Here's something people often ask me about: how to set a Priority in an outgoing Mail message, so people can know you feel it's important - or not.
It's bothered me that Apple didn't provide priority-setting in Mail. Microsoft did in Outlook Express and Entourage. It's in Eudora. And in Windows, it's part of Outlook and Outlook Express. So I typically looked for it after each OS update. Well, I must have forgotten to check recently. Today I looked - and it is there! (Was also in 10.4.8.)
Priority selection is not visible by default. Like the other email Header options, you'll need to set the option - and is not located in Preferences. So, here's how:
1. Start a new message.
2. Click on the pop-up menu to the left of Account, as shown below. (That pop-up is called the Customize Header pop-up menu.) This reveals check boxes for each address option.
You'd think this option would be in Preferences, wouldn't you? You'd be wrong.
3. Click the checkbox beside the !, which is the symbol for priority.
Apple did a fine job of obfuscating this option, eh?
4. Click OK.
OK means, well, okay.
5. Quit Mail, then relaunch. Quitting lets Mail save your setting as the basis for all new messages in the future.
Note: If you change your mind and don't want Priority showing, repeat the process, simply unchecking the feature.
Once on, in each New Message window the priority is set to Normal. (You see one exclamation mark.) You can then click it and choose High Priority or even Low Priority.
So, once you send an assigned-priority message, will your recipient see that priority? Well... maybe.
In Mail, priority icons appear in the Flags column in your Mail Viewer window. However, the Flags column does not appear by default. Users need to know to go to View > Columns and choose Flags.
I believe it is common in email apps for users to have to turn on the option to view the priorities. On Mac apps, look under the View menu for something like Columns as a choice. (In Entourage it's View > Columns, then Priority.)
I understand that Apple wants to keep its applications simple to use, but I don't agree that this should be done by denying features we've come to expect. Having been a Emailer/OE/Entourage user, my list of "needs" for Mail is quite long. I'm always happy to be able to check one off and be able to tell fellow Mac users, "we have that!" So, if you haven't yet discovered that Mail has priority settings, enjoy. (If you already know, well, maybe one day I'll discover something else that wows you.)