Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How to fix PostBox email client preferences

I use Postbox 2.1 for my email client on the Mac. It is efficient, has advanced searching, and let's you view photo thumbnails, attachments, and todos from any folder and directly export them to another program. This makes finding that lost attachment somewhere on the server very easy.

I recently encountered a problem, however, where despite having set the account-specific preferences to not quote the original email in a reply, it was doing it anyway. No matter what I did or tweaked, Postbox would automatically included the quoted message. It was pretty annoying, as I had to delete everything manually, and for emails that include a lot of HTML that can be a pain. So if you have issues with your Postbox preferences too, you can do what I did ($ refers to command link prompt in the terminal)

  1. Make sure preferences are set to how you want them to behave (e.g. quote message  on reply box in unchecked) and the close Postbox.
  2. Navigate to the Postbox preference file location:  $ cd /Users/username/Library/Application\ Support/Postbox/Profiles/random_characters.default/
  3. save a backup: $ cp prefs.js prefs.js.backup
  4. open prefs.js (I just did $ open prefs.js to open it in xcode)
  5. if your problem is quoting on reply, find the: user_pref("mail.identity.id4.reply_quoting_style", 2)  and set it to user_pref("mail.identity.id4.reply_quoting_style"0)
  6. save the file and reopen Postbox and it should be fixed

You can scroll through and pretty easily figure out what the different preferences are from there name, just be sure that you have a backup in case you mess something up. Worst case scenario you just rename your prefs.js.backup back to prefs.js and you're good to go

Jabref export to HTML Table is awesome!

So I just discovered that Jabref, the free, open-source, cross-platform citation manager that I use has a very kick-ass feature thanks to Mark Schenk. Mark wrote a very nifty export tool for Jabref that exports selected entries to an interactive HTML table that is searchable and lets you view abstracts and the raw bibtex entry. Here is an example provided by Mark.

Here are the features as listed in the exported HTML source code:
  • optionally searches Abstracts and reviews
  • allows Regular Expression searches
  • e.g. to search for entries between 1980 and 1989, type: 198[0-9]
  • e.g. for any entry ending with 'symmetry', type: symmetry$
  • e.g. for all reftypes that are books: ^book$, or ^article$
  • e.g. for entries by either John or Doe, type john|doe

UPDATE: Browsing around Mark's page, I found that he has added even more features to this HTML table export, including the ability to sort columns by clicking on the header, and filtering list entries by entry type, year, author, etc. Here is an example from Mark.

Jabref comes with the first version of the export tool I described as well as a more simplified table (no abstracts or bibtex) already. To get more enhanced versions, visit Mark Schenk's Jabref tools webpage.