Use The New Inline Find Feature Of Mountain Lion’s Mail App [OS X Tips]


Searching in Mountain Lion Mail App

Mail app, while not my favorite email client, is one that comes with the Mac OS X operating system. That hasn’t changed with Mac OS X Mountain Lion, either, and the Apple team has added quite a few enhancements and extra features to make Mail a nicer email client.

One such feature is In Line Find, helping you find text within the body of emails. Until now, you’d have to use a separate Find dialog that only gets you one result at a time. Hitting Command-G would take you to the next instance of the text you were looking for, and you’d repeat that keyboard combination over and over to find all occurrences of the text in your email. Not any more – it’s a lot better in Mountain Lion.

To use the improved Find feature, you don’t do anything different. Simply press Command-F on your keyboard or select Find from the Edit menu. Type the text you’re searching for in the field that shows up just above the current message body. The message will dim out, and every occurrance of your search text will be highlighted within it.

Now, use the arrow buttons next to the search field, just like in Safari or Chrome, to move from one instance to the next. You can also still use Command-G or Shift-Command-G to move forward or backward through the set of found text.

You still get to use Find & Replace, though, when composing a new email. Use the same Command-F shortcut, or choose Find from the Edit menu, type in your search term, and a little Replace checkbox will appear. Check it to get another field in which you can type your replacement term. You can then check off the option to replace only the current instance or all instances of the term you are finding to replace.

You do lose the ability to search with case sensitivity, however, so hopefully that won’t be a huge deal for you.
UPDATE: A couple of readers pointed out that clicking on the little magnifying glass icon to the left of the search term allows you to filter via case. Nice find!

Are you using OS X Mountain Lion? Got a tip you want to share with us? Drop me a line or leave a comment below.