MacMost Now 686: Email Sending Options

When you send a message you have several options to be able to send it to more than one person. Find out how and why to use the CC and BCC fields in Mail. Also learn about the priority setting and other options.

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode, let's look at some of the options you've got when composing a new email message. So in Mail, when you compose a new message, you may get a screen that looks like this. You've got the basics here. You can specify who the email's going to by typing their email address, or their name, and it gets their email address from your Address Book. And you could put a subject line in the email. You can also select who it's from if you have more than one email address account set up. And you can specify a signature and edit the signatures in there. And then you can compose the message. But there's a lot more that you can do here. So for instance, you can go to View, and turn on the CC address field. CC is kind of an old-fashioned term. It's carbon copy. It means send a copy of this email also to these other addresses. So you could put in who this email's to and then include somebody else in the cc field. For instance, you may tell somebody that you'll going to be meeting them for lunch today. And you may cc one of your coworkers, just so they know you not going to be around during lunch. The To means the email's directed directly to that person, where a cc usually means it's just some extra information that you want some other people to know as well. It's kind of an etiquette thing. The functionality is the same. You can put three names in the To field, or those same three names, one in the To and the other two in the cc field. And they all get to the same people. It's basically just saying that the email's really meant for whoever's in the To field, but you also want the people in the cc field to get a copy of this email just so they have the information. Now related to that, there is also the Bcc field, which is blind carbon copy. The difference is that nobody else sees who gets blind carbon copied on something. So for instance, if you email to a person in the To field, then include two people in the cc field, everybody sees everybody else's email address. One of the people who gets it can see exactly who it went to and who was carbon copied. But nobody gets to see who was blind carbon copied on it. So for instance, somebody may say, looking forward to seeing you at lunch today. They carbon copy some coworkers, but they may also carbon copy, say, their boss under blind carbon copy and nobody else gets their boss' email address or even sees that the boss has actually gotten a copy of this email. A common thing to do with bcc is if you want to send an email to a whole bunch of people, but you don't want everybody to get everybody's email address. So say you run a club, organization, or a sports team, you could send an important email to yourself. And it looks like to everybody that you sent an email from yourself to yourself. And you put all of the teams' email addresses in the blind carbon copy field, so that nobody gets to see all of the other email addresses. You don't get this list of thirty email addresses who the email was sent to or carbon copied to. Also, it comes in handy when you want to have an invitation sent to a bunch of people, but you don't want everybody to see exactly who was and who wasn't invited. Another thing you've got here is you've got the Reply-to address field. So typically when you send email to somebody and they reply, they're replying directly to your email address, the one you sent the email from. But you can change that using the Reply-to field. This works if you have two email addresses. Say you're at home and you're using your home email address, but you want to send out a work email. You can put in the Reply-to field your work email address, so that anybody who replies to that email, the reply goes to your work email address, not your home email address. You've also got other ones here. You've got a priority field. So this, it's a bit old-fashioned, but you can set your email to high priority, normal priority, or low priority. And it's something that other email clients may recognize. So if you have an extremely important message, setting it to high priority will maybe get a little alert in the other person's email client, so they can see that the message is important. Of course, overusing that is the quickest way to making it ineffective. In addition, you could also go to Customize here, and you can very easily set what you want to appear. So I hope that explains some of the options you have when composing email. Til next time, this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 23 Responses to “MacMost Now 686: Email Sending Options”

    3/21/12 @ 9:19 pm

    Gary what about sending return receipt, that they viewed my email and got it.

      3/21/12 @ 9:49 pm

      Sometimes services (like AOL) offer this. But then it would only work within that service, not for just any email address. Other times people try to do things like include links to images in emails, and then the server notices when the image is loaded. But that fails because so many people have images turned off in emails. So there’s no foolproof way to do it — too many different email services and email client apps.

    3/22/12 @ 12:00 pm

    What happens when a bcc person does a reply all email to your original email. Will all other bcc get a copy? What email service are you using in video?

      3/22/12 @ 12:33 pm

      Good question. The receiver simply does not have the BCC list. They couldn’t reply to the BCC emails no matter how hard they try. A “reply all” will only go to the “from” (or reply-to) and the CCed.
      I’m using standard IMAP email.

    3/22/12 @ 12:22 pm

    hi gary
    how can I compose group of e-mails
    Like in my company I need to address something to 5 addresses in accounting department without retype them every time i do that

    3/22/12 @ 12:59 pm

    Years ago I remember finding that if you left the To: field completely blank and just had CC: recipients, some mail servers would pass all the CC: addresses in the headers to the final recipients. I believe that there are still some of these around, so I always put my own address in the To: line to avoid this.

      3/22/12 @ 12:59 pm

      Ooops, I meant “BCC:”

        3/22/12 @ 1:16 pm

        A modern mail client, like Apple Mail, won’t let you send an email with nothing in the To field. The client you were using before probably didn’t handle that correctly.

          3/22/12 @ 1:49 pm

          Yes, it was years ago, at work with a overly powerful and intransigent IT Dept.

    3/22/12 @ 6:23 pm

    Please use your contacts at Apple and suggest delay e-mail send. Thank you.

    3/23/12 @ 7:14 pm

    How about a short video tutorial on gpg tools for Mac (incl., but not limited to, Mac Mail)

    4/26/12 @ 7:29 am

    Excellent tutorials Gary! I’m glad I found you! Lots to learn ,,m
    I’m very thankful to you for your work !

    George Mattei
    5/31/12 @ 8:59 am

    Hi Gary, I am trying to send an email to multiple addresses, but I do not want the recipient to see the other people I send it to. I put the addresses in the BCC section with nothing in the To section. I know people are receiving them as I got 1 bounce back (I assume the person is not there anymore) and 1 person who wrote to say thanks for the email.
    Am I doing this correctly?
    Thanks, George

      5/31/12 @ 9:21 am

      Yes. Put your email address in TO (you get a copy, but you can just delete it) and all of the recipients in the BCC. The B stands for “blind” — they do not see any of the other recipients in the BCC field.

    7/14/12 @ 12:36 pm

    I use all Mac software except for Entourage (part of the Office Suite). Is there anything that can be done with Entourage in printing your contacts list?

      7/14/12 @ 1:01 pm

      Not sure as I haven’t used the latest version.

    Mr Anthony Cotton
    7/20/12 @ 4:55 pm

    Can you send a video by email,and if so how? Gary

      7/20/12 @ 7:26 pm

      It is never a good idea to send video via email. Video files are just too big. Even if you have the bandwidth to send it, it is presumptuous to think that the receiver has the bandwidth on their end to get it — they could be paying for bandwidth or have a slow connection. Best to post your video somewhere like YouTube (privately, if you like) and send them a link in an email.

    Mr Anthony Cotton
    7/22/12 @ 10:34 am

    I have read your answer. I new it would be more complicated than sending, say an
    attachment like a picture or document. I fully understand what you said.
    I just wanted to know. Thanks for the answer Gary.

    10/26/12 @ 8:32 am

    Hello Gary, I have lots of groups (am a class agent for my university) and want to know this: do addresses display if I select not to display names in the Preferences>settings for groups and then type the group name in To: ??

    OR do I still need to use the group name in Bcc: for keeping the names from display? Is that “setting” choice intended for the convenience of the sender (who may know that the addressees in the group are correct ‘so why ‘display them’)?

    Thanks, great stuff…

      10/26/12 @ 8:40 am

      Any recipient included in the To or Cc will be visible to anyone else who gets the email. Only the Bcc field hides the recipients from each other. That preference is just for your convenience, it doesn’t affect what is sent.

Comments Closed.