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Exasperated with MacBookPro Mail program

Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:28 pm
by jest2dogs
I'm running Sierra on a late model 13" MBP.

When I respond to an email, I often save it as a draft as I may have to research something or look up a photo to use. My iPad is much easier to use for certain functions like adding a photo to a text, but the MBP used to "allow" me to drag a picture from Photos to the Desktop and then drag it into the text of an email, even in draft form.

Now what is suddenly happening is that witha draft present on the screen I cannot access the Dock unless I minimize (green dot) the background "draft" screen. In doing so the working copy of the draft in the foreground disappears! I cannot seem to have two different functions happening on the screen at the same time (in layers). I can have Photos visible and can drag a photo to the desktop. But, when I bring back the general "draft" (listing) page in minimized size to allow visible access to the desktop I cannot open another visible working copy. Yet the list will add it ad infinitum. Only when I expand the view can I get a working copy of the draft in front of me. Now however I cannot access the desktop from which to drag the photo onto the text!

I see there is a new box at the top of the screen with which one can access photos. So I tapped it and it a small box allowing access to Photos appears under the left edge of the working draft.

The minute I click on the box....the working draft disappears and I am back where I started.

A similar misfunction has also occurred regarding accessing fonts while in a draft. I talked to Apple Help about it a couple of weeks ago but could not reproduce it. A rather helpful fellow asked me to call him if it happens again, but I have lost his contact info. That foible is, that if I want to change font, say to access italics (not a component of my usual Lucinda Grande font) I normally would change the font to Helvetica that allows italics. Then I would type the phrases or word in helvita italics, then switch back to Lucinda Grande for the remainder of my text. Now, no can do. In the initial "Reply" it is possible, but once saved to "Draft" it is not available.

I have lost the ability to have several layers on the screen and to be able to access the lower layers by clicking on them to bring them to the front.

Have I turned off a feature somewhere? Or is it a bug, or a new feature of Sierra? What am I missing?

I find at have to use my iPad for including photos in to a text, or on the MBP, I can initiate an email from Photo and include at least one (I have not tried more) photo in a text. But I don't seem to be able to control where that photo appears in the body of the text.

I am just having a heck of a time composing correspondence to folks on the MBP. Am I alone or have I found another Jesse-Only Anomaly? :lol:

Re: Exasperated with MacBookPro Mail program

Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 6:50 pm
by jest2dogs
I was able, finally to add photos to my email draft. The email "Draft" page (with the listing of available drafts) was finally defeated, not by minimizing it, but by "closing" the tab (red dot), leaving the working copy of the draft intact. I find it annoying that using full page format blocks access to the Dock and adds hoops to jump through. It did not seem all that intuitive, but after having dinner and coming back to it with a renewed vigor a solution was affected.

I find it confusing that "minimizing the page" would remove the working copy and yet closing the page left the working copy intact.

My new policy; when faced with a head banger, is to walk away and come back to it with a different perspective.

Maybe I should have a little cheese now to balance out my earlier "wine".

Still have not resolved the loss of certain editing/composition tools in the email draft format. (Can't change font or color, for example.)

Re: Exasperated with MacBookPro Mail program

Posted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:24 am
by Stephen Hart
I'm not sure I've got this all right, but you're using Full Screen view some of the time. The purpose of that view is to hide everything but the top document. The green button on the upper left of documents toggles Full Screen view. If you want the old style green button hold down the option key. That will make the document window as large as it can be without taking over the whole screen.
The Dock is still available; just hover the mouse pointer on the edge where the Dock should be and it will appear. To get the colored buttons and Menus, hover over the top edge of the screen.

I did duplicate the behavior you mention where if you're in Full Screen and choose another app from the Dock the Mail document closes. I don't know if that's a bug or intended behavior.

Note that you don't need to have a document window open in Mail. You can just type in the document panel on the right side of the Mail window.

For starting an email with photos, just select them in Photos and use the Share button and Email. You can do this several times. Each time, one or more photos will appear in a Mail document. You can then drag from one Mail document to another.
I didn't have any problem adding photos from the desktop or from the small media window you get with the little media button in Mail.

If you're stuck with too many app windows open on the desktop, or one is hiding others, the Mission Control icon in the Dock is your friend. Click that and each window will appear in miniature, with nothing covering anything else.

Also, I didn't have any issues with selecting Lucida Grande (which indeed has no oblique or italic), then switching to Helvetica and applying oblique/italic to some of that. I just used the command I shortcut.

Re: Exasperated with MacBookPro Mail program

Posted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:56 pm
by jest2dogs
Thanks for the tips Stephen. I will try to use the old style green button.

Ok, I have used the option key to bring up the old style green (+) button. when I use this I get a larger field. Now when I double-click on the message in "Drafts" to get a working copy, nothing happens except another copy will come up on the list but no working copy will come up on the screen.

If I use the newer mode of green button (with the expansion/contraction arrows) I get the full screen mode and can double-click on the listing to create a working draft in a separate, smaller screen. But when that "working screen" is up I now cannot activate the red/yellow/green buttons on the background page to allow access to the desktop. If the draft file listing page is up but in compressed mode, I cannot double-click a file to activate a working copy. It will only activate if the listing page is in full expansion in the newer version of expansion. In this mode I cannot access the photos because the feature comes up, half-hidden, under the working copy. Perhaps I can minimize the working copy (it drops it to the bottom edge of the page) and select a photo, but I would not be able to drag it anywhere. (I'll try and see.)

Nope, the photo feature disappears the minute I minimize the working copy.

Then the mail Program "Closed Unexpectedly". I chose to "Continue". "Mail" has closed unexpectedly several times lately.

So, I can either compose a new email in Photos and add several photos to the new text (according to your experience(?) or utilize my iPad to respond to an active email and maintain a draft and add (by copying) photos directly from Photos on the iPad.

However, copying photos on the MBP to a draft leaves a link in the text. I have not tested this with Sierra, but that's what it would do with Maverick and El Capitan. So, unless you knew the ".img" nomenclature for each picture, you would not be able to know if the correct photo was being utilized in the text.

And now with full screen mode I cannot drag photos anywhere because the full screen mode obliterates access to other screens and kills the working copy when you exit full screen and, it won't allow a "working copy' to appear in anything but full screen. BTW, I just checked back to the "Draft" file listing page, and there are 22 listings now for my one draft and I can't work on any of them unless I am in "full screen" but it is limited as to what I can do. I think it may be time to call Apple, ay? LOL

I have yet to try the Command key for the font changes.

Hmm, I just deleted 21 of the 22 copies from the listing page and then created a working copy of a draft. I then MAGICALLY clicked on the font and was able to change the font to Helvetica italics and change the color go the type as well.

I think there is a real consistency problem here. I still have not used the "Command" key. How did you utilize that?

What is exasperating is that I spend a lot of time in writing emails, often adding supporting references or pictures to substantiate text. This process should not be this hard. It is fabulously easy on the iPad, but that medium has it's own composition limitations, as well, but not nearly as limiting as I am finding in this mail program. I may have to resort to composition in Pages and then email it but that just adds more layers of complication.

Did the programmers take a holiday on this or could there be a bug here?

Re: Exasperated with MacBookPro Mail program

Posted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 6:54 pm
by jest2dogs

I cannot explain what has happened, however, all of the varied issues that have occurred with my Apple Mail program have, bit by bit, resolved themselves.

Really. The issues I explained in the beginning of this thread regarding font and color changes had been happening for weeks. I made my first notes and inquiries on November 1st, having called Olypen and Apple Support (which is now free, if folks, like me, didn't know, like me, until that day...).

So, after my last entry here, I walked away from the computer for awhile and upon my return I tried a "draft" and attempted a font and color change. IT WORKED! I also, for the heck of it, deleted a bunch of emails from my computer. Unbeknownst, I had simultaneously received a notice from Olypen saying my account was near capacity and I needed to delete stuff. (Reaching capacity usually results in no longer being able to send/receive emails. It has never interrupted the ability of my mail program to edit, etc.. Remember, this font/color issue has been going on for a month.)

Nonetheless, I was wondering what was happening, so I called Apple Support. The tech opened up my case from November 1st and we started checking off the list.

I got embarrassed! As we checked each item the issue no longer was manifesting. I was feeling like an idiot when suddenly, the phone connection was lost. I called them back and got, yet another tech, somewhere in America (Indiana, I think) and I had him summarize the file and thanked them for their time. I joked with him about the other tech probably thought I was a crackpot (who, me?) and "oops" accidentally disconnected the call. And we joked about clandestine nano-bots fixing stuff as we spoke and then compared it to going to a scheduled doctor appointment but by the time of the appointment you are no longer sick. I guess the threat alone of tech support fixed the issues!

I cannot explain the course of the events over the last month or this afternoon, but the Mail program now seems to work better than ever. We looked for updates but they had already been incorporated prior to today.

I think it was the Russians!!

As always, thanks for your time and assistance.

P.S. There must have been a paranormal electrical "event" !! Because, all too coincidentally, two days ago I had to repair a light switch for a neighbor. It was arcing. A lead had come loose from a wirenut and the connection had never been properly taped. Then, last night, my wife reported that our bathroom light switch was no longer working. The switch itself had gone bad and it was a duplex switch with an unused partner. The partner switch had stopped actuating as well (neither would snap into the "on" position). And, this afternoon, I tracked down a metallic vibration in our pellet stove to an imbalanced fan motor. And I have yet to install the newly acquired one this evening.

On a positive closing note: Last week I had a "positive" electrical experience. My motorcycle helmet's Bluetooth headset was not "acquiring" my cell phone but,... it did manage to delight me by connecting to my music library for the first time ever and I was able to dance and sing-a-long as I drove our visiting niece about town in the sidecar. She had a blast and I had on my happy, music face.

Life suddenly has a sound track! All is well.

Re: Exasperated with MacBookPro Mail program

Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:02 am
by Stephen Hart
Oh, well, houses are always having problems. I've worked on mine for more than 30 years, and am just about done. Of course, now stuff is starting to break from old age.

If your house is really old, expect switches and receptacles to need replacement occasionally. If it's not that old, and you have many switches or receptacles going bad, you might want an electrician to check things.

I don't use the Full Screen mode or the fully expanded mode very often for the very reasons you have experienced. It's too easy to lose a window under another one. For example, if you expand the main Mail window, any email window you open can get lost under the main window. So if you need to work with several windows, don't expand any of them.

Re: Exasperated with MacBookPro Mail program

Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:58 am
by jest2dogs
That's true about Full Screen. But yesterday, when I minimized the Mail screen it was small, very small (nothing behind it) and it would not produce a working copy of the draft, only another entry onto the list. The partial screen has since scaled itself back up without me resetting the size of the box manually. Also, when the Mail program was in "Full Screen" and I managed to access the Dock and click on "Photos", the entire Mail program would disappear from the screen (the listing page and the working draft). Nothing was "hiding" behind the Photos screen. When I closed Photos I was left looking at the Desktop and had to reopen Mail and reopen yet another copy of the working draft. Thus the use of the word , exasperating. If screens were hiding behind, or layering, it would have been a step up.

Well, I still like to think it was a Russian hack. It adds to the mystery and intrigue. LOL

I think the next time I have an issue with this computer I will not pull my hair out. Will simply put it under a "Cone of Silence" and come back to it in a day or two. I'm sure everything will have worked itself out by then. I spent hours yesterday, calling on your appreciated expertise, calling Apple Support (twice, but sharing a good laugh about it) and, finally, conferring (and more laughing) with Tristan, a tech at Olypen about email accounts.

And I never got the pellet stove back together. (Note to

BTW, both the neighbor's light switch and my bathroom light switches were about ten years old. Hah! The bad exhaust fan in the pellet stove was ten years old, too. I guess that's planned obsolescence for ya'! (Hmmm, what else around here is ten years old? WIfe's car, the Royal Enfield, the Moto Guzzi....Could get expensive!)

Re: Exasperated with MacBookPro Mail program

Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 12:10 pm
by jest2dogs
BTW, testing Mail today I see up a "working draft" in the draft folder. I had Mail on Fullscreen and a working copy layered on top of the draft list page.

I opened Photos and the Mail program slid, offscreen, to the right.

I closed Photos and tried swiping left to see if the Mail program might return. It did not. But in the Dock a "period dot" was next to Mail icon so I knew it was still active and I clicked on it.

Fullscreen popped back up and lo and behold, so did the open "working draft", right where it should be. That did not happen yesterday, at all. Yesterday I would have had to double-click on the entry from the list to open, yet again, another working copy.

Nano-bots. Russian Nano-bots.

Re: Exasperated with MacBookPro Mail program

Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:50 am
by Stephen Hart
Any chance you issues have something to do with Classic Layout?

Re: Exasperated with MacBookPro Mail program

Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:30 pm
by jest2dogs
Stephen, I checked my parameters for the Mail program. the box for "Classic layout" is not checked, although the two below are checked ("To/Cc" and "contact photos"). For a peek, I checked the "Classic" box to see what that looked like and decided I prefer the look I already have.

Are you suggesting that using the "Classic layout" may cause issues? or alleviate them?