#208 ✓fixcommitted
Vincent Noel

Drag-n-drop multiple attachments out of received message

Reported by Vincent Noel | January 4th, 2012 @ 09:44 PM

Is there a way to drag-n-drop several attachments at a time out of a received message ? It is possible in Apple Mail, by first selecting all the attachments with the mouse and dragging the selection. The user experience is not perfect, but it works. It is useful to rapidly move several documents out of a message and in a Finder folder.

In MailMate it seems I must either drag attachments one at a time or "save all..." going through a folder selection dialog (which is slower when the right Finder window is already opened).

Comments and changes to this ticket

  • benny

    benny January 5th, 2012 @ 08:59 AM

    • Assigned user set to “benny”

    It would be hard to do it differently than Apple Mail using drag'n'drop and it would look even worse in MailMate, because attachments are not just icons. The Webview used to display messages does not support discontinuous selections which would be required to do it nicely.

    A dedicated view class for attachments would probably be required to do it nicely, but that is a blue sky feature.

    Note that the proxy icon in the Finder window title could be dragged to the Save panel dialogue in MailMate to do it a bit faster.

    Two other things I've considered:

    • Adding a checkmark-list to the Save-dialog to allow the user to select which messages to save.
    • Skipping the Save panel dialogue when holding down ⌥ and then simply save to the most recently used destination.

    The latter could allow you to quickly save to the Desktop and then drag from there. And it seems I still need to assign a keyboard shortcut to “Save Attachments”. Apparently I very rarely use it :-)

    Any thoughts?

    Hmm, I just had a thought myself. I may be able to implement a “Show Attachments in Finder” which would open a Finder window with all attachments of the message in a Finder window. I would then need to slightly change how MailMate saves attachments when, e.g., using Quick Look to view them. They are currently located in:

    ~/Library/Application Support/MailMate/Attachments/

    Which should then be changed to:

    ~/Library/Application Support/MailMate/Attachments/<msg-id>/

    (These folders should be thought of as caches. It is perfectly fine to remove/delete messages within them since MailMate simply saves them again if they are needed.)

    That would provide the flexibility of a Finder window for dragging. Still an extra step, but given a shortcut to open it, it may be quicker than an Apple Mail selection style hack.

    Now, any thoughts?

  • Vincent Noel

    Vincent Noel January 5th, 2012 @ 10:53 AM

    I agree with you that the way Apple Mail does it is pretty bad: it's hard to select several attachments with the mouse (you're never really sure where to start dragging), and it's not really correct conceptually (it is easy to select text from the email unintentionally in the same movement, and both actions should be clearly separate).

    Ideas of what could be done instead:

    • include a keyboard shortcut or a button in the email that would "Select all attachments"
    • include in the email message a proxy icon for "All attachments" (when there are more than one).

    Both would allow you to drag easily all attachments out of a message.

    Your idea to include a "Show Attachments in Finder" is easier to implement and very universal, so it seems better to me.

  • benny

    benny January 5th, 2012 @ 04:23 PM

    • State changed from “new” to “accepted”

    I'll keep your suggestions in mind. The proxy icon could be a good workaround as well.

    I'll change the ticket state to “accepted”. It'll track any progress on the subject of making it easy to save a selection of attachments using drag'n'drop.

  • Marco Smith

    Marco Smith October 24th, 2016 @ 06:09 PM

    Any progress on this? I'd love to have this feature. Many of us have been using Apple Mail for ages :P

  • benny

    benny October 25th, 2016 @ 12:21 PM

    @Marco: Not yet I'm afraid :(

  • Jonathan Wheeler

    Jonathan Wheeler November 3rd, 2018 @ 12:13 AM

    Bumping this in 2018. Still a feature that would be helpful.

  • benny

    benny November 20th, 2018 @ 12:06 PM

    @Jonathan: No progress on this one, but I am getting closer to the point where I start to completely re-implement how attachments are handled (for numerous reasons at this point). This re-implementation will of course also handle dragging multiple attachments.

  • benny

    benny September 22nd, 2022 @ 11:41 AM

    • State changed from “accepted” to “fixcommitted”

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