Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

in mac mail is there a way to edit the subject line of an email thats in the inbox, this is just for internal filing reasons, say you get sent an email with the subject line 'attn:sam' that dosnt really help me if i want to go back and find it so could i rename that subject line some how ?

share|improve this question
add comment

3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

While technically it's possible, it's not trivial. You would have to write an applescript to search/replace the contents of your subject field and then use apple mail filters and run applescript based on your rule.

This is commonly done in the unix world via procmail, for example when spamassassin detects spam, procmail appends SPAM to the email subject message.

it might be better to set up rules based on subject to filter your mail into separate boxes for organization.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Actually there isn't a way for renaming the "Subject" field. It wouldn't be the right way in my opinion.

I think you should leverage on "Mailbox" and/ord "Smart Mailbox" for organizing your mails. They help you when you have to find a mail for a specific "topic".

share|improve this answer
add comment

There is a (somewhat convoluted) way to do it:

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

  • 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, and optionally, delete the original message in Mac OS X Mail

Hope this helps.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.