Use old style Next-Step icons for commercial e-mail

Screen Capture iTunes and Doodle Logo in Mail.app

One feature of Mail.app on OS X that I like is that it shows the picture associated with the sender of an e-mail. The normal way of associating a picture with an e-mail is using the Address Book. While this makes sense for the humans I’m interacting with, I don’t want to add an address book entry for no-reply@flattr.com.

The good news is, there is an old Next-Step era mechanism that still works, even under Mac OS X 10.7: just add a tiff file with a name e-mail.tiff into the folder ~/Library/Images/People, restart Mail.app and you are done. So for instance the Flattr logo goes into file ~/Library/Images/People/no-reply@flattr.com.tiff. If you want to reuse the icon of a desktop application, just open the application’s package (context menu) and go down into the Resources folder and open the Application-name.ics file with Preview.app copy paste the high-resolution icon into a new file and save it as tiff.

While there is no way to have a file match multiple e-mail addresses, you can avoid duplicating files using symbolic or hard links. On the other hand, those images, contrary to the ones added in address book can contain an α-channel (transparency).

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9 thoughts on “Use old style Next-Step icons for commercial e-mail

  1. Heu, comment tu as fait pour avoir une image dans la liste d’e-mail, moi je ne l’ai que pour l’e-mail lui-même. (est-ce que je suis claire?)

  2. Does this still work in Mountain Lion for you? I have just upgraded and it does not appear to be working.

  3. It does still work under Mountain Lion. i managed to solve this by going into Mail preferences and under viewing select show contact photos.

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