How to Edit Received Email in Place with Mac OS X Mail

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An empty subject here, a broken link there: sometimes, editing a message you have received can be useful. But is it also possible in Mac OS X Mail?

While Mac OS X Mail does not allow you to go ahead and edit emails as you view them, you can, in a bit roundabout a manner, create a copy, edit the copy, and replace the original with your custom copy. It'll be easier than it may read.

Edit Received Email in Place with Mac OS X Mail

To edit a message in a Mac OS X Mail folder:

  • Drag and drop the desired message out of Mac OS X Mail onto the Desktop.
  • Ctrl-click on the message copy on the Desktop.
  • Select Open With | TextEdit from the menu.
  • Make the desired changes to the message source.
    • To change a message's subject, look for "Subject:" at the beginning of a line starting from the top.
  • Close TextEdit saving the document.
  • Ctrl-click on the message on the Desktop again.
  • Select Open With | Mail from the menu this time.
  • Now select Message | Copy To followed by the message's original folder from the menu in Mac OS X Mail.
  • Close the message window.
  • Delete the message copy from your Desktop.
  • Optionally, delete the original message in Mac OS X Mail.
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