Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Mail and Preview Working Together

Wade Tregaskis:

…after I’d filled out a form PDF that was emailed to me. It had exactly the option I wanted first and foremost, to send the completed PDF back to the sender.

Sure, manually digging up the completed PDF from disk and dragging it into a Mail Compose [Reply] window isn’t hard, but it just feels so thoughtful when the system saves me the effort. Knowing that someone, somewhere, actually thought through how Mail & Preview might be used, and thought enough of their users to go to the trouble of implementing this.

This does not happen when editing an image file. Is it only for PDF forms?

Unlike with kMDItemWhereFroms, there does not seem to be a public API, e.g. so that a third-party mail client could make the same information available to Preview or a third-party document editor could access the information from Mail.

The metadata seems to be stored in the extended attribute, which seems to be encrypted. I guess this is to prevent accidentally sharing it with other Macs because on the same Mac it’s accessible using mdls. Finder also displays an envelope badge on files with this attribute and displays some of the e-mail information.

Update (2024-04-08): Simon:

So far so good I guess. But did you know that when you select such a file in column view it now displays that email icon and a link (to Mail, and in my case non-functional) INSTEAD of the file size in the location where the file size used to be? So in order to see the size of a file that came as an email attachment I’m now having to open a Get Info window.

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