “show message preview,” but instead there’s a show/hide mailboxes feature under View (at least in my version).

    A bigger issue, and one that has caused me untold problems, is Apple Mail’s handling of some IMAP messages. It often displays a message that the contents of a message can’t message, and to take the account online or sync it. Problem is that it is online and sync’d. The issue appears to be limited to messages coming from Exchange server that have no attachments. But it’s a pain to have to rebuild my mailbox every time this happens (several times per day).

  3. Paul Bogle

    I’m confused. I’ve been viewing my mail using three panes (mailboxes/folders on the left, message headers top right, message content bottom right) for as long as I’ve had my PowerBook – three years. I know what you mean, though, as I really liked this layout in Outlook, but I don’t use any plug-ins in Apple Mail to achieve it.