Labels in Mail have been something I’ve been missing ever since changing over to Apple’s Mail.app. However, I’ve found out how to create a script that allows me to set the color of (or label) a message.

Apple Mail Labels

I’ve tested my scripts in Mac 10.3 Panther and 10.4 and it works great. I prefer how Apple has scripts set up in 10.3 a little better, however it works.

To install the scripts, first download my labels scripts then use (or the find feature in 10.3) to find the Mail Scripts folder. Add the Labels folder that you downloaded into that folder and they’ll be installed. You can also just add them in the main Scripts folder like I did in the screen shot. For me, it provides quicker access in 10.4.

You also have to turn on the scripting menu item. Here is how Apple tells us to do it.

The Script menu gives you easy access to a number of sample scripts provided by Apple to demonstrate the capabilities of several Mac OS X applications, including Mail. The Script menu looks like a small scroll, near the right side of the menu bar. To include the Script menu in your menu bar if it’s not already there, open AppleScript Utility and select the “Show Script Menu in menu bar” checkbox.

Once you have done those two things, open the Mail application and you should see a Labels option in the Scripts menu. If you put them in the Mail Scripts folder in 10.4, then you’ll need to make sure to look in there.

The scripts that I provide here are named by color; Red, Green, Blue, etc. If you’d rather have labels that say Urgent, To Do, Later and things like that, just find the script files that you copied to the scripts folder and rename them. Whatever the file name is is what will appear in the Labels folder of the Scripts menu.

To uninstall, make sure to first set your messages back to white, then go back to the scripts folder and remove the scripts.

If you label a message in a thread, then try to un-label it, the thread will stay in color until you close the mailbox window and re-open it. Not a big deal, however kind of annoying.

In the screen shot, I re-named my folder from Labels to Mail Labels and put it in the main Scripts folder of 10.4. I had it in the Mail Scripts folder, however it was to many folders to go though to label a message.

Feel free to ask any questions and let me know what you think of the Label scripts or Apple’s Mail application.

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