C-Command Software Forum

Fixing emails before importing them in EF (or in EF)


I have a bunch of old emails I want to import from gmail into EF, and as they have been converted from one system to another several times, their headers are sometimes strange. For instance their date is incorrect (maybe it’s a “sent date” vs “received date”), or they don’t show a sender.

Is it possible to correct this in EF after importing the mails? And if not, do you have an application to recommend to make sure everything is fine?



No, EagleFiler does not allow editing the contents of e-mail messages.

I’m not aware of any mail programs that allow editing this sort of information. One option would be to edit the files directly, using an application such as TextWranger, before importing them into EagleFiler.

Would the following workflow be possible?

  • export a given email from EF and mark it as deleted in EF
  • edit it outside EF
  • import it back inside EF and merge it with the original mailbox

I could then tag the emails I see as problematic as I encounter them, and fix them at some point.



Yes, that will work, and I know of some other people who’ve done that.

Great news.

Just a quick follow-up: will tags and notes attached to the email make the roundtrip? If not, what is the preferred method to make sure they don’t get lost. (I’m planning on a big archive using tags to differentiate between messages, similar to gmail labels, but I want to make sure all my tagging work is portable.)

By the way, all the information in EF is preserved outside EF (tags as openmeta or spotlight comments, notes as RTF files with reference to the document they’re linked with). Is this also the case with emails?

No, because the standard mbox format doesn’t support that kind of metadata.

There isn’t a great way of doing this at present. One option would be to copy the mailbox’s folder using the Finder. This would get you both the mailbox file and the XML metadata backup. If you then delete the original mailbox in EagleFiler, you can re-import the edited copy, and it will load the metadata from the backup. (Just make sure that you don’t change the number or order of the messages so that the metadata file stays in sync with the mailbox.)

The notes are preserved as RTF files with links back to the e-mails in EagleFiler. Since multiple messages are stored in a single mailbox file, there’s no way to copy their tags to OpenMeta or Spotlight comments.

You can drag messages out of a mailbox, into a folder, and EagleFiler will create one .eml file per message. These files can be directly edited (using a text editor) while they’re in EagleFiler, and EagleFiler will copy their tags to OpenMeta and Spotlight. The downside is that individual message files are slower, but a future version of EagleFiler will let you combine them back into mailbox files when you’re done editing/re-arranging them.

Thanks for the details.

Knowing that in a future version I’ll be able to merge the messages back is enough for me.

EagleFiler 1.5 adds this feature to the Merge Mailboxes/Message Files command.