Trash tricks

Today’s hint is a short one, and will hardly revolutionize the way you use your Mac. Still, I felt like sharing it because I think it demonstrates some interesting interaction between the OS X system and the Mail program.

You probably know of a few ways to delete a message in Apple’s Mail application. I can think of at least four—with the message selected, you can hit the Delete key, hit Command-Delete, click the Delete button on the toolbar, or drag the message to the Trash folder in Mail’s sidebar. Since I prefer the keyboard solution for most things, I usually use the Delete key.

But if you prefer the mouse, and/or you just happen to have your hand on the mouse when you choose to delete the message, here’s one additional method of deleting a Mail message: drag it to the Dock’s trash can. That’s right, the trash can icon in the Dock will happily delete any Mail message it receives. If your trash is empty when you do this, you won’t then see the full trash icon—messages deleted in this manner do not get moved into the “real” trash. Instead, you’ll find them in Mail’s Trash folder, along with messages you’ve deleted through more-traditional methods.

This trick may also work in other applications—in Transmit, for instance, you can also drag a file to the Dock’s trash can. If you drag a file from the “local Mac” side of Transmit’s window, it winds up in the actual trash can. If you drag a file from the connected server’s side, though, it’s deleted immediately (and you’re warned in advance of this behavior).

Not much of a hint, I know, but I find it interesting that the trash can in the Dock can correctly handle deleting items from various applications…

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