I am experiencing the same issue. It seems like a simple thing to fix but I somehow don't expect this to happen with Mountain Lion so close around the corner - I'm sure this will be fixed in the Mail overhaul.
In the meantime I will just create multiple Smartboxes instead of aggregating them into one.
I would love to know if anyone has a workaround for this?
Edit: I give up on this till Mountain Lion. I created a smart mailbox wherethe rule is "Contains messages that match any of the following conditions: From > Contains > email@example.com."
The mailbox instantly pulls in about 20 email messages. That is all good and fine but I know that there are at least 100+ emails from this address. It doesn't pick them up at all.
It's strange because I never used PC until a year ago when I started work. I found out about, and now use a lot, the rule feature within Outlook. Smart Mailbox seems vastly inferrier in this case.
Ahh well, still waiting for Retina Macbook and I'm sure I will have my emails sorted perfectly with the release of Lion! Here's hoping..
I'm now using 10.7 on my new retina! What a beautiful screen. I need to upgrade my camera now because my photos don't do the screen justice!
I worked out what the problem was here. Smartmail box is creating duplicates of what is shown in the inbox. I want the emails removed from the inbox so I used a Rule (Preferences > Rules) to move incoming messages to a real (non-smart) mailbox.
I've just upgraded to Lion, but haven't yet tried to readdress the mailbox issue.
What I want is a COPY all of the relevant messages to/from a particular person or from anyone else on a particular topic to be stored locally on my mac, but do not want to REMOVE them from my mail servers until I'm sure I won't be needing to access them from a remote site where I can get to my mail account/mail server but not to my mac.
And I don't want duplicates in the locally stored file, because these are large files with lots of scanned documents, and that's going to be really confusing plus wasteful of space.
Still not sure how to do this.
I'm unclear on what you're looking to do. You say you want to copy messages to a local folder, but that you don't actually want duplicates. Are you saying that you want to have the same e-mail referenced from two different places, and that when you eventually delete it from the server you want it automatically copied to the local folder, but not actually stored in that local folder until it's deleted? If so, that's not possible.
Smart mailboxes are only saved searches, essentially. Messages are not stored in smart mailboxes, and smart mailboxes do not move messages anywhere else. Rules can move or copy messages, but they can only be applied automatically to incoming, unread messages. You can apply a rule to selected messages manually, but there's no way to automatically run a rule when deleting a message.
Perhaps if you could give more details on what you want to accomplish we could provide some alternate solutions.
What I wanted was to use a rule to move copies of messages to a single folder for archiving, so that the original messages remain on the server and accessible from other locations when I was away from my primary computer and its backups.
I do not want duplicates of the messages to end up in that folder--e.g., if I create 5 independent rules and say, separately:
(1) if name A appears anywhere in the message, copy it to the folder
(2) if subject x appears anywhere in the message, copy it to the folder
then I get two copies of each message that matches rule 1 and rule 2 ending up in the final folder.
If I can say, in one smart rule:
(1) if name A appears in the message OR subject A appears in the message, copy it to the folder
now I only get 1 copy of each message that matches one or both conditions ending up in the final folder, so that my 'archive' does not contain duplicates.
And thank you for the explanation about smart mailboxes. I want a folder for archiving these messages, and really probably do not want a smart mailbox at all, if deleting from the IMAP account/server will delete also from the smart mailbox.
Okay, I think I understand better now. So I just ran a test, by creating the following rule:
I specifically chose an address (obviously not the one shown) that I had a message from in my Inbox, and a word that was present in the subject line of several messages in my Inbox. When I ran this rule on my Inbox, it copied exactly the messages I would have expected into the test mailbox. Are you seeing different behavior with the same rule, or is your rule constructed differently?
If the difficulty is with running the rule, note that (as I said earlier) rules only run automatically on unread incoming messages. It won't run automatically on existing messages or on messages on an IMAP mail server that you have read on another device using (in which case they will have been marked as read). If you need to run this in such conditions, you'll have to either run the rule manually or run it via an AppleScript or something similar that is somehow (via something other than Mail) made to execute at certain times/intervals or under certain conditions.
And you're correct, a smart mailbox would be totally inappropriate for what you're trying to do! It would behave exactly as you guessed.
The problem I had when I was doing this before on Snow Leopard was that the smart rules--whether I created a smart rule or a smart mailbox--did not function properly when the OR command was used. It was not a proper boolean OR--if you go back to my first post in the topic, you'll see that
"apply to things that match condition A OR condition B"
led to fewer items in the final directory (whether it was a smart mailbox or rules applied to send things to a dumb mail folder) than if I used just
"apply to things that match condition A"
so the OR command was seriously broken in that version of Mail.
I haven't yet had time to fully explore the OR behavior in the current Lion mail--just upgraded 3 days ago, and have had another computer crisis to deal with....but what I don't see in Lion with the first attempt at this was the "do you want apply this rule to messages already in your mailboxes?" which really was a nice friendly option, to get the current AND future messages in the right place.
Thomas A Reed wrote:
My test was in Lion... I did see the "do you want to apply this rule" message when I created this test rule, so that's definitely still there in Lion.
Excellent. I'll try this one in Lion again as a single rule with ANY statements and see if the dumb mailbox folder ends up with one or two copies per message.....
And that worked: the 'Any' command works in rules and smart mailboxes again in Lion, so bizarre that it didn't work in Snow Leopard--a simple boolean, you'd think that would be something a bloody computer would get right! And it did ask if I wanted to apply it to my mailboxes, and after I adjusted it a teeny bit, everything looks right now.