Use Search in Apple Mail

Mail uses tokens. From, To, Date, Contains etc are called tokens. More Info under Smart Search

I find that trying to enter multiple tokens in the “Find” box is difficult to see and manage since the search box fails to expand. For complex searches, follow these steps. This will bring up a search that is easier to use. For Entourage & Outlook users this should look more familiar.

1) Enter the person’s name. Select From, To or Entire Message. (you can enter any criteria to get started)  Alternatively, select New Smart Mailbox under Mailbox in the Menu bar.

2) Click on Save. I find this window to be easier to customize.

Continue clicking on the + to add criteria.

This last part is where Mail is not as elegant as Entourage or Outlook. You don’t see results without saving. This results in a smart folder added to the folder list.

If you decide to keep the smart folder,  you might want to create a template so the name is generic rather than a person’s name.

I used from criteria so it would not come up with any results for the template and the name would be search for my sidebar smart folder name.

Entering the from name field does not bring up results like the top search box so you would need the correct spelling for name.


To create a new search select to Edit Search by Control-Click (Right-click) on the Smart folder or select Mailbox in the Menu bar > Edit Smart Mailbox…