From a web search for /Apple Mail Out Of Office/, here's a concise example with images: http://www.ecu.edu/cs-itcs/mac/Apple-Mail-Out-of-Office-Replies.cfm (though one detail that example does not mention: do not allow that rule to apply to the contents of the current mailbox!) and how to disable that rule: https://www.ecu.edu/cs-itcs/mac/Apple-Mail-Disable-Out-of-Office-Replies.cfm
Issues with these messages:
- any mailing lists you subscribe to will get the bounces.
- Folks sending will get a bounce for each message they send to you.
- You have to leave the OS X client box running.
- There are probably a few other limitations, too.
If you're operating within a business environment, then I'd suggest setting up a customer contact system, customer relationship manager or (simple, primitive, but effective) a mailing list; set your chosen mechanism to forward the message along to the folks that should handle the message while you're out of the office. The contact and relationship-management systems also tend to include tracking, tickets and status-related mechanisms.
And if you're in a business environment (or with some ISPs), then various mail servers can have a built-in mechanism to establish this. (The mail server within Mac OS X Server offers this feature, for instance.) Establishing this Out Of Office rule on the server also means you don't need to leave your Apple Mail (and your OS X client, for that matter) running for the entire time you're out. Details on the set-up here vary by the particular mail server.
Does anybody else feel that in this day and age this is a bit poor for modern day software where this is a fundamental and very well used feature and the only solution is to leave the system running or create a auto response fromm the host??!!
If we have to use the hosts web mail producuts or use outlook then what are the benefits of using Mail?