7. Searching

1. The Postbox Interface
2. Working with Messages
3. Topics & the Focus Pane
4. Composing & Sending
5. Responses & Placeholders
6. Signatures
7. Searching


Postbox can find e-mails no matter where you’ve stashed them. Searching for email in Postbox is effortless, with powerful tools that allow you to construct advanced searches using multiple criteria to really narrow down what you’re trying to find.

Before you can put these search tools to work, you need to index all of your email folders first. While this may take a while, indexing will be done in the background and won't interrupt any of your work.

To get Indexing started, go to Tools > Indexing > Index All Folders…

Once Postbox is finished indexing all your emails, you can search your messages in a couple of ways:

First, you can use Quick Search. Simply click into the Search bar located in the top right corner of the main Postbox window and start typing your search criteria. By pressing the down arrow, you can choose to either search within the selected folder or all folders. As you type, Postbox presents a list of similar recent searches for you to choose from.

If you find what you’re looking for, great! If not, you can click on the down arrow next to the magnifying glass in the Search field to access additional search options (i.e. Contains, From, etc.).

Now, this is where search really starts to get useful. By combining different search modifiers, you can refine your search results using additional filters until the results that it returns are very limited and very relevant. Let me give you an example...

Let’s say we were looking for an email from a specific date range. For dates, you can use natural language criteria such as after: "last Monday" or before: "Jan 1." You can use several formats to define the dates, and you can use both operators to find messages within a specific date range. For example:

after:2009/07/16 before:2009/07/18

Other modifiers include:

  • From:

  • To:

  • Subject:

  • Topic:

  • Contains (for specific phrases)

  • Wildcards (if you can only remember a specific piece of the message)

By combining the appropriate modifiers, you’ll quickly and easily be able to locate any message you’re looking for.

Image & Files

You can also use Postbox's content views to find and work more fluidly with attachments and images.

To jump to a content view, click the View buttons in the Postbox Toolbar to toggle between messages, attachments, and images. Postbox will first display the most recently or frequently accessed content within the currently selected folder. To see more results, click the Load More Results... button at the bottom of the screen. And you can always use the Search Options in the Search Bar to search by specific criteria such as subject, sender, or date.

To search for all attachments or images, click the "Search All Folders" selector in the Accounts Pane.

Search by Contact

You can also search by contact in Postbox using the Contacts Card. The Contacts Card lets you search for messages, attachments, or even images. Click the contact within the message header to bring up the Contacts Card.

You can then search for messages, attachments, and images from this sender by clicking one of the search buttons next to find recent. Search results will conveniently open in a new tab.

Notice also that the search criteria have been entered into the search bar, allowing you to further customize the search as desired.