How To Save Email Messages As Document Files

If you need to save an important email as a document rather than simply marking it in the Mail app, you can export a message in four different ways. You can save it as plain text, rich text, or as a raw .eml file. The latter is useful for seeing the message in Mail as it was original displayed. You can also export as a PDF file to insure that the message looks good and remains unchanged even after online images no longer exist.

Comments: 13 Responses to “How To Save Email Messages As Document Files”

    Darrell
    1 year ago

    Great post! I like having multiple formats. I only ever exported to PDF. Thanks!

    Russ Tolman
    1 year ago

    Hi, when saving as pdf: I commend-p to print and then save as pdf. not sure that it makes much difference. Just easy for me to do.

    Steve
    1 year ago

    Lots to think about Gary. I’ve not considered any of the options since my method has always been to drag the email to the desktop as an .eml. It seems to work although I’ve never really known whether the file was being saved on the desktop or in email itself. After deleting the email in Mail, the file was still available on the. desktop. Anyway, lots new options now. Thanks for all your help
    Steve

    John
    1 year ago

    Good one, Gary. But I hope people don’t think that this way of saving an email is better than using separate mailboxes to save and organize messages in Mail. Saving email messages using one of the methods you have demonstrated should be, as you pointed out, for special cases.

    Keith
    1 year ago

    Is there is a way to get the email into a program such as pages for editing. For example if I wanted to print out an email to use as a handout for a meeting but I wanted to first add my own paragraph of info at the top. I tried just now with a plain txt and it worked fine but with a formatted email like you used in your second example it didn’t work.

    1 year ago

    Keith: Why not just copy and paste? Then you get the formatting too. Drag and drop work as well — select the text in the message, drag that block of text into a Pages document.

    Shirley
    1 year ago

    I have used Save As for many years but also tell my students to save the resulting document to a folder for the subject in their Document file.

    Marsha Avery
    1 year ago

    This looks easy in the video but it doesn’t work in real life on my Mac (high Sierra) or using gmail. If I switch to apple mail, it still doesn’t work as shown and I can’t get the computer to let me save it to desktop! That choice isn’t available. I want to save my old emails in case I stop using gmail. Be nice to figure this out.

    1 year ago

    Marsha: What do you mean by “that choice isn’t available?” Is it not there in the menu? or is it grayed out? Do you have a message selected? Is it Save As that is missing/gray or Export As PDF? Or both? The only thing that I can think of that would make them both gray is if you don’t have any message selected. And what do you mean y “switch to Apple mail?” This will work regardless of where the message came from, but what are you doing to “switch?”

    Ann DeKalb
    1 year ago

    Thanks, Gary. I’d like to be able to save whole email folders to archive projects. I’ve culled the folder so it is just important emails, but still tedious to do one at a time. Is it possible to select one of these options for a group of emails? Thanks for your help.

    1 year ago

    Ann: This video is about saving a single message. But a good option for archiving a group of messages as a file would be to select the message, File, Print, and then Save As PDF. This saves all of the messages you have selected as a single PDF. So you can save a Emails.pdf file along with the rest of your project files.

    Julie Wasmus
    1 year ago

    I am using Outlook Version 16.15 for Mac and do not have the option to “Save As”; however, I can Export a message as an OLM file. Steve’s comment above to drag the e-mail to the desktop worked for me, saved as an RTFD. Is the difference that you are using the Mail app?

    1 year ago

    Julie: Mail and Outlook are two completely different apps made by different companies. So they are going to have different options available.

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